Bringing in an audience with data-driven marketing.

The stage is set, the performance ready to go but tickets need to be purchased. So how can you attract the audience you need to fill the house and make the show a success? You could be a theatre with a new play, a venue with a new band performing, or a gallery with a special exhibition. The challenge is the same what is the most effective way to engage and bring in the right audience?

Audiences for theatre across the UK topped 18.8m, with box office ticket sales of over £509m in 20181

Generating enough ticket sales for a full house on opening night will not only be a boost to revenue but it can also inspire the cast and production to pull out all the stops for a sensational performance. A full house also creates a vibrant atmosphere for the audience. A data-driven marketing campaign is key to filling up the seats.

Appealing to the right target audience.

Every show will have a different target audience, a different demographic to which the production is most likely to appeal. Think about who the show is both most likely to appeal to and who it is aimed at. Then from this you can formulate a strategy to target your marketing to this particular audience. Gain insight about the production itself from the producer of Bringing in an audience with data-driven marketing. The show, they will know exactly what it is about, what will appeal to audiences and who it is aimed at.

Another useful source of insight will be the ticket sales from previous similar performances, what were the demographics of the audience for that show?

Check out the competition.

Competition for theatre audiences can be tough. Especially if your theatre is located in a city where there are several venues for your audience to choose from. Why should they pick your show over another?

Arm yourself with competitor information – research what else will be on nearby when your show is due to go out. You could also look at what tools and techniques your competitors are using to attract their audiences and re-use ideas!

Data-driven marketing approach.

Once you have done your homework and researched your audience and competition, you now have a clear understanding of which audience you need to target. You now have a demographic profile which can be used to target the right audience in your area with a direct marketing campaign. Geo-demographic data can be selected to mail a campaign directly to the doormats of the people most likely to be interested in your show.

By focusing on your customers interactions and experiences, you can utilise data sources to inform where on the customer journey your target audience are. Therefore maximising your marketing efforts on the marketing channels and touchpoints that will have greatest influence and bolster your marketing efforts with improved marketing return on investment, ROI.

Power of direct mail.

In this digital age we easily forget the power of print. A tangible piece mailed to potential audience can have a great impact as mail is remembered and kept. Postcards and flyers can have a huge impact.

"94% take action. Advertising mail leads to multiple actions.2"

"59% prefer mail and appreciate being sent mail.3"

"37% buy something as a result of receiving mail.4"

QR codes on print.

Try combining print and digital marketing for greater engagement, add a QR code to your print marketing which can be scanned on a smartphone to view the website page giving more information and ticket purchase online.


  1. 2018 Sales Data released by UK Theatre and Society of London Theatre (SOLT).
  2. JICMAIL, Kantar TNS, 2017
  3. Royal Mail MarketReach, The Value of Mail in Uncertain Times, Kantar TNS, 2017
  4. IPA touchpoints 2018