Even if a cultural organisation has an idea about the profile and possible categorisation of its audiences, Marketing must depend on actual data provided by Audience Research. This provides invaluable quantitative and qualitative information on visitors and non-visitors supporting the organisation’s strategic planning. Some types of information usually gathered are demographic profiles; attendance frequencies and habits; cultural and leisure-time preferences; reasons for non-participation, usage of marketing tools; evaluation of the organisation’s infrastructure, services and products; and, amendment proposals.
Audience research is resource-intensive. It requires expertise to carry out, as well as to analyse and interpret the data. Despite its great significance, it is useless if an organisation does not act upon results to design and update strategies, to evaluate and fine-tune products and services, and to address constituent concerns. Lacking adequate means and know-how, cultural organisations either skip audience research or use existing reports, which may not provide the organisation with the vital, case-specific audience data it needs.
Research methods usually used in the cultural sector. Graph by Maria Kouri