By Jim McCarthy Apr 4, 2012 4 comments

Things Most Organizations Simply Won’t Do

They’re not hard.  They’re not complex.  They don’t require a bunch of money.

But you won’t do ’em.

Things that your organization is “too busy” to do, like interact with new patrons from places like, for example, Goldstar to increase the odds that they come back.

Like tracking the Revenue Per Seat metric to determine how effective specific marketing campaigns are.  Or even just having a data-driven post-mortem on huge, expensive campaigns that you plan to do again and again in the future, simply to see if things worked as expected.

Like setting and measuring year over year goals for attendance, ticket sales, and revenue.

Like determining the lifetime value of your patrons and investing accordingly.

In other words, knowing how your marketing is working on the most basic level.  Instead, you traffic in rumors of data, superstitions about what works and what doesn’t, and you tell fanciful mythological stories about what happens when you do certain kinds of marketing campaigns.  You allow pre-conceptions and pat answers to fill in your strategy for you and ignore facts.

After all, why confuse yourself with the facts when you’ve already got such a firm grip on an explanation that makes perfect sense?  Nevermind that just because something makes perfect sense doesn’t mean it’s true.

There are things most organizations just won’t do, even though they’d go a long way to fixing the things that they complain about and blame others about constantly.

Knowing that most won’t do these things, what do you think is the benefit to your organization if you do?

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    • Trevor O'Donnell

      You’ve just described a religion, Jim, and I think you may be onto something.

    • Take my Customers, Please! | MARKETING THE ARTS TO DEATH

      […] wrote a blog post yesterday called Things Most Organizations Simply Won’t Do in which he expressed dismay at the failure of live arts & entertainment companies to do even […]

    • Kara Larson

      Oh, now, Jim, I make a very fine living doing exactly these things for marketing directors who realize they don’t have time to do them in-house. I’m all for encouraging people to pay attention; it’s the myths and poetic explanations that won’t die easily. Marketing departments are getting it, but as good as they are at selling tickets to the public they simply cannot sell rational, data-driven business intelligence to their leaders. Why?

    • Jim McCarthy

      Hiring you is a smart move for them, Kara, and they SHOULD do that (or something like it.)

      My position though is disbelief that they can find so many things MORE important that they can’t get around to this stuff. From my point of view, THIS IS THE STUFF.

      Anyway, the message remains: Hire Kara Larson. 🙂