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

Last Build Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:06:54 +0000


Is Your Customer Service “Activated?”

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:00:00 +0000

Today’s guest blog post is written by Alyssa Jean, Client Cultivation Specialist, Patron Technology. 
Why is it that art has such a profound effect on its viewers almost instantaneously? Museums, cinemas, and theatres all act as catalysts eager to activate patrons in their own unique way. From my time working in professional theatre, I have seen the significant role artists serve as powerful communicators. But one of the most critical lessons I’ve learned is that the effectiveness of that communication does not begin at showtime, but rather with the early implementation of “activated” customer service.
Often times when it comes to training customer service representatives, we focus too much on the “supply-side” of communication (i.e. relaying correct information, appropriate responses, box office policies etc…) and not enough on the “receiving-side,” specifically, listening. It’s obviously crucial for your staff to be knowledgeable and to be able to answer any basic questions that your patrons may have. But what if a more complicated situation arises in which a protocol isn’t already in place? Is your staff equipped to tactfully listen to a patron’s problem and help suggest a creative solution?
As a former theatre House Manager, I came to find that active listening was the most powerful tool I possessed when interacting with patrons. I distinctly remember one night when a concerned family approached me on the closing night of a sold-out show. The family explained to me that they had purchased six tickets to the show and when they arrived, only four tickets were available. The box office was swarming with patrons and as a House Manager, the responsibility then became mine to find seats for this anxious family.
Although the house was completely full, the family pleaded with me to understand their frustration and begged me to help them. I smiled calmly and replied, “I’m going to make sure that you all see this show, is there anything else I can do for you in the meantime?” They all thanked me and repeatedly told me how much this meant to them. I knew that there were no extra seats available but after listening to their circumstance, gauging possible alternatives and working with the rest of ...

The post Is Your Customer Service “Activated?” appeared first on Patron Technology.

The Benefit of An Internal E-mail Newsletter

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 13:00:34 +0000

In all the years I’ve been writing about email marketing, I’ve always focused on how your organization can target, and engage your audience. I never really paid much attention to the idea of an internal newsletter. That is until I read this post titled, The Benefits of Creating Newsletters for Internal Purposes (and How to Make It Happen).
The article caused me to pause and think about what we do here at PatronManager to keep our employees updated and motivated towards our goals. First, we use Chatter a ton, obsessively in fact. For those who don’t know, Chatter is an internal communication tool built right into PatronManager/Salesforce that mimics Facebook style conversations.
We have over 15 Chatter groups including departmental groups, a full company group, and even one dedicated to our “cheese club.” In some ways, our “full company” Chatter group serves the purpose of a newsletter when we have big announcements to make. We also have a monthly live “all hands” call where we present an update for the whole staff. So it didn’t occur to me to do an actual newsletter, which I think is a pretty interesting idea.  
For your organization, the article points out all sorts of benefits — not just the obvious ones around keeping people updated. This is a place to celebrate successes, call out individual achievement, and help focus on important goals. It’s also something you could repurpose and send to your board members and/or donors.
Do any of you do an internal email newsletter? Would you be willing to share it and/or let us know how it’s working for you?
I’m intrigued!

The post The Benefit of An Internal E-mail Newsletter appeared first on Patron Technology.

Executive Directors: Here’s Your Pre-Season Checklist

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:00:41 +0000

Today’s guest blog post is written by Kevin Patterson, Senior Account Executive, Patron Technology. 
With Labor Day now behind us and summer winding down the fall arts season is about to begin. Hopefully, you have had an opportunity to pry yourself away from your desk for a much-needed vacation. Now that you are back in the office do you and your team have a plan in place to have a great season? If you are behind or just feel like it, you need to move quickly. Here are some very important things you can do to strike out on the right foot.
As an executive, one of your most important tasks is to clearly set and manage expectations. Internally, your board of directors and your team need a stable leader. You, in turn, need a board and team that you can rely on to be responsible for the key metrics of your organization and exercise the authority to achieve them.
Begin With Your Board
Your board is the foundation of the organization. They serve four very important functions: Sponsor, Ambassador, Governor, and Consultant. In order to execute in these four areas, they must be informed. While you may have gotten their buy-in on the events in your season and they may have unanimously approved your budget, have you taken the time to carefully outline how the organization intends to achieve the approved outcomes? Many times these kinds of money conversations get buried in the finance committee or split between several different committees that don’t understand the full scope. It is important that the board realize and commit to two critical concepts:

Their most important job is to help the organization raise the money needed to support the organization’s activities.
As ambassadors, their ability to evangelize to their network is critical to cultivating new ticket buyers and potential donors.

Market Smarter
In most instances, if you are offering subscriptions, you are past your renewal period and are marketing to first-time subscribers. If you fell short on subscriptions you may have to adjust your single ticket numbers. However, just rolling over the dollars into your single ticket campaign without a strategy is not a recipe for success.
Take a look at your marketing ...

The post Executive Directors:
Here’s Your Pre-Season Checklist
appeared first on Patron Technology.

How Important Is Customer Data? The Case of Amazon vs. Ticketmaster

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 13:00:19 +0000

Last month, the rest of the world learned through news reports what many of us in the ticketing industry had been aware of for a while — that has designs on selling tickets. Tickets are the ultimate digital product because you don’t need a warehouse to provide the product, which makes it an ideal target for Amazon. The entrenched commercial ticketing industry is led by Ticketmaster, which last year earned almost $2 billion selling tickets largely on behalf of commercial venues and promoters.
My thesis for the past decade has been that today, ticketing companies can’t just provide technology for venues to sell tickets. That gets you in the game, but it doesn’t win the game. Ticketing companies now must provide ways for the sellers of tickets to amass a rich, robust database of buyers from which they can build relationships. That’s the essence of CRM and what has guided us to build PatronManager for the arts community.
Ticketmaster has built its own database of hundreds of millions of ticket buyers, and it markets events to these buyers in a highly targeted way (the company uses the Salesforce Marketing Cloud to power these efforts). That’s its approach.
Now think about Amazon’s approach. It’s pretty much the same — marketing directly to consumers on behalf of Amazon and its selling partners. This company, too, has a rich database of millions of buyers as well as an incredible ability to segment and market. With technology and a big customer database, Amazon has been displacing nearly every brick-and-mortar retailer in the world.
So, in its quest to get into the ticketing business, Amazon apparently tried to forge a deal with Ticketmaster that ultimately failed. According to a recent article in Forbes:
Amazon has failed to close a deal with Ticketmaster because they can’t agree on who would control customer data.
This is worthy of significant attention. Amazon tries to partner with the giant of the ticketing industry in order to enter said industry, and what stands in the way? Customer data.
Yes, it is customer data that’s the currency of every Internet marketer. Without it, you’re shooting in the dark. With it, you ...

The post How Important Is Customer Data?
The Case of Amazon vs. Ticketmaster
appeared first on Patron Technology.

Oops! — Recovering From An Email Mishap

Thu, 07 Sep 2017 13:00:50 +0000

Today’s guest blog post is written by Samantha Colbert, Senior Client Administrator, Patron Technology. 
So, you just sent a marketing email, great! And it’s already in your inbox, perfect! You open it up to admire your work… and there it is. That error that somehow all your drafts and checks and “could-you-give-this-a-once-overs” missed. This time it’s only a typo — you can breathe a sigh of relief that most people won’t catch it, you can roll your eyes at yourself, swear next time to run that spell checker, and move on with your day.
But what if the problem isn’t a simple typo? What if there’s a wrong date? What if the link to the ticket order page goes to adorable pictures of kittens? What if you credited the wrong person, and only find out when your Executive Director comes into your office, furious? Mistakes in emails are something that everyone makes, whether it’s forgetting to add an attachment, or something much bigger, and much worse. But, once they happen, what can be done?
First, take a deep breath and think for a moment, is this a big enough of a mistake that a correction needs to be sent out? If you misspelled the word “orchestra,” maybe not. If you put in the wrong play title, credited the author as the director, sent out a survey to the people who didn’t attend the performance rather than those who did, it might be time to consider drafting a correction.
You might think, surely there’s a way to stop it from going out? I just noticed the mistake and hit send a few seconds ago, it can be stopped, right? In fact, most of the time, once the send button is clicked, there’s no taking it back, just like dropping a letter in a public mailbox. If a campaign has been scheduled there may be a way to continue to make edits (or cancel the campaign), if the “send date and time,” hasn’t been reached yet. But once that first email goes out, hundreds or thousands will go out in the few seconds following as these processes are designed to work ...

The post Oops! — Recovering From An Email Mishap appeared first on Patron Technology.

Managing Humans: Collaboration

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 13:00:38 +0000

Today’s guest blog post is the final post in a six-part series by Rachel Hands, Director of Client Administration, Patron Technology. Click here to start at part one. 
Over the course of this blog series, we’ve covered hiring and mentoring individuals and establishing core values for your team. For the final post in this series, we’ll look at ways to establish and encourage a collaborative team culture — because what you’re able to accomplish on your own in a limited amount of time is great, but it’s nothing compared to what a good team can accomplish together.
Let’s start by considering some obstacles to effective workplace collaboration. There are a few common hurdles that might be slowing a team down:

Concern that not everyone will pull their weight
The feeling that each individual needs to completely own their assigned task, from start to finish, in order to have done their job
Differences in priorities or working styles causing interpersonal conflict
Poor tools encourage siloed information and make it difficult to share resources

The first two obstacles are really variations on the same (very real) concern: “I’m worried that someone else won’t do their fair share” and “I’m worried that I won’t be able to do my fair share.” If you have the right people in the right positions, though, these don’t have to be a block to good collaboration. To mitigate these concerns:

Establish clear expectations for what needs to be done individually
When possible, lay out the full scope of the project up front — as a group, determine what feels like a fair division of labor
Let go of the notion that “fair” is the same as “equal,” and make sure your team understands that too. It’s not fair to expect that your box office manager is going to do an equal amount of work on a capital campaign as your director of development

Even when there’s group consensus about how to divide up the work on a project, your job as a manager is to be the arbiter of when a perceived imbalance is really unfair and needs correction, and when it’s justified. That’s a tough position to be in sometimes, but it’s ...

The post Managing Humans: Collaboration appeared first on Patron Technology.

Top Ten Data Points Arts & Culture Organizations Should Know Part I

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:00:13 +0000

Today’s guest blog post is written by Paul Miller, Senior Director, Sales & Marketing, Patron Technology. 
The phrase “big data” has been in the news a lot lately and for good reason. Numbers don’t lie, and the field of data science is transforming the way organizations conduct business at every level. Every second, 1.7 megabytes of data is created for each human being on the planet, and although only one-half of one percent of that data is ever analyzed, that is rapidly changing. From online shopping to pro sports, upper management is now realizing that large data sets can drive business decisions with remarkably fruitful results.
While the amount of data the average nonprofit collects is much smaller, it’s time we started using it to our advantage. The best part is, you already have all the data you need to help make informed decisions that can transform your marketing and fundraising operations and sustain your organization for years to come. You don’t have to be a mathematician or scientist to leverage the power of data mining, but you probably do need some help getting started.
With this in mind, I’ve been leading a workshop that explains what high-level data points arts and culture organizations should be measuring and suggests ways we could use this data to produce more successful marketing and fundraising campaigns. I conducted this workshop in four cities this year, and in each case, the organizations in attendance were asked to provide their metrics in advance and submit them to me anonymously. Then I shared the aggregate results during the presentation so organizations could see where they stood in relation to their peers.
Out of all the responses I received to my questions, the most common answer was also the most unfortunate: We Don’t Know. This answer took many forms: we don’t track that information, we don’t have access to the data, we don’t know how to calculate it, etc. (It’s no surprise that organizations with an integrated customer relationship management system such as PatronManager had more complete answers than those using multiple systems.) That said, what I learned was that we need to do a better job of teaching our teams ...

The post Top Ten Data Points Arts & Culture Organizations Should Know Part I appeared first on Patron Technology.

Do Your Donors Think They Matter?

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 13:00:23 +0000

Today’s guest blog post is written by Kevin Patterson, Senior Account Executive, Patron Technology. 
I was recently invited back to my high school to attend an in-service day to prepare teachers for the new school year. The day began with recognition of length of service awards, some teachers had over forty years with the school district! There were also teaching excellence awards. As the husband of a music teacher in the public schools, I clearly understand how much public affirmation means in an age where it seems like our society has made a professional sport out of complaining about schools and teachers. The school district was making a statement that their team was important and mattered to them.
After the awards, a keynote speaker, Angela Maiers, spoke about how students, as they progress through our educational systems and workers as they enter the workforce, become less engaged over time. Engagement has become such a critical part of our society that Gallup, the national polling company, regularly measures worker engagement.
In a 2015 Gallup poll of US workers, 32% were considered engaged in their jobs, 50.8% were not engaged, and 17.2% were disengaged. Lack of engagement results in an estimated $11B in lost revenue annually. See State of the American Workplace at Gallup.
Interestingly enough, similar engagement percentages apply to students.
In a 2014 Gallup poll of US students, 53% of students were engaged, 28% were not engaged and 19% were actively disengaged. See Gallup Student Poll at Gallup.
The number one reason why students and workers are not engaged is that they believe that they don’t matter. Both groups cite the following reasons for wanting to become more engaged:

There is somebody who cares about them
There is an environment where questions are encouraged
The school or workplace is safe both mentally and physically
They are accepted for who they are and the contributions they bring

This keynote got me thinking about my own experiences as a donor and how organizations communicate with me that I matter. Unfortunately, it is all too easy for organizations to fall into the disengagement trap.
Donors want to matter to an organization.

The post Do Your Donors Think They Matter? appeared first on Patron Technology.

A Peek Into the Future of Live Entertainment: It’s All About the Experience

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 13:00:10 +0000

The performing arts have always been about the live experience — the interaction between performers and audience. As technology has begun to infuse nearly every aspect of our lives, more and more high-end shows are incorporating technological wizardry to amaze and enthrall. I suppose Cirque du Soleil began this trend decades ago, but nearly every commercial show I’ve attended includes some attempt at a jaw-dropping moment. 
But another technological aspect of the live event is playing itself out in a very different arena, and I mean that literally — the arena. In sports, they refer to it as the “fan experience” — and the new stadiums that are being built around the world are increasingly attempting to use the building itself to enhance the patron experience. This article, “Stadiums of the future: a revolution for the fan experience in sport,” from the Guardian does a great job of describing what architects and planners have in store for sports fans. Be sure to watch the video of the new Falcons stadium in Atlanta.  
If you follow the money, you’ll quickly realize that because sports generates so much cash, the venues are expendable — every few decades they knock them down and start over. And if you want to see how another industry is taking the live experience to an amazing new place, read this article about how Disney is creating an immersive Star Wars-themed hotel where each guest gets a storyline.
In the arts, we don’t have that luxury. We’re often performing in venues that have not (and cannot) change. Or venues that have been restored, where the whole point is reimagining the past.
In a world in which $100 buys you a ticket for an incredible sports experience — not only the game, but also the overall experience beyond the game itself — how can the arts adapt and adopt?
Clearly, the “patron experience” must take its rightful place alongside the programming of your organization. It’s no longer good enough to put on a blockbuster show or concert. You’re going to be judged on the entire experience, from the moment patrons buy their tickets to the day ...

The post A Peek Into the Future of Live Entertainment:
It’s All About the Experience
appeared first on Patron Technology.

In The Age of “Click to Contact,” Are We Losing Connection With Our Patrons?

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 13:00:47 +0000

Today’s guest blog post is written by Ameris Poquette, Data Specialist, Patron Technology. 
I’ve lost count of how many mailing lists I’m signed up for, but it’s probably in the hundreds. Every day, I get (at least) twenty some-odd emails from different sources all wanting my business — most of which end up living out their years unread in my spam folder. There’s no question that the Internet has changed the nature of marketing and the way we communicate with our audience — it’s become a digital, mass-market affair. Signing up for a new mailing list is something we do at the drop of a hat, for anything that even mildly piques our interest.
Today, even “contact us” pages that are meant to lead to a real human interaction can feel impersonal, cold, and automatic. In some ways, this is the nature of this new medium, which allows us to reach more people simultaneously than we’ve ever been able to before.
So the question becomes, how do we learn to stand out from the hundreds of unread messages in your patron’s inbox, most of which are trying to do the same thing you are? How do you maintain a connection with your target audience in the digital age?
For the purpose of this blog post, I pulled up all of the emails that were sent to me by an arts event space I frequent — they show movies and host nights of performance art — and when I see an email come through from them, I almost always open it. I wondered to myself, why?
Well digging in, the first thing I noticed about their emails is that the subject lines are always patron centric. It’s not “here’s what we’re doing,” it’s “here’s something you would enjoy.” The second thing I noticed is that the emails are all written by the same person, the woman who runs the space. She writes in first person (using “I” or “we”) and always signs the emails with her name. And lastly, I noticed that their content is not purely promotional, in fact often times they don’t even mention the events they have coming up until the end. For ...

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