Marketing InnovationsOctober 23, 2020
Every non-profit organization serving a sprawling base struggling to find feasible ways to construct consciousness and involvement among such a prevalent group. Add to the challenge of serving a neighborhood that’s half people by summertime or weekend just people, and you have every non-profit marketer’s worst nightmare. But each nightmare has its bright side, as Tracy Mitchell, Executive Director of Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, NY, shows here. THE CHALLENGE: Diverse Audiences Hard to Attain and Engage, Far Less Construct to a Loyal Community of Supporters – Even with an effective 18 year run under its belt, Sag Harbor, NYs Bay Street Theatre has been jeopardized by the challenge of working out its diverse foundation, in addition to by cuts in funding and in sponsors expendable income.
It is all about the eyes
Bay Street is a lively arts and instructional centre seeking to meet citizens varying lifestyles, tastes and income levels. The theatre prides itself on providing shows that shake anticipation of what theatre is, to nudge you to examine the world another way, says Mitchell. But there were two main hurdles to Bay Street’s health: Possible audiences and fans were based in seven cities on the eastern Long Island coast, therefore were not united by geographical community. Residents ranged from complete time locals to monied second property owners, a few there for evenings and summers others for summers only. So both the population count and interests vary greatly.
Our biggest marketing challenge, even in good times, has been reaching such a wide range of residents in all cities, says Mitchell. Mitchell also felt confident that there were ways to engage people over Bay Streets traditional supporters. Marketing clever, Bay Street had relied heavily on print advertising, placing advertisements in seven subscription documents for the locals plus many freebie papers and related web sites for all. These advertisements Had become cost prohibitive nonetheless were not powerful enough to maintain Bay Street prosper while the recession crept in a couple of years ago. Mitchell was also faced with the probability of former Bay Street sponsors cutting attendance. Since Bay Street counted on ticket sales to cover 47% of its operating budget, Mitchell knew she’d to discover a way beyond traditional marketing and schedule to expand the theater’s role in citizens’ lives. THE STRATEGY: Putting New Programs, Hours and awareness campaigns to Play to Engage More People, More Regularly – Acknowledging that the disconnect between residents habits, personal preferences and wants and theater offerings was the heart of the problem. Mitchell delved into programming to fill this gap, and .