Free marketing tips and services for leisure and tourism organisations

Marketing theatre and the arts: 

Vast resources have been lavished on research, audience development and pseudo-cultural studies into the habits and desires of audiences yet UK theatres are still notoriously reliant on a handful of reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations to put bums on seats. And, despite constant attempts to broaden the audience profile, at least one quarter of families have never visited a theatre,  with figures even worse for attendance at classical music concerts or visits to art galleries. Your dedicated marketer sees the flip side of all the - that an impressive majority of the public are just waiting to be encouraged into making their next visit. 


Top ten must-do's for marketing theatres:

  • Identify your mission - understand why your venue exists and for whom
  • Develop an agreed brand identity and set measurable strategic objectives
  • Demand senior marketing input into all theatre and arts planning and programming
  • Identify your core audiences and determine what they want from your venue
  • Agree a marketing budget and stick to it
  • Produce and deliver a timed costed and measurable annual marketing plan 
  • Develop a loyalty scheme as part of a broader marketing and fundraising strategy 
  • Analyse purchasing patterns to optimise timing of communications to customers
  • Commit to collaborative marketing and ticketing with other local and regional venues   


 Ten great tips for promoting theatre and the arts:

  1. Select your best available image for each production and use repeatedly to maximise impact 
  2. Offer mini-previews of forthcoming or exhibitions in high footfall local shopping centres
  3. Limit email newsletters to no more than 3-4 bullet points linked to further online content
  4. Prepare dedicated content and virtual ticketing for mobile devices and smart phones
  5. Enable online availability, instant booking and introduce dynamic airline-style ticketing for popular shows 
  6. Pre-prepare templated materials posters and releases to immediately communicate best critics' quotes
  7. Stimulate feedback via social media networks but retain at all costs your integrity
  8. Do not respond to negative artistic criticism but deal immediately with all complaints about facilities 
  9. Encourage a post-show buzz keeping the bar/cafe areas open after the show
  10. Ensure you and your staff provide an upbeat and friendly exit from the theatre or venue
If you would like further advice and support on attracting more visitors, please contact The Leisure Doctor at: