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Strategy and Survey for the Creation of an Audience Profile for the Flint Community Players, Inc.

The Flint Community Players, Inc. is a live theater organization that needed to make better use of it's advertising opportunities in the program it hands out to viewers of their shows. Compared to surrounding communities, the program had a lot less advertising and that meant a lot less money for funding show royalties, sets, costumes, lighting, and sound (not to mention basic costs!).


It was determined that advertising from the results of this survey would be strictly limited to the program and no email or the like would go out to the respondents from the potential advertisers. In addition, all contact information would be kept confidential to the Flint Community Players, Inc. (after all, handing out its audience list would take Flint Community Players, Inc. out of the loop!)


Need For An Audience Profile:


The existing method of selling made the assumption that potential advertisers wanted to be in the program – it was measurements of ad space and how much that was. But this does nothing in describing to the potential advertiser who the audience is!


Thus we needed a better profile of who the audience is in order for the advertisers to better understand who they are advertising to. This would make advertising that much more informative for both the sales person and the potential advertiser.


Survey Elements And Why:


Experience has shown in the marketing environment that the more questions one asks, the less answers one gets. Hence, a strict number of questions were asked with planned uses for them. We didn't want people to spend more than five minutes answering the questions.


Other statistics were available such as show attendance and the like from the sales of tickets and the general area statistics were available from the web site of the Genesee Area Chamber of Commerce.


The questions surrounded on the following elements:


Age – This was asked as a way to determine the ages of our audience. Potential advertisers know people need different things at different ages. After all, one wouldn't offer Botox or adult diabetes treatments to teenagers and one wouldn't offer skateboarding gear to older people. This also told Flint Community Players where they needed to push more advertising to people in terms of age groups – both in their own terms and their potential advertiser terms.


Income – We had no idea what the income level of the audience was. This had the limitation of not asking about assets for the retired people, hence many of them either did not answer or answered very low in terms of investment income gained. I have to admit I was surprised by the higher income levels of the audience – some even past $100,000 a year. This is way off the charts for this area, but not to the area south of Flint (Grand Blanc, Fenton, and Oakland County.) This definitely was of interest to potential advertisers such as a jewelry type company would have no use buying ads for an impoverished market segment.


Hear about us from who, where – This is important in gauging how advertising for the Flint Community Players, Inc. was doing and what channels worked best for getting the word out about our shows. It also would identify different strategies for new and existing channels of “getting the word out.”


City – This is to help identify geographic areas – for example, would a Clio area potential advertiser want to buy space in a Flint area program? But more so, it helped the Flint Community Players, Inc. identify areas that it's audience was coming from and potentially advertise different shows – thereby either expanding or retracting it's area.


Profession – This is an attempt to determine the VALS segment the audience member is a part of. Yes, profession is only part of the measurement, but it does help identify segments active in the audience of the Flint Community Players, Inc.


Email – This was used for the giving away of two tickets per show for some happy couple. It was also used to build up an email list of potential show goers for advertising Flint Community Players upcoming shows and newsletters. Emailing is far less expensive than the postal mail and with links specific to the email, we can guage who is reading the emails and not! Another more passive measure is if the audience size increases for the shows (the real purpose for the emails.)


General Comment – This is perhaps one of the best questions – an open ended question regarding facilities, new shows desired, or anything the survey taker wants to make a point about. Many good answers in here that weren't even considered.


Software Used


Lime Survey was used – it is an open source package installed on a Linux computer of Amduus Information Works, Inc. After a conversation with the marketing committee of the FCP, questions were lined up and entered into the application.


Getting The Word Out To Take The Survey


The survey went out to the membership audience via an email to their already established addresses as well as via their facebook page.


It is planned that a link to the survey be available in upcoming programs, as an insert in upcoming programs, and as a mailer with other member based communications. If the Flint Community Players starts a twitter link, it will be placed on that also.