Entertainment, Culture & Sports

Research for entertainment, culture, and sports is main area for us, and one we even pursue through volunteerism in our spare time. In fact, our senior consultant Mark Shugoll, is one of the most well-recognized and awarded names within the national cultural arts, entertainment, and sports research space. You won’t find a more experienced or credentialed researcher to help you set your ticket prices, increase subscription/season ticket renewals, develop effective advertising, understand your subscribers/season ticket holders, and increase customer satisfaction.

A large portion of our business includes answering critical questions
and providing actionable direction.

Here are some of the questions the Limelight Insights by Shugoll team
has helped entertainment, culture, and sports clients answer:

Given the obstacles facing arts organizations today, including fewer full-season subscribers, individual purchasers buying tickets later, and reductions in corporate, government, and private donations, can we afford to conduct marketing research?

Most marketing research projects pay their investment back many times over. In fact, they often have an observable impact on income. For example, one nonprofit theater used research to develop a positioning for lower-level donors to their annual campaign. By using research to identify the right solicitation pitch, they generated a half-million dollars more than in the previous year. Another arts organization was looking at ways to increase earned income. It used Limelight Insights’ Proprietary Power Pricing Index to adjust prices to consumer expectations. By using research to rescale the house, it generated nearly $1 million dollars of added income. Both studies cost less than $25,000, and each provided a far higher return. Investment in research is one of the best investments an arts organization can make.

How can market research help my institution?

Whether you are a sports, arts, or cultural organization, the possibilities for using market research are almost endless. Examples that are used repeatedly by entertainment institutions include using research to:

  • Develop a marketing strategy that reaches the maximum number of ticket buyers with the right message in the right media.
  • Convert infrequent attendees / individual purchasers to package plan buyers.
  • Increase renewal rates.
  • Recapture lapsed subscribers / season ticket holders by understanding why they did not renew and what new products might get them back.
  • Establish optimal ticket prices, and position annual and capital campaigns to maximize giving.
  • Acquire new audiences.
  • Evaluate support for a new building and willingness of your audience to follow you to a new location.

Since an important segment of customers includes those who purchase premium seating, can research identify how their needs differ from other customers' needs?

Syndicated research is highly valuable, but it should be used alongside custom marketing research. Custom research, unlike most syndicated studies, collects information from your current customers, lapsed customers, and prospects. It also allows you to tailor questions that meet your institution’s specific needs, rather than relying on a generic series of questions. As a result, you make sound decisions that are specific to your own market, not generalized from other markets.

Since many entertainment organizations, in sports, arts, and culture, purchase syndicated research, do they really need to conduct their own research?

In addition to employing the traditional advertising tracking studies that measure awareness, attitudes, and behavior pre- and post-campaign, members of the Limelight Insights team are also experienced at conducting quasi-experimental studies for national advertisers. These studies test campaign executions, media weights, and flight duration across selected markets and evaluate results against a control market. This provides our advertising clients with insights on the most cost- and communications-effective directions for a national rollout.

Since there are several industry consulting firms that say they conduct research in this space, why should we choose Limelight Insights?

Limelight Insights is a marketing research firm with a specialty in entertainment. We ensure that questionnaires are designed to ask the right questions and solicit objective and unbiased answers, that data collection is managed using the highest quality control standards available in order to maximize data validity, and that conclusions and recommendations are clear and actionable given our industry-specific expertise.

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