Market segmentation research is commonly used by businesses of various shapes and sizes for enhancing their market share by:

  • gaining an improved understanding of their market
  • identifying groups of customers they would most like to reach
  • gaining insight for developing products and communications that better suit and appeal to the selected target groups

Segmentation is not a new approach in the arts sector either – many organisations use existing geodemographic segmentation tools (eg ACORN and Mosaic) and bespoke segmentations of their own audiences as sources of market intelligence. This new arts-based segmentation is not intended to replace tools that are already being used successfully, but to provide additional insight. It might be particularly suited for:

  • strategic positioning – putting the audiences of individual projects, organisations or artforms in context
  • developing initiatives designed to increase public engagement – detailed information on the qualities and needs of different audience groups, including current non-engagers and audiences of non-ticketed events

It doesn’t have all the answers, however. For example, it can’t:

  • tell organisations who exactly is and isn’t engaging with their work, or provide other detailed information such as booking history, average spend, etc
  • be used as a robust tool for detailed monitoring of changes in audience patterns over short periods of time
  • yield data suitable for generating direct mailing lists