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PatronManager CRM: One Database for Ticketing, Marketing, and Development

Last Build Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:00:58 +0000


Mobile Marketing: Just Do It

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:00:58 +0000

Today’s blog post is written by Natalie Sullivan, Assistant Marketing Manager, Content and Social Media, Patron Technology.
The other day, my husband downloaded an app called Checky. It measures how many times you check your phone in a given day. The results were shocking – but not surprising. He averaged about 90 checks per day over the last week with spikes well into the hundreds! This got me thinking about mobile marketing and how much potential there is to reach your patrons in a new and more effective way, particularly millennials.
This blog post from TechSoup and Philanthropy News Digest entitled, Seize the Opportunity for Mobile Engagement in 2016, delves into a few tactics that can help improve your patron’s experience with your mobile communications. Research has shown that the use of smartphones has caused a decrease in the attention spans of people who use them on a consistent basis. And I can attest to the fact that my husband is a perfect example! Though he checked his phone 90 times, he probably spent less than a minute each time he scanned through his app notifications, emails, and social media accounts. Keeping this in mind, the article says:
Your mobile design and mobile user experience should be simple, direct, and quick. Fonts are larger and buttons are easier to click. Single column designs offer a simple browsing experience with clearer and fewer choices for the reader. After a click from an email or social media post, landing on a Web page should also be a mobile-friendly experience
Of course optimizing your site content for mobile will require some reallocation of marketing resources, but considering the data above, it seems obvious to me that this is well worth your time and money. I hope you read the article and then take things one step at a time. Start with email templates, and then move on to landing pages, and eventually your website design as a whole. Your patrons are carrying (and consistently checking) your most effective marketing platform with them at all times – so utilize this to your advantage!

The post Mobile Marketing: Just Do It appeared first on Patron Technology.

Why Writing “Cold” Emails is Different

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 13:00:34 +0000

Face it, we’ve all had to write a “cold” email, and most of the time we don’t have a clue how to start. Whether it’s a new subscriber letter or a donor solicitation, writing to someone who does not know you or your organization is different than writing to someone you know. Though you may have experience writing cold emails, often times many approach writing them the same way every time, with the same voice, and the same goals. That’s why so few cold emails actually work, and most sound like they are templated emails (and most are).
Here’s a great guide to writing cold emails from the Harvard Business Review. When you skim this, you’ll see just how different your approach really should be. Furthermore, you’ll see that it’s not hard to go from mediocre to great. I’ll give you a preview by saying that what hit me the most were the sections about how you have to “validate yourself” and be “a little vulnerable.” 
So it’s time your emails stopped reading like templates. I think it’s very evident, that once you change your cold emailing tactics, your response rates will go up, and your results will come more quickly.

The post Why Writing “Cold” Emails is Different appeared first on Patron Technology.

You Don’t Have To Be A Techie To Choose Great Technology

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:00:28 +0000

I was meeting with an organization last week that is about to embark upon choosing new technology. I emphasized to them that at least one person on their selection committee ought to have a deep technology background.  
I’ve often struggled with how to communicate the importance of this and I just stumbled upon a perfect analogy. Recently some friends of mine purchased a home. They found a “dream-house” with the right number of rooms, a great view, and a perfect kitchen with the right stove. But when it came time to buy, they brought in an expert who pointed out all the things they didn’t see – such as gutters that were rotting, a chimney that needed repairs inside, and a radon leak in the basement. They were so focused on the “features” that they ignored the infrastructure.
The same thing holds true with choosing technology. It’s a significant decision and notwithstanding the confidence you have in what features you want, you are ultimately buying a technology system, and you need a technical expert to advise you. You should find someone who knows their way around cloud technology vs. client server, as well as proficiency in understanding PCI compliance, data security, system redundancy, and hardware infrastructure.  
Some months ago, we published a whitepaper that helps managers think through the process of choosing new technology. It’s not about selecting PatronManager specifically, it’s about the selection process in general. Click here to download.
In sum, if you’re thinking of selecting new technology, you don’t need to be a techie, but you ought to listen to one!

The post You Don’t Have To Be A Techie To Choose Great Technology appeared first on Patron Technology.

Classical Theatre vs. New Work: That is the Question

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 13:00:17 +0000

Today’s blog post is written by Natalie Sullivan, Marketing Assistant, Patron Technology.
I recently came upon this article on that got me thinking about theatrical seasons and how to best manage what your current subscribers are accustomed to, with what future subscribers may want to see. There has been a movement in theatre in the past decade that has exposed audiences to raw, younger, “hipper” shows with more modern themes (i.e. Spring Awakening, American Idiot, or the three plays mentioned in the article). These are all pieces that appeal to a younger generation of theatre-goers because presumably the situations and characters feel more relatable to them. This is an extremely exciting thing for the theatre community, but there is a potential downside. The article says:
While the subject matter of these shows encourages a younger set to buy a ticket, playwrights also have to contend with a fear of alienating the older subscriber-set. Social climates have changed, and an older audience may need to warm up the head-on approach of modern playwrights.
So what can YOU do to bridge this gap? How can you please your current subscribers and draw in a younger generation of theatregoers (and potential future donors) when you have a limited amount of performance slots to fill on a small budget?
Marketing, marketing, marketing! As a millennial, I have found that I, along with my peers, am more prone to purchase a ticket for a classical show if the marketing team doubles down on finding a theme that is relevant to my generation and promoting that.
A great example of this is the current national tour of The Sound of Music. The script, music, costumes, setting etc… are unchanged and timeless as ever. However, instead of focusing on the traditional elements of this golden age classic, the marketing team emphasized the fact that they cast younger actors in the main roles and amped up the sensual chemistry between Maria and Captain Von Trapp, a side of the relationship that has not been focused on in this way ever before. The marketing team brought new life to this show and it certainly caught my attention, ...

The post Classical Theatre vs. New Work:
That is the Question
appeared first on Patron Technology.

When’s Your Season Announcement Party?

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 13:00:16 +0000

Many of you are about to start your new season in the next month, so, I want to ask: How much hoopla are you making about it? Years ago, local newspapers would cover a press announcement of a new season, as they still do here in New York City with the Metropolitan Opera or New York Phil. However, in most of the rest of the country it’s up to you to make the most of your season announcement.
Many organizations simply send out a traditional subscription renewal package by mail, or more frequently by email, and that’s pretty much it. However, given that we are all in the live event production business, why not turn your season announcement into a live event?
When I ran the American Symphony Orchestra many years ago, we partnered with WQXR, the local classical station here in New York, and we produced a five-hour “subscriber-thon” in which we played excerpts of the music we were performing that season, invited guest musicians and our conductor to come to the station, and had phone lines open where people would subscribe. If memory serves, we signed up over a third of our subscribers in one day with that event.
There are lots of other creative ideas. All of you are running organizations with artists you could engage, from actors to a choreographer, conductors and members of the orchestra, or the curators of the art. I’m not suggesting an actual performance, but rather having an event (with the appropriate food and drink—even a cash bar will do) with your artistic team talking about the works you will be doing this coming season. Last week, Apple released the next version of its iPhone. As we all know, Apple has turned these releases into worldwide media and live events even though all they do is show pictures of the phones. Nobody (except for the early press demo) takes one home.
For cultural organizations, continually building relationships with your most ardent subscribers is job number one. These are the people you invite, and I bet they will come. Not only that, but they may also bring their friends. You can also invite first-time ticket ...

The post When’s Your Season Announcement Party? appeared first on Patron Technology.

Amazon’s Numbers Show How Buying Is Changing

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 13:00:15 +0000

I recently read a fascinating article in Bloomberg Businessweek about and it got me thinking about the consumer world and how much the nature of buying things online is changing the fabric of our lives.
Because Amazon sells things that are physical, shipping and logistics is a crucial part of their business, and they do it incredibly well. That’s mostly what the Bloomberg Businessweek article is about. Those of us in the ticketing world have a much better situation since the thing we are selling can be delivered entirely digitally and the costs of delivery are nil. We know already the degree to which customers are buying tickets online and that’s a trend that continues. In fact in our most recent arts patron survey we learned that 45% of 70-year olds who responded to our survey bought a ticket online within the last week.
Based on understanding’s growth, I believe these numbers will continue to rise. The question that I’ve been mulling is to what degree. Here’s some data reported in the article that amazed me:
But Amazon’s growth has been preposterous. In 2010 its annual revenue was $34 billion; last year, $107 billion. In 2010 the company employed 33,700 workers. By this June, it had 268,900.
The article goes on to report:
The company is the fifth-most valuable in the world: Its market capitalization is about $366 billion, which is roughly equal to the combined worth of Walmart, FedEx, and Boeing.
When we are talking about the fifth most valuable company in the world, it is impossible not to recognize the imprint its activities are having on the general public. Amazon has 64 million people registered for its “Amazon prime” service. As an Amazon prime user myself, I have found that my buying behavior has changed, particularly with regard to staples for my home. The distance between a thought (I need more garbage bags) and a purchase used to be writing down that item on a list somewhere and going to the grocery store. Yesterday, when I realized I was out of garbage bags, I simply went to Amazon prime moments after I had the thought, clicked a ...

The post Amazon’s Numbers Show How
Buying Is Changing
appeared first on Patron Technology.

What Can this Upcoming Presidential Transition Teach Us?

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 13:00:57 +0000

Today’s blog post is written by Erin Madden Ramirez, Senior Data Specialist, Patron Technology.
Did you know this is an election year? Yeah. Kind of hard to miss. Let’s leave politics aside for a moment though, and think about what is guaranteed to happen. Between the November election through the inauguration in January and beyond, there’ll be a ton of staff turnover at all levels of the Federal Government. Staffing changes are inevitable. New folks are hired. People retire or leave for other jobs. It happens at every business, though usually not on such a massive scale as Washington D.C. faces every 4 (or  8) years.
Change can be frightening but, as this article from points out, it’s also “an opportunity to strengthen the continuity of knowledge management.” You can ease future transition processes for your organization by making sure you have documentation and policies in place to retain as much institutional knowledge as possible going forward.
We’re not just talking about job descriptions and the employee handbook here. We’re talking about in-depth information. Every staff member, should take some time and map out their job responsibilities and timelines. Every department should prepare a document detailing their policies for various processes.
Take your box office, for example. Work in a box office is usually pretty cyclical. Single tickets go on sale X weeks before the season starts and subscription renewals start Y weeks before that. When your box office manager wins the lottery and retires to his own private island, won’t it be nice to have that timeline available for your new box office manager so no wheels need to be reinvented?
What about your financial department? Who is authorized to sign checks or approve purchase orders? Do checks over a certain dollar amount require two signatures? Who is responsible for taking cash deposits to the bank? Your CFO won’t need to stress while on maternity leave knowing there is documentation in place to keep things running smoothly so they don’t return and face a nightmare audit 3 months from now.
Any CRM system worth its salt will have tools to help with this process, especially connecting notes about donors and patrons to the actual ...

The post What Can this Upcoming Presidential
Transition Teach Us?
appeared first on Patron Technology.

The Short Distance Between Frustration and Elation

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 13:00:34 +0000

Last week we hosted our annual PatronManager Community Meeting for our clients here in New York City. I noticed over the three days of the conference there was a gradual increase in the overall energy and enthusiasm level as people learned more and more about what PatronManager could do for them. I watched as things that held people back in the past melted away once they heard testimonials and tips from their fellow users.  
My observation is that the distance between frustration and elation with software is sometimes only a button click. Something that perhaps has seemed impossible, becomes really simple by a whisper in the ear, or a trick or a technique that you never thought of. Suddenly the impossible or unimaginable is not only real but easy.
That’s the thing about technology tools that is fundamentally different than say, fixing a car or a dishwasher. If a machine isn’t working as expected, it’s often significant enough that you cannot fix it on your own. You’d need electrical skills or power tools. But with technology many times it’s simply knowing something about how the system works or a technique you haven’t tried before that can get you from point A to point B.  
There were lots of “oohs and ahs” – people learning how to use the system they have, and figuring out how to take their skills one step further and do more with it. With technology, often all it takes is a little learning and guidance. Thus, the first step towards elation is learning, and that’s what made last week so genuinely rewarding for everyone.

The post The Short Distance Between
Frustration and Elation
appeared first on Patron Technology.

Summer Spotlight: Are Subscriptions More Emotional Than Practical?

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 13:00:52 +0000

We are over half way through 2016, many of your seasons are about to ramp up as the fall is fast approaching, and now is a great time to check in with yourself about all of the different goals and ideas you’ve wanted to implement. Over the past month we have been doing a summer spotlight series on some of our past blog posts that highlighted goals or ideas that may have slipped to the bottom of your list as things got busy. We hope that these posts have fueled you back up! This will be our final spotlight post of the summer. 
The following post was written by Jordan Simmons, Senior Account Executive, at the beginning of May. 
I recently had a fascinating conversation with an Executive Director — the two of us are roughly equivalent in age, both of us grew up in the arts and performed professionally, and now we’re both in arts management. It was a wide-ranging talk, but eventually we settled into the topic of subscriptions and season tickets. After a tortured back-and-forth, both of us ashamedly admitted to not only not being a current subscriber at any arts or cultural organizations, but also having never been a subscriber anywhere ever. How on earth could it have happened that both of us had managed to be so utterly enmeshed in the arts and yet never been a season ticket holder?
Shortly thereafter, I came across a blog post from TRG Arts titled “Inconveniently, Subscriptions Still Sustain the Arts.” I’d read it in the past, but it caught my eye again having had the conversation about this very subject just a few days prior. It’s a terrific read, but it’s also semi-antithetical to my own experience as a theatre-goer and what I know of my friends’ attendance habits. I wondered: Am I an outlier, or am I somehow representative of a certain type of arts patron?
I got curious! I wanted to expand my thinking about this beyond my own narrow experience, so I put together a 100-percent-not-scientific survey of people I know who are deeply involved in the arts and culture more broadly. This is a group of ...

The post Summer Spotlight:
Are Subscriptions More Emotional
Than Practical?
appeared first on Patron Technology.

Summer Spotlight: Unleashing Your Data to Generate Corporate Sponsorships

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 13:00:00 +0000

We are over half way through 2016, many of your seasons are about to ramp up as the fall is fast approaching, and now is a great time to check in with yourself about all of the different goals and ideas you’ve wanted to implement. Over the next month we will be doing a summer spotlight series on some of our blog posts that highlight goals or ideas that may have slipped to the bottom of your list as things got busy. As summer winds down, hopefully, these posts will fuel you back up! 
The following post was written by Gene Carr at the beginning of April. 
According to a recent article in USA Today, How Coke, Disney Use Data to Donate Smarter:
Handing over giant cardboard checks is often what companies think of as philanthropy. But some big companies like Walt Disney (DIS) and Coca-Cola (KO) think they can do better — using data. Big companies are wondering if social responsibility can be more than just writing a check — but also a way to boost their businesses and brands.
That article inspired me to write this post, because there is an opportunity I suspect many organizations aren’t fully aware of: the ability to leverage the value of their data into sponsorship dollars.
The organizations that are able to get sponsorships say that the key to their success lies in the fact that they were able to demonstrate to a prospective sponsor that an important benefit that the sponsor was looking to achieve could be delivered. Witness the Cadillac in the lobby of the symphony hall, or the logo of Coke sneakily woven into the set design. Both of those examples deliver “guaranteed brand exposure in a controlled environment” and deliver that benefit in a measurable way.
While all of you have lobbies, and some of you have sets, your data offers another sponsorship opportunity. Think you don’t have the kind of data we’re talking about? Think again! Your email marketing, your website, your Facebook page — all of these have measurable data, and if you look back at your own trends, you’ll see that most of the numbers are predictable from month to ...

The post Summer Spotlight:
Unleashing Your Data to Generate
Corporate Sponsorships
appeared first on Patron Technology.