Market structures in arts and entertainment
Marketing arts and entertainment is a challenge. Consumers may buy the same groceries every week, but when it comes to arts and entertainment, people usually want something different from last time. The result: a vast, constantly changing choice of books, cd's, movies, performances and shows to meet this need for variety and novelty. But how do you help consumers find their way in this plethora of options? Who do you approach when you have a new performance to sell every night, but don't want to inundate your customers with direct mail? How do you compose attractive subscription packages that help you get a head start in filling the house? Since recently, many cultural organizations have new, advanced transaction data systems that record individual buying histories. Modern theater box office systems link a customer id and address with each transaction; library loan systems track the borrowing behavior of patrons to ensure the timely return of books; and in The Netherlands, the visiting behavior of National Museum Card holders is logged electronically on central servers to aid reimbursement to participating museums. We show how these transaction data may help in understanding who likes what: what types of arts and entertainment consumers are there and what types of products do they like? Armed with such insights, marketers may be more effective in composing the right subscription packages, in selecting the right direct mail prospects or in designing the right presentation for the abundance and variety of choice.