Research into arts patrons’ mobile preferences

Group of Minds - Arts Patrons Mobile Preferences

Group of Minds, the arts and technology consultants over in Silicon Valley, have commissioned an update to their 2009 research into the mobile preferences of arts patrons. You can download the report from here.

I’ve been looking at differences in mobile traffic, conversion rates and use cases lately so I found this interesting. I’ve mostly been looking through clients’ Google Analytics accounts which is great in many ways, after all those are actual figures for what users are doing. However, you don’t quite get the whole picture.

The Group of Minds research is survey-based, which gives scope for asking a different set of questions and for gauging intent – you’re less likely to bet your life on the results, but they provide some extra flavour. There’s plenty of good stuff in these are the bits that stood out to me:

  • 21% of respondents indicating that they use their mobile devices to purchase tickets; and
  • A high percentage of users wanting information about event logistics: directions, proximity of events, and parking information

Those two sound about right to me, although I’ve only been seeing figures around the 20% mark for mobile transactions, and that’s only where the ticket purchase pathway is mobile-friendly (otherwise you’d be lucky to see a quarter of that).

Users wanting logistical information is interesting. I’m not disagreeing with this, but I’ll write something separately about how I think use cases differ for mobile users. I don’t think it’s a mobile-only issue but, as far as it applies to mobile users, I think there’s a more sophisticated set of circumstances that need unpicking. It starts to edge into how possible/realistic it is to personalise experiences for website visitors – an area where imaginations often outpace reality (and budgets).


Surveys: Social Media in Theatre Marketing and The Fringe & Off West End Audience Report

There’s a general lack of decent information about the use of digital and social media in the arts and culture sector. It’s a frequent source of frustration when doing research and more strategic work. However, a couple of things have come along recently.

Social Media in Theatre Marketing

The first is by Sven Ruggenberg and is called Social Media in Theatre Marketing. It’s a thesis he wrote while doing an internship at Kevin Wallace Ltd.

Disappointingly there’s no download option, which has hampered my ability to read the thing. Still, I can at least embed it. Hoorah:

I’m actually going to leave off blogging any notes about this for now. Sven will be talking about social media and theatre at a joint-SOLT/Twespians event on Friday. I’m going along and chances are I’ll blog my notes from that (along with my standard grainy/blurred photo).

This report also mentions a dissertation by Andrew Harding called ‘The Impacts and Benefits of Social Media in West End Musical Theatre Marketing’. Intriguing.

The Fringe & Off West End Audience Report 2011

The other is The Fringe & Off West End Audience Report 2011 which has been published by iTrend Research and I discovered it via a blog post from The Stage’s Mark Shenton.

There’s a whole section given over to websites and social media but, to be honest, there’s not much in there of practical use (at least, not for my purposes). The relative popularity of various websites and blogs was interesting (pp 24-27) but the accuracy of the info has been questioned – Time Out’s theatre blog was surprisingly popular given that it doesn’t yet exist. BOP Consulting have also pointed out that some results may have been skewed by the survey being conducted online.

All that aside, I found the answers to Question 9 interesting:

9. How do you USUALLY find out about productions? Choose all appropriate answers.

Fringe and Off West End Report 2011 - page 16 of 31The top half of that chart is very digital-heavy.

Links for 15 September 2009