Performing arts organizations face unique challenges when it comes to understanding what drives attendance, ticket sales, loyalty, and profit. With several different sources of revenue, the business model is complex and nuanced, and with a small target audience of affluent patrons, the stakes are high. To succeed, you need to have a deep understanding of your patrons, and for that, you need customer journey mapping.

Here are some of the key advantages you’ll gain from mapping your patron journey.

1. Enhance strategic activities with an understanding of how different initiatives work together

Many performing arts organizations lack a big-picture understanding of how various events and initiatives across the organization work together. Different teams manage different activities, and typically, these teams do not share data or detailed results. These silos create knowledge gaps around what drives attendance, ticket sales, and revenue, which prevents you from making proactive, strategic changes to your activities.

Mapping the end-to-end customer journey requires you to identify the different interactions that patrons have with your business, regardless of the department or customer journey stage. This process gives your team a high-level understanding of how all of the different initiatives overlap and impact each other. Ultimately, it gives you the information you need to optimize your campaigns.

2. Manage complex business models and KPIs

Performing arts organizations have complex business models with many different sources of revenue, which results in several different KPIs, overlapping initiatives, and programs. Complexity is always hard to manage, but this is especially true when organizations can’t easily share information across teams. In these organizations, customer data ends up being siloed, with different systems that track donations, memberships, and customer satisfaction, for instance.

Consolidating information across teams enables you to map the end-to-end customer journey and helps your organization bring order to the motley of different KPIs, initiatives, and campaigns you are running. It enables you to understand how your KPIs intersect with each other, systematize your activities, and thrive in complexity.

For example, we have seen that most performing arts organizations have different departments responsible for ticket sales and market research. While these activities may seem like separate initiatives, we have found that a survey to measure NPS or CSAT drives repeat ticket purchases. When we A/B test this, we see that the repeat purchase rates are statistically significantly higher. Without mapping the end-to-end customer journey, these organizations would not have discovered this connection and wouldn’t be able to optimize these activities accordingly.

3. Allocate resources correctly with a big-picture understanding of your revenue drivers

One commonality across performing arts organizations is that they tend to have limited resources. Performing arts organizations need to allocate budgets to the activities that will have the most impact, and with lack of insight into the effect of the entire array of activities, this often means that resources are given to first or last-touch activities that appear to be driving revenue.

A big-picture understanding of your entire customer journey will help you grow beyond last-touch attribution and identify all of the activities that contribute to results. With this knowledge, you can allocate resources to the right actions.

For example, we’ve seen that many performing arts organizations overlook email subscriptions in favor of other activities that directly result in sales. However, a 10X growth in your email subscribers is a 10X growth in your audience, which will lead in more tickets sold and donations made in the long run. Understanding how activities like email subscriptions translate into sales helps organizations allocate their resources to activities that grow their patron-base sustainably over time.

4. Grow revenue and reduce churn

While all organizations struggle to grow revenue and retain customers, performing arts organizations feel this pain even more acutely than other organizations. The ticket’s high price-point limits you to a small segment of affluent consumers, which means you need to deliver as much ROI from a single patron as possible. Unfortunately, most performing arts organizations lack insight into why patrons churn, and thus they cannot improve churn rates. Mapping the customer journey will help you identify problems or gaps in the patron experience, which enables you to adjust, add, or reduce activities to improve the overall journey.

For instance, mapping the customer journey may reveal that repeat patrons receive the same marketing emails as first-time ticket buyers, even if they have already attended that show. Repeat patrons will have little interest in attending the same show twice and will likely lose interest or get annoyed by the marketing emails. Improving the customer journey to personalize the emails for patrons who have already attended a show will help to strengthen churn rates.

In an industry where individual patrons represent hundreds, thousands or even millions of dollars of revenue, you cannot afford to be unaware of how your activities are impacting experience. Use your patron data to map your customer journey and drive results for your organization.

Interested in learning more about customer journey mapping? Find out more about our approach to running a customer journey workshop.