Monday, November 15, 2010

How Do You Evaluate A Marketing Plan?

That's just one of the questions posed by Michael Kaiser in his book, "Leading Roles: 50 Questions Every Arts Board Should Ask," published this year by University Press of New England.

Kaiser, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. since 2001, breaks down the 50 questions into 12 categories, among them, life cycle, governance, mission, fundraising and marketing.

"I have stolen ideas liberally throughout my career from the many talented and thoughtful art managers I have met and observed," Kaiser concedes in the opening pages. "I give them no formal credit in this book, but their contributions to this young field of arts management are invaluable," he adds.

Board members are usually more involved in fundraising than marketing, but Kaiser said it's still essentially that they "understand and concur with marketing plans supporting both earned and unearned income."

He suggests dividing marketing activities into two categories: programmatic and institutional. Most marketing departments are devoted to programmatic marketing since it's charged to persuade people to buy tickets. Institutional marketing, which is "anything an organization does to build visibility in the community," is to entice audience members and donors to support the institution.

"A balanced approach to programmatic and institutional marketing can have as big an impact on fundraising as it does on earned income," said Kaiser.

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