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Journal of Marketing Management


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By Popular Demand: Marketing the Arts


Patrick Butler Available online: 01 Feb 2010

To cite this article: Patrick Butler (2000): By Popular Demand: Marketing the Arts, Journal of Marketing Management, 16:4, 343-364 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725700784772871

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Journal of Marketing Management 2000, 16, 343-364

Pabick Butler1

By Popular Demand: Marketing the Arts


Professional development in the management of the arts is increasingly important with the growth of the arts and cultural sectors. Traditional texts on arts marketing emphasise a marketing mix approach that is of limited value to experienced marketers. A framework for the analysis of the distinctive structural and process characteristics of marketing the arts, that assumes a knowledge of marketing concepts and processes, is proposed and developed. The marketing concept is then examined criticallyfor its utility for the arts context. Having thrived as a pennanent "industry" with inherently temporary arrangements, in a dynamic, multicultural and project-oriented environment, the arts context is the epitome of organisation for the "new economy". Issues for commercial entities are explored.

Trinity College Dublin


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Introduction There can be few management scenarios in which a marketing executive would choose not to have a major input into product design; in which the producer would disregard market preferences in the interests of product quality and integrity; and in which a successful product would be withdrawn in favour of a certain loss-maker. While such oddities would confound most marketers, they are common in marketing the arts. Ignoring such curious illustrations of life in arts marketing will result in "smug conservatism that leads quickly to sclerosis" in marketing theory and practice (O'Oriscoll and Murray, 1998:412). For better or worse, the arts are now not only widely perceived at an economic level as an industry (Schiller, 1989), but as one in a state of elaborate transformation (Palmer, 1998). Consequently, several contemporary forces lead to calls for professional development in the management of the arts: the increasing economic and social importance of the culture sector, the requirement for transparency and accountability as investment in culture increases, and the dearth of material on the subject (Fitzgibbon and Kelly, 1997). Marketing must be central to such development There is a well-established literature on economic and managerial issues in the arts. Such organisations as the National Endowment for the Arts in the USA or the Arts Councils in the UK and in Ireland provide many relevant reports. Similarly, dedicated journals such as the Journal of Cultural Economics and the
1 Lecturer in Business Studies,School of Business Studies,TrinityCollegeDublin,Dublin 2, Ireland,Tel. + 353 1 6081719, Fax. 353 1 6799503, Email.pdbutler@tcd.ie

ISSN0267 -257X/2000/040343+ 22 $12.00/0

Westburn Publishers Ltd.

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Journal of Arts Management, Law and Society develop critical research issues in
the field. As regards marketing, most of the texts on marketing the arts firmly concentrate on providing arts administrators and managers with an ovetview of the management tasks associated with business development (Kotler and Scheff, 1997, Hill et aI, 1996, Colbert at aI, 1994). A particular approach is identifiable: they tend to outline (often too briefly) why arts marketing is different from consumer goods marketing, and then proceed through the standard series of textbook marketing topics from environmental analysis through research and planning processes to the marketing mix. Such an approach is not confined to the arts, of course; it can be seen in most marketing context books international marketing (Czinkota and Ronkainen, 1995), tourism marketing (Holloway and Robinson, 1995), healthcare marketing (Sheaff, 1991), nonprofit marketing (Kotler and Andreasen, 1987) and education marketing (Kotler and Fox. 1995). This framework is a helpful start for the target audiences at a certain level of involvement However, one observation strikes marketers: the assumption that marketing management knowledge is so simply transferable. The emphasis on the management of the marketing mix suggests that such texts, like much of the literature, are "firmly rooted in the heyday of the sixties" (O'Driscoll and Murray, 1998:397). There is good reason to question seemingly simple assignments of marketing technologies. Indeed, Gummesson (1993) is so critical of the standard approach of mainstream marketing textbooks that he must surely be in despair of such "special interest" texts. The common approach outlined is of limited use to experienced marketing observers and practitioners. The emphasis is resolutely on the introduction to the principles of marketing, rather than a critical analysis of the context as a business environment Such a gap signals a particular problem identified in the arts world (and in other contexts): the arrogance of marketing "experts" who feel that they can bring a marketing "toolkit" from consumer goods to the arts and ply their trade. It is telling that some in the arts are more aggrieved by marketing academics, who, presumably, should know better, than by practitioners (Diggle, 1994). What is required is a more advanced model or representation of the arts that would enlighten marketers already au fait with marketing theory and practice, but with limited knowledge of that business or context

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What is Art?
The arts here mainly include theatrical, musical and dance performances. A common term of usage would be the performing arts, but the following analysis does allow for the inclusion of a wider variety of artistic pursuits that might be better understood as the creative arts2 Standard Industrial Classification codes

Four useful categories were used by Clancyet al (1994): Hiart includes plays,operas, concerts and musicals; Pop includes film and rock/pop/jazz music; Exper relates to art exhibitions, contemporary dance, literature/poetry readings; and Trod relates to traditional folk dance/music.

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are immaterial, and, anyway, would imply a certainty to the boundaries of the discussion. The primary concern is to develop, for marketing readers, a broad understanding of the arts as a context for marketing. Although this broad approach may limit parts of the discussion to the general, the inclination is to be inclusive of artistic, heritage and cultural pursuits, with due recognition of the great diversity of arts and arts management issues. On the subject of terminology, the venerable term 'arts administrator' is still common in the field. This may be due to many administrators being former artistes who would not wish to be associated with the controlling connotations of management In the public services, however, the notion of 'administration' is giving way to 'management', as managerial ism pervades the field throughout the western world. The same trend is observed in the arts. Marketing specialists in the arts have traditionally been known as publicists, as in the Society of Arts Publicists. Cooke (1997) argues that the growth of the 'science of management' is a major cultural force in its own right and so the 'culture of management' has contributed to the demise of the impresario in favour of the manager. The Arts as a Marketing Context If the case is accepted that marketing scholars have not engaged sufficiently in understanding the arts as a distinctive marketing context - and the arts community tells us this is so (Diggle, 1994) - then there is a problem with marketing literature and knowledge. Resolving this should improve conceptualisation and enable more effective marketing strategy. The approach proposed here does not provide another managerial framework or checklist for arts marketers. Neither does it explicitly deal with the traditional environmental factors (PEST-type lists) that impact on the arts. Rather, it assumes knowledge of the marketing concept function and processes, and, instead, focuses directly on the distinctive characteristics of the arts that have implications for marketing decisions and activities. When these are considered, the implementation of marketing can be improved. The model advances that developed by Butler and Collins (1994, 1995) in their analysis of marketing characteristics in the politics and public sector contexts. It provides a framework for conceptualising marketing management in given contexts that emphasises structural and process characteristics. To varying degrees, the arts overlap with services, nonprofit and public service contexts. When characterising these marketing fields, writers have focused on the most heuristically useful features for addressing management problems. For example, Shostack (1977) and others in services (Cowell, 1984, Rust et ai, 1996) conventionally stress the service product focusing on intangibility, perishability, heterogeneity and inseparability to explain services. In the not-for-profit field, Blois (1987) suggests that the characteristics of the organisation are the most insightful. In public sector marketing, the nature of the citizen as consumer and other peculiarities of the market are brought to the fore (Walsh, 1995). However,it can be argued that the deficiencyin these approaches is their singular emphasis on one or

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other factor. In the framework here, all of these factors - product organisation, market - are drawn together in the development of a generic and more robust model of the structural features that characterise arts marketing. The process dimension of the context model is where the dynamics are addressed. The objective is to capture those dimensions of arts marketing that would be of concern to marketers 'taking the product to markef, as it were. Marketers conventionally perceive their domain in terms of the market research process, buyer behaviour processes, planning processes, new product development processes and so on. In this case, the approach is based on a three stages model of marketing processes (Webster, 1997). It, in tum, is derived from various forms of business system and value chain analysis (Porter, 1985, Kotler, 1997). The set of three are value-defining, value-developing and value-delivering processes. The value concept is well founded in marketing, but is highly contentious in the arts,
as will be explored later. Nonetheless, it is effective in capturing the essential

design - production - delivery processes in the field. Figure 1. The Characteristics of Arts Marketing

Sbuctural

Characteristics The Product Cultural Domain Human Performance Location as Identity Role of the Artist Clash of Commerce and Culture Arts Networks Resource Base Diversity of Audience Influence of Critics

The Organisation

The Market

Process Characteristics Value Defmition Source of Value Definition Discovery of New Art Education and Development of Artists Education and Development of Audiences Access Pricing

Value Development

Value Delivery

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One important point that must be noted in the development of the structure and process characteristics is that the framework is intended to draw out those issues that are distinctive to the context in question. So, rather than suggest that the characteristics discussed are unique to arts marketing, the point is that they are distinctive enough to warrant particular attention by the marketer. That is, they are sufficiently different from other industries or contexts to require close consideration because of their implications for marketing decisions in the field. Also fundamental is the interaction and integration of the factors included in the model; analysis of anyone factor could not provide a complete picture. This is essentially the rationale for designating the structural characteristics prior to the development of the process aspect of the model - the product, organisation and market issues must firstoe clarified for the marketer, such that the process elements can be put to use more meaningfully. The model, then, recasts the field of arts marketing as a context that must be examined for those peculiar features that differentiate it from other contexts, and that impact on marketing decisions. This is achieved by the explicit marking of the structural characteristics, and the development of the process characteristics in a value-based framework. Figure 1 outlines the characteristics.

The Structural Characteristics of Arts Marketing


The central elements of micro marketing are the offer, the seller and the buyer, more broadly operationalised here as product, organisation and market Analysis of marketing in any context can focus on these structural components to draw out their distinctive features for marketing decision implications. Of course, the cumulative value is in the relationships between them (Saren and Tzokas, 1998), and those are more fully developed in the discussion on process.

The Product
The distinctive characteristics of arts products are that they are cultural; they are human performances of a kind; and they tend to be have strong location identities.

Cultural Domain
Two extreme views can aid in identifying stereotypical camps relating to arts in society. On one hand "high culture" or fine art is perceived to appeal to a cultural elite; on the other, "low culture" is perceived as the preserve of the masses. The elitist minority is accused of being snobbish and undemocratic. It would be argued that the proportion of public cultural funding allocated to this group's interests is far beyond its actual support as measured by any numbers on attendance or participation. That elite is also felt to be dismissive of popular culture, branding it trivial, sentimental and superficial. Indeed, it perceives pop art to be dangerous and manipulative because it is produced by entrepreneurs for profit rather than for the sake of art itself. Rarely will the products or output

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of a business context present such exceptional reactions. State involvement in most of the world, by way of funding and support. is usually directed at the "hig\:1 arts" (O'Hagan, 1998). Clearly, we are in the realm of the "nobility" of art and the "vulgarity" of entertainment, and therefore stressing extremes. While the distinction is bluning (Shuker, 1994), and while posbnodemism would deny any such difference anyway, with its "elevation of the Beatles over Beethoven, Mickey Mouse over Michaelangelo" (Brown, 1998:78), it nonetheless exists both as an undercurrent and explicitly.By way of example, the television critic of the Financial Times took exception recently to requests that the column review "popular" rather than "quality" programmes (Dunkley, 1998). The art critic and books critic, it was argued, were not expected to review Athena posters and airport paperbacks, so why should he lower himself to soap operas and gameshows3 For the marketer pursuing business objectives on the ground, such lofty considerations may rarely be brought directly to mind. Nevertheless, these kinds of sentiments do provide the backdrop to arts management They may provoke forceful reactions in the community. The marketing implications are that there are strongly felt cultural attitudes associated with product offerings. Human Perfonnance In the contemporary literature on services marketing, one of the central characteristics of services is that whereas goods are produced, services are peifonned (Berry, 1980). The performing arts, by definition, are therefore firmly in the service domain from a marketing perspective. But it is the right, and expectation, of artists to affirm their "ownership" of the products of their performances much more assertively than the producers of many commercial services. Indeed, this right, or copyright, is so powerful that it is common for young artists not to sign their work as student painters, not to record their work as student musicians, because they feel that they are not yet accomplished enough. Financial, moral and follow-on rights (resale royalties) are important regulatory issues in the arts (O'Hagan, 1998), and further amplify the centrality of the artist's individual involvement The implication for the marketer is that artistic performances in various forms are infused with artistic vision and commibnent This often makes the product inseparable from the artist, and notwithstanding the pride of any worker in his or her work, the sensitivities involved in this context are far deeper than would be
3 In a deliciouslypiqued, but resigned, manner, Dunkleywrote '1'he fact is that a great deal of popular television is just as tedious, limited and demoralisingas a great deal of popular art and literature. A week spent watching the popular programmes makes you wonder how dreadful most people's livesmust be if such time-filling, ninspiringmaterial u is reallywhat is wanted.Most of it continues year after year,decade after decade, virtually unchanged". He also calls us to resist "the relativist craze that which would have us believe that there is nothing to choose between rap music and Bach". Such contemporary sentiments signifythe enduring gap between 'competing' definitions of culture.

By Popular Demand found in most other fields.

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Location as Identity While it is clear that the arts product is a complex bundle of tangible and intangible elements, one characteristic that is central to many arts is identification by reference to place. National cultural pursuits are evident among immigrant groups throughout the world. In the USA the increasing numbers from developing countries in recent years has called into question the belief that all immigrants rapidly assimilate the same cultural norms regarding work,' education, property and so on, as earlier waves were inclined to do. In the Queens borough of New York City, there are three hundred culture schools for Koreans alone. Such environments raise special problems for arts and cultural development in the community at large. Many performances and performers are closely associated with their home base. Orchestras are often identified by their base e.g. Berlin Symphony Orchestra; genres by their national heritage e.g. Japanese Kabuki theatre, and drama groups by their home playhouse e.g. The Abbey Theatre Oreland's national theatre company). Indeed, the associations are so strong that financial support for these kinds of entities is often forthcoming from civil bodies whose members may rarely, if ever, attend performances. For tangible creative arts, the association with a particular museum or gallery could be critical. The location of an exhibition may confer a status on the artist or the work that suggests "arrival", "acceptance", "alternative" or "radical". Similarly, the connotations of a play being "on Broadway" or "off-Broadway"are important On a broader level, western, and especially North American, artists and symbols are important to the globalisation of popular music, despite the seeming emphasis on international youth values over geographic location. As a postmodern alternative to the orthodoxy of international marketing strategy, however, the phenomenal international success of the Irish dance stage show Riverdance is described as a case of "act local, think global" (Brown, 1998: 163). This characteristic has implications for marketing: it may be difficult to separate the performance from the location, thereby limiting development options, but it may also provide opportunities for strong market positioning and branding. As regards product-related strategies, marketers in the arts must account for these particular product features in developing directions for the product and organisation. The responsibility for cultural heritage is profound, and will always have deep and long-term consequences. Because the arts are performed, services marketing theory can provide useful insights and directions. Place identity is important to artists, organisations and the general public; questions of cultural identity always require a particular sensitivity.

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The Organisation
The primary dimensions of arts organisations that differentiate them from

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commercial and other entities are that their focus may be primarily internal on the artist and the art; there tends to be a continual struggle between the commercial and the cultural imperatives; and the role of various networks.

Role of the Artist


In some organisational situations, there is a high dependency on particular individuals. To a greater extent than would be found in most other contexts, the arts organisation focuses on the individual artist The role of the artist is to create art, and the role of the organisation is to foster and develop that creativity (Scheff and Kotler, 1996). This conviction cannot be overstated. Unlike most organisations, wherein a company-wide marketing orientation is perceived to be the great goal of marketing, the adoption of a market orientation by the artist may, in fact be counter-productive in artistic tenns. This is not to deny the tradition of artists flattering their patrons, of course. However, as regards the roles of people in organisations, a critical distinction that differentiates the arts from other situations is that in the arts, the artist is primarily, often only, interested in the art The requirements of the organisation are secondary. The artisfs fundamental commitment is to the art itself in a way that is expressly beyond the grasp of most other contexts. Indeed, it is common in the arts world for individuals to eschew financial reward in favour of opportunities to pursue artistic merit This, despite the paltry remuneration of most artists and the enonnous numbers "resting" at anyone time, merely underlines the organisational imperatives to support artists rather than vice-versa For marketers, one implication concerns the sensitivity of management to individuals within the organisation. What may appear to a commercial mind to be obdurate and obstinate selfishness, may to the artist be a matter of artistic life and death. Of course, there is another dilemma concerning the viability of the arts organisation that may require a popularising of the essential art, and that raises the commercial-cultural clash known to all arts administrators.

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Clash of Commerce and Culture


The different, and often opposing, imperatives of culture and commerce, has implications for the nature and running of arts organisations. In certain popular culture projects where profit considerations detennine the perfonnance, the issue is less dramatic. Of course, to suggest no possibility at all of a meeting of artistic and business minds would be absurd. O'Sullivan (1997:139), for instance, is adamant about laying to rest the myth that "the worlds of Art and Commerce are not just mutually exclusive domains, but rather are forces in fundamental opposition ... . Similarly,Jeremy Isaacs (1997), drawing on significant experience in " arts production and management in the UK, asserts that "it is not true that artists have no interest in the efficient management of their lives" by arts organisations. So, the diversity of values and opinions can be accommodated. Scheff and Kotler (1996:50) refer to art as an open system: it "creates, cajoles, undennines, confronts, challenges". Yet organisations are closed systems: they are "controlled, systematised, resistant to change". The contrasts are plain to see.

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Seemingly immutable positions should not be taken to mean that arts organisations are entrenched, however. The very existence of many arts organisations illustrates their extraordinary ability to survive and thrive in highly adverse conditions. The key is in knowing the boundaries of culture and commerce, and knowing why to change rather than just how or when. Marketing implications include the political decisions regarding the involvement of artists in marketing activities and decisions. Extreme cases will determine that artists either play a central role in commercial activities or are entirely removed from such activities. In most other situations, however, an appreciation by each arm of the others' requirements and constraints will be helpful to the organisation as a whole.
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Arts Networks Arts organisations are typically split into front-of-house and backstage, but externally, like every organisation, they exist in some form of network Even where there is a high degree of vertical integration, such as the orchestra of a broadcasting organisation, there is nonetheless a wider arrangement of external entities that enable the "industry" to function. The channel management function in most industries is responsible for routing the product from production through retailing to consumption. So also in the arts context the process must be understood in functional and institutional terms. A wide variety of institutions may make up the network - performance groups, theatres and other venues, ticketing agencies, promoters, merchandisers and so forth. One of the important differences between arts and other fields is the combination of commercial and artistic motives of any production or performance. The reconciliation of these will be a critical task for the arts administrator. Of significant importance in the arts world are support networks. They provide opportunities for knowledge transfer, political development and personal support in stressful circumstances. Whether they are at culture agency, arts organisation or individual administrator level, the role of international, national and local networks are felt to be crucial (Scott 1997). At the organisational level, strategic directions must consider the organisation's central focus on the artists and the art itself. The organisation is the support mechanism. The role of the patron has traditionally been central in the arts in terms of support. Such a seeI:I1inglyinternal orientation will raise difficulties for marketers not familiar with (and possibly not steeped in) the arts context. The commerce-culture conflict cannot be resolved by a widespread uptake of the marketing orientation. If anything, the commercial arm must be wary of distracting the cultural arm. The arts networks, notwithstanding their commercial imperatives, generally operate from a co-operative, pro-art perspective. Often, non-profit criteria drive risk assessment and investment analyses.

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In the arts, the market displays the following distinctive characteristics: it presents a complex mix of private and public support and resourcing; it contains a diversity of support and opposition; and it involves critics on whose opinions the art is highly dependant

Resource Base
A wide variety of funding sources exists to support the arts, including the commercial profits and surpluses of arts organisations, public arts bodies, endowments, private donations, and corporate sponsorships. The relentless search for resources makes for a curious combination of competitive and cooperative behaviour between arts organisations. Every artist wants to see another being supported, but not unlike the situation found in the charity sector, such generosity may be suppressed when there is competition for a finite pool. State involvement in the arts varies considerably around the world. O'Hagan (1998) shows that many European states emphasise public funding, with a strong national cultural identity imperative, whereas the United States prefers taxinduced private support that is reflected in the development of the popular arts. The UK lies between these two, encouraging private sponsorship and maintaining a distinctive "arm's length" approach of state support via autonomous semi-state agencies. Increasing concerns in business with broad mission and vision could be perceived as helpful to arts sponsorship. Innovative forms of resourcing now include supporting the arts with management and marketing skills, as well as traditional financial support A persistent crisis exists in arts organisations as a result of the incremental nature of grants and funds. A range of sources, having different time frames, awarding funding in the short term when planning clearly demands a longer term horizon, makes for an almost impossible strategy development situation (Breathnach and Doyle, 1997). A fundamental problem arises when the support for artistic endeavours is linked to social policy, the "instrumental" cultural policy referred to by Vestheim (1994). It would not be unusual for either public or private bodies to intend that their contributions to the arts would serve the dual purposes of better art and greater involvement by, say, minority groups or disabled persons. At first sight such ideals might appear to make the contribution go further, but this may be at the expense of a true artistic goal by its distraction of artists. Such a combination is too intrusive a compromise to some in the arts. Furthermore, such a policy may be seen only to absolve politicians, and corporations, from addressing social issues in direct ways. As a counterpoint others argue that in cases, "cultural expression [has] occurred despite, not because of, the state's involvement" (Cooke, 1997:32). Indeed, Kingsley Amis is reputed to have suggested that the trouble with bringing art to the people is that is becomes fatally damaged in transit For marketers, the implications involve the conditions, explicit or implicit involved in funding and resourcing arrangements. It is acknowledged that straightforward commercial necessities tend to force compromises on principle.

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Again, the position of the organisation on the imperatives of commerce and culture will guide policy on funding and resourcing. Diversity of Audience The diversity of market participants differentiates the marketing of the arts from most other contexts. For instance, whereas many industries conceive of a range of market segments in usage and behavioural terms, it is not common to find a market segment opposed to the organisation and its product While there are some parallels in politics, for example (Butler and Collins, 1994), the arts context is relatively unusual in having sectors of the market at both extremes. So, at one extreme is the enraptured, committed individual whose devotion to an art form is unrivalled, and at the other is a segment that objects strongly to the people, pursuits or performances of the artistic organisation. Even at the popular level, the Disney organisation recently found itself responsible for a confrontation between Israeli and Islamic leaders regarding the portrayal of Jerusalem at Walt Disney World in Florida Arab cultural and political representatives sought to organise a boycott of the exhibit which was organised by the Israeli government For an arts organisation with a mission to bring art to the public at large, audience diversity presents an important issue. It may be worthwhile for organisations exploring the market to be less concerned with what makes great art but with "what makes a great audience?". Such market diversity implies the need for insights into behavioural segments, and consequent positioning strategies. Influence of Critics Opinions in the arts world, whether glowing or scathing, are an established element of development., and are expected by performers, audiences and observers alike. Not unlike word-of-mouth marketing in other fields, there may be a significant dependence on such reviews. The distinctive aspect of this process in the arts market is the extraordinary power of a few particular critics. In some areas of the arts, be that in particular genres or cities, the imprimatur of a single individual can mean outright success or failure. Undoubtedly, the powerful brand effects of something like a Lloyd Webber show can, and do, overcome the critics' expressions. But many arts organisations and products are at the mercy of such power holders. Crucially, however, unlike many businesses, the defensive power of public relations techniques are very limited; PR campaigns may have no, or even a negative, effect on such critics. Critics, too, perceive their role in the arts world as crucial, and would not be persuaded to compromise in favour of any criterion other than artistic merit The difficulties for marketers in the field are considerable: to ignore critics is to ignore a significant voice in the market but neither is there much that can be done to assuage them, in the short term especially. Distinctive market characteristics influence strategic directions in arts marketing. Strategies must have regard to market conditions and preferences, as would be the case in any context However, there are particular resourcing

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dimensions in the arts that underpin the nature of the market and make it especially difficult to define and forecast; attention must be paid to these. Segmentation approaches that focus on attitudinal and behavioural bases, rather than more structural factors such as demographics, must be emphasised in the development of innovative strategies. Ongoing, long-term strategies that emphasise positive word-of-mouth support and the development of reputations may be useful in countering any adverse critiques from an influential few.

Process Characteristics of Arts Marketing


In tracking marketing processes in the arts, the progression of definition, development and delivery of value is a useful heuristic. In the same way that commercial marketing analogies are utilised here for insights rather than absolutes, so also is Webster's (1997) framework applied to guide rather than to rule. In the arts, 'value', or 'worth' is not at all as clear cut as in business, since there is no consensus on criteria This is not to state that other fields do not argue their respective quality standards. However, at the 'pure' level, the very notion of art for art's own sake determines that the artist is the ultimate or only arbiter of value. Any entity or position that detracts from that may be perceived as barren, anti-intellectual, philistine. The 'value' debate and outcomes in the arts are often so contentious that they have important marketing implications. Value-Defining Processes In defining the value of the product, two factors are distinctive in the arts: whether value is defined by the market or the artist; and the discovery of new art Source of Value Definition In commercial situations, upholding the marketing orientation makes it axiomatic that the market is the primary determinant of value (Levitt, 1960, Kotler, 1997). The core concept of marketing is customer sovereignty. In noncommercial contexts, however, market complexities force a review of value definition. For instance, it is generally accepted that in the charity sector, there are multiple elements in the market including funders, recipients, volunteers and so on, all of whom have different priorities and who infer and receive value in different ways. The actions of public and private bodies supporting the arts are automatically related by obselVers to questions of value. A grant or subsidy is translated as a definition of value, and therefore subject to criticism from some quarter. In the autumn of, 1999, Mayor Giuliani of New York found himself embroiled in a battIe over the public funding of the Brooklyn Museum of Art which insisted on exhibiting a painting of the Virgin Mary that was partially completed in elephant dung, and considered especially insulting by Catholic community leaders. So, the question of value definition is sometimes explicit, sometimes implicit The marketing issue is initially one of recognition of the ultimate role and purpose of art as perceived by various interested parties, and of

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Discovery of New Art The discovery of new art involves new interpretations. new products. new perfonnances. new genres and new artists. The use of the tenn "discovery" is common in the arts world. since it connotes something deeper than development Limited understandings of marketing theory would lead to the belief that producers simply follow market requirements. In the arts world. arti$ts feel they must shun the notion of following, and produce or perfonn out of their own commitment to their field. Notwithstanding the fact that much of what is produced is never 'discovered' or successfully diffused in commercial tenns. the ethos is still fundamentally different to most business scenarios. Defining "good" or "quality" art is fraught with contradictions between essentially different mindsets. This has implications for the discovery of new art and new artists. In the arts world of constantly shifting perspectives, multimedia technologies. for example. are fusing art, graphics and human and technological perfonnances. Who is to adjudicate on new arts fonns? Marketing managers may find that while their charges are brilliant to some. their reluctance as artists to confonn to "market" demands may well leave them "undiscovered". Value-Developing Processes The development processes of art and artistic pursuits are distinguished by the education and development of artists and the education and development of audiences Education and Development of Artists There are many ways of developing artists. from awareness programmes. through apprenticeships. training or college programmes, to the support of individuals to express their ideas freely, unburdened by economic concerns. In the first case. arts organisations are often charged by public bodies with an awareness-development or educational role. Young childre,-t in schools is a first point of contact, and is a constant source of dispute as to the lack of attention and resources. The college route for those who have chosen to pursue a life in the arts is akin to a training ground. For those deemed by their peers or by experts to have talent, there are systems of bursaries. grants. awards and so on. Charitable contributions. bequests. property tax. value-added tax and income tax are all utilised in some fashion. In Ireland, for example, the income of creative artists is exempt from income tax, with the aim of fostering a sympathetic environment in which the arts can flourish. It should also be noted here that development of arts organisations goes hand in hand with the development of artists. Calls for improved professional and managerial competencies in the field are common, and marketing is surely one focus for this (Clancy, 1994). Indeed. in the UK, the Association of Business Sponsors of the Arts intends to broaden its support from donations to the

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secondment of experienced business managers to arts organisations. In marketing terms, continuous innovation and change in the arts demands parallel attention to artist development If the arts are perceived as living, growing and changing, then the people who make art must also be able to progress.

Education and Development of Audiences.


Audience development is especially important for the arts. Society is bound to offer its members something beyond the mundane; there are cultural necessities in every community of people. For many people there would have been no formal opportunity to come into contact with, let alone appreciate, music, dance, fine art and sculpture. In his preface to the Arts Council of Ireland's Arts Plan for 19992001, the Chairman, while celebrating the record of prestigious international recognition of Irish artists across the artforms, warned of people "basking vicariously in those artists' reflected glory" rather than actively participating themselves in the arts. The appreciation of the general arts, as opposed to a genre-specific orientation, should bring about a wider participation. Classic market segmentation approaches to development will enable the identification of priorities at all levels. For instance, usage segmentation studies may lead to the identification of occasional attendees, the development of which requires a penetration strategy. Attitudinal research may identify segments to be targeted with conversion promotion strategies. An important segment is future audiences for whom the development of a sense of artistic wonder, respect and joy is paramount The schools system is the obvious channel for accessing children, although it is often the dedicated efforts of individual teachers that is responsible for any such development However, it is held by the arts community that young people should be recognised as current audiences, participants and artists in their own right and not merely regarded for their potential. Other potential segments of interest to the National Campaign for the Arts in the UK include that stage when young people enter the adult world of work, and when people enter retirement While every organisation must have regard for the development of its market and its current and potential consumers, this process is of profound importance in the arts. The social and societal consequences of an uncultured community are enormous. Attention to educating and developing an arts audience, in the broadest sense, implies particular marketing priorities over the long run. Value-Delivering Processes The process of delivering performing arts to the public involves two particular issues that are distinctive and that have implications for marketing practice: First the problem of access to the arts is fundamental, and second, pricing management is complex.

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Access

Delivering the art product is about gaining maximum exposure for the artist

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and the work; that is the purpose of the nonprofit arts organisation (Scheff and Kotler, 1996). While access to the arts is certainly a delivery process in the first instance, it must assume a wider interpretation that is also critical to survival and development in the field. For this reason, access is the business not only of the participating organisation, but of public policy, public and private organisations, sponsors, philanthropists and so on. In the UK, the National Campaign for the Arts places considerable emphasis on access policies, and on drawing in new audiences. There is evidence that more people are positively disposed to the arts than actually participate in events (Hill et aI, 1995). Barriers to access include many practicalities such as high prices and transport problems. However, underlying beliefs and attitudes are also pertinent to the development of marketing plans and positions. Fear of not understanding the point of a play, feelings of being overawed or out of place, financial risks associated with "wasting money" on an experience that may not be enjoyable are all real barriers to access to the arts by individuals (Hill et aI, 1995). Improving access requires sensitivity to these issues. Many innovative cases show how such problems are overcome, such as orchestral performances sponsored by popular consumer goods companies, concerts where casual dress is promoted, and explanatory introductions to performances. Access is also enhanced by different forms of experience. Although the ultimate experience in many branches of the arts is the live show or performance, other experiences are increasingly popular. For instance, the performance may be replicated exactly in a musical recording; may be replicated closely as in a live performance tour, and may be replicated in multiple as in several versions of a show touring worldwide at anyone time. For arts organisations, the managerial, and especially marketing, competencies required for delivery may be quite different for each form of experience. Careful attention must be paid to the critical success factors for each stream of revenue generation. The marketing implications are that access to the arts is all part of a greater developmental programme as well as being the heart of delivery.

Pricing
For consumers in most markets there is a relatively clear relationship between price and quality. Where quality can be assessed by broadly-agreed criteria, comparisons and decisions are straightforward. However, where quality and excellence are not clear, where multiple criteria exist and are highly subjective, then questions of value and pricing become more complex. The role of expectations is important in pricing the arts. The reputation of the performer, the popularity of the show and the stature of the venue are all influencing factors in this regard. Tiered pricing approaches are common in the arts. For instance the Director of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, one of the world's largest fiercely defends the policy of charging foreign visitors more than locals, despite the collapse of the tourism trade in the region in recent years: "Russians are like

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senior citizens. They have already paid their dues to society" Oack, 1999) There are many sources of income for arts organisations, including box office receipts, related merchandising, public subsidy, sponsorship and private development income. In strategic terms, there is usually a great degree of crosssubsidisation in the arts that is critical not only to delivery, but also to development It is perceived to be more beneficial to have a greater number of people paying a lower price than vice-versa, because of the importance of access and exposure to the development of the arts generally. Similarly, it would not be at all unusual for a theatre group to close off a revenue stream by completing the run of a show that is drawing capacity audiences, and for which there is further demand, in order to put on another show that is certain to lose money. In tactical terms, concessions, advance bookings, subscriptions and previews are all utilised to present the public with pricing options and benefits. An understanding of Beaumol's cost disease is fundamental to the pricing dilemma in the arts. This law shows how arts organisations find themselves in a vicious circle in which admission fees must rise higher than the consumer price index (Beaumol, 1967). Either prices or other income simply must increase above the rate of inflation for arts organisations to even remain on a par with the rest of the economl It will rarely be a simple task to link pricing decisions with cost recovery objectives. Long term questions of development are essential to pricing decisions in the delivery stages. Marketing strategies can usefully be organised into the three value-driven marketing processes of definition, development and delivery. Values are defined in implicit ways in the arts, and the artist or producer, is often the ultimate judge. Discovery processes are also driven by distinctive perspectives on quality and integrity. Strategy must inherently combine artistic values and pragmatic commercial and organisational necessities from the outset Strategic development in the arts involves matters of art artist arts organisation and audience. The internal, product orientation of the arts demands particular sensitivity to research and education responsibilities, which must have a longterm developmental mission. Research projects and strategies should be guided

Beaumol (I967) outlines the problem thus: mass production enables commercial organisations to spread their fixed costs, thereby loweringunit cost by volume output Increased productivityfrom technological advances and reduced manufacturing times enable lower prices and/or higher wages. But in the arts, because labour costs are a major fixed cost, and because productivityincreases are almost impossible (one cannot dismissthe horn section from an orchestra or half the chorus line from a show,without a relative diminution of quality),artists' wages cannot be increased without increases in revenues.Arts production costs rise more sharplythan industry'ssince arts organisations cannot take advantage of productivityincreases.With inflation,artists demand more pay. Industrial firms can pass on some productivity-drivensavings as wages, but with no productivityincreases, arts organisations must increase their revenues, usuallyby raising ticket prices. So, to increase performers' pay at the same rate as employee in other sectors, ticket prices (or other revenues) must increase at a rate above the consumer price index.
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by 'market sensing', an orientation that accepts that the market cannot easily or clearly agree or articulate its requirements (Robertson, 1994). The primary strategic issue in value delivery is access. Long the focus of arts organisations and promoters, strategic concerns must perceive both the immediate and future importance of bringing in the public. Expanding the innovative forms of art and intelligent market-oriented pricing policies are central aspects of improving delivery, and, in tum, development Conclusions The primary purpose here has been to outline, for informed marketers, the marketing context of the arts. The intention is to progress from the usual description and application of marketing management techniques, and to focus instead on a deeper understanding of the distinctive features of the arts that have implications for marketing decisions. Of course, as O'Hagan (1998) makes clear, the arts, even when narrowly defined, are still highly diverse. Nonetheless, the structure and process framework attempts to organise those characteristics in a strategically useful way that provides marketers with directions. There are, however, further issues of deeper interest that ought to be noted in conclusion, and these relate to the general advancement of marketing theory enabled by studies in the arts. As a distinctive context for marketing, the arts forces conventional theorists and practitioners alike to review their assumptions about their discipline. In conceptual terms, the marketing orientation needs to be examined critically for its utility for the arts. The notion of the marketing orientation triumphing over the production and selling orientations is well established in the opening chapter of just about every marketing text However, the subtleties of arts marketing blur the seemingly clear distinctions between these concepts. In one sense, artists are the ultimate manifestation of that absolute insult in the marketing schoolyard, namely the "product orientation". But their internal focus, that total commitment to their artistic endeavour, is what makes them artists. Whatever detracts from that may make for better commerce but worse art. This may not be antimarketing, though. Ultimately, the primary focus on, and forbearance of, the artist and the art could be considered part of a long-term, externally-oriented, inherent respect for the market The public, or society, is analogous to the market The passionate belief of artists and arts organisations is that the welfare of society is best served, not by constantly pandering to short-term, indulgent. entertainment demands, but by attempting to define, develop and deliver artistic values. Only a narrow, constricting perspective of marketing would allow that this was selfish, inward-looking and not concerned with product or market Indeed, there is a strong sense of the societal marketing concept at play here. As regards taunts of the selling orientation in arts marketing, the situation is also more complicated than might be expected. "Commercial marketing", claims Diggle (1994:256) "cannot tolerate the notion of having product that is out of control. Arts marketing accepts this as part of the territory'. Declaring that the

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arts product is beyond the grasp of the marketer exaggerates the point but it is the case that marketing's role is limited, and often non-existent in tenns of design input at least Instead, marketing's assignment is to gain maximum exposure for the artist and the work of the artist as produced. In theory, the marketer has accepted the artist's vision, and the task is then to support and communicate that clearly and effectively (Morison and Dalgleish, 1987). In other fields that task might be construed as no more than the dreaded selling orientation, but when the distinctive marketing characteristics of the arts are examined, anything less would undennine the integrity of the product and ultimately be self defeating. Given the perceived crisis in marketing in recent years (Brady and Davis, 1993, Coopers and Lybrand, 1994), the increasing popularity of marketing in fields such as health care and the civil service is ironic. The irony is underscored by the perception that such contexts "have long been impervious to the notion of
customer orientation" (Brown, 1995:10). One of the main conclusions of this

review is that while arts organisations might at first appear to be production and sales oriented, in reality their inherent sense of the market becomes clear with a degree of understanding and openness. And, importantly, this is marketing as we know it; not a 'new' marketing, not a 'different' marketing, not a 'special, arts' marketing. In a similar way, a deeper examination of the marketing characteristics of public service provision, for instance, might reveal that there is an inherent and genuine commitment to civilians, patients and schoolchildren by policemen, nurses and teachers that acknowledges a lifetime dedication or, indeed, relationship. Policy makers and civil servants, for the most part, have the interests of the community at heart, regardless of personal gain. Conventional.marketing concepts are challenged by values and practices in the arts. A more advanced understanding of marketing should result from an openness to such experiences. In his acclaimed book New Rules for the New Economy, Kevin Kelly (1998:93) exhorts strategists to "Talk to anthropologists, poets, historians, artists, philosophers" to really understand the nature of the "New Economy". Similarly, in a discussion on strategy theory in a postindustrial society, Lowendahl and Revang (1998:764) argue the necessity to "immerse ourselves deeply in the reality of extreme cases" to understand key competitive dimensions in the postmodem context The arts have historically thrived on their almost paradoxical existence as a pennanent "industry" sustained by temporary arrangements - the very essence of organisation in the new economy (Hamel and Prahalad, 1996, Daft and Lewin, 1993, Drucker, 1993). Such new perceptions will be invaluable to mainstream business as it engages with the postmodem condition. Indeed, the arts context provides highly relevant illustrations of the dynamic, multicultural, project-oriented organisational arrangements so critical to the new streams of research in professional service, high-technology and software development contexts (Sampler, 1998, Bettis, 1998) So, while a distinctly managerial framework for arts marketing is the central element of this essay, it is clear from the study of the arts that it is a context that offers valuable insights to marketers in purely commercial fields. The increasingly

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important and influential literary and aesthetic approaches to marketing theory, with their studies of books, films, plays, poetry and so on, are further enhanced by the growing disappointment with the so-called scientific research that has dominated the field (Brown, 1998, Belk, 1995, Holbrook and Hirschman, 1993). If contemporary marketing theory is advancing to reflect more accurately the practice in leading organisations (Srivastava et ai, 1998), then it must have regard for the seemingly counterintuitive perspectives and practices obsetvable in arts and cultural organisations; they should be interpreted as the kinds of 'leading organisations' that can setve as a reference for innovative organisational and managerial research.
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