The Third Reason Orchestra Marketing Is Difficult: Multiple Work Styles

In previous posts I identified two  ways in which orchestra marketing is unusually challenging. First, the discipline involves a wide range of functions. Second, the job demands managing a year-long subscription campaign at the same time it requires numerous in-and-out promotions for individual concerts.

A Split Personality

The last  reason I’ll identify is related to the first. The different functions in the marketing role straddle three different personality types or work styles.

  1. The core of marketing includes research, analysis, segmentation and targeting, positioning, branding, strategy, pricing, product development, channels, promotion, design and  writing copy. The people who excel in these areas typically prefer indirect communication to direct communication. They also tend to be people-oriented more than task-oriented. They feel comfortable working with abstract ideas. Birkman analysis has documented this type of individual using these two dimensions.
  2. In most orchestras the marketing function oversees group sales, telephone sales and customer service. In others the public relations function reports to marketing. Lastly, some marketers are responsible for developing and maintaining sponsorships. The people who match these tasks well prefer direct, person-to-person contact to painstaking work on a brochure or a letter. It’s rare to find someone proficient in both sales and marketing.
  3. In addition, the huge opportunities available in direct mail in orchestra marketing demand someone who can master the mathematical complexities of list management. The hierarchical segmentation of prospects possible in working with TRG or Enertex—and necessary in conducting a telemarketing campaign—can challenge the most detail-oriented of managers. Typically the people best suited to list management are task- rather than people-oriented.

In short, the orchestra marketer must be a multi-dimensional personality, a rare individual. In larger orchestras several individuals can fill these varied roles. The challenge is greatest in small orchestras, where a single person manages all of them. No one person does all these things equally well.

I’ve had my say over these three postings. What else makes our function difficult?

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One Response to The Third Reason Orchestra Marketing Is Difficult: Multiple Work Styles

  1. Jody Schoger says:

    Another one for the list: marketing a product that many people 1) find snobby 2) don’t understand in the “classic” form and 3)must compete along with other nonprofits for dwindling corporate donations. “Making a case” for the necessity of orchestras — as essential as green grass and parks for a healthy community in my mind’s eye — takes a sharp pencil. And one with a terrific eraser.

    Thanks for this,

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