Guide | Audience Spectrum

How Audience spectrum differs from other segmentation tools and how to get the most out of it.

Some frequently asked questions

How does this differ to other segmentation and profiling tools?

Compared to Arts Audiences Insight, Mosaic, Acorn and other commercial tools, there are a number of new innovations; see Key Innovations below.

What is the difference between Audience Spectrum and Arts Audiences Insight (AAI)?

AAI gave arts accurate profiles but did not include as much museums data and could not be used as an accurate geo-location tool as it did not tell you where segments lived. Is it free? Everyone can view the profiles and detailed pen portraits and use the mapping tool (on the Audience Finder dashboard) to map segments at postal sector level for free. There are a lot of Audience Spectrum services – getting a profile of your audiences or area is free to participants within the Audience Finder programme. Other more bespoke services and detailed analysis have a cost attached.

How can I apply it to my organisation?

See "Benefits to Users" below.

Is this relevant to museums?

Yes, modelling was done on survey information about peoples arts AND museums engagement.

If I already use another segmentation tool is this still relevant?

Yes but different tools do different jobs. There are a range of circumstances where Audience Spectrum is the best thing, but not always. We can advise, and will still use Mosaic - it relates to Audience Spectrum but can procide more detail on commercial habits.

We have used Arts Audience Insight – is this still relevant?

Audience Spectrum replaces AAI – it is more up to date and has more uses. However, there is a good deal of overlap between old AAI segments and new Audience Spectrum segments and we've noted this in each of the pen portraits to enable a painless transition. Contact us for advice.

Is this relevant for small as well as large-scale cultural organisations?

Yes it’s applicable to all sizes and artforms, with any or no data of their own – different organisations will find some uses more beneficial than others.

How can I access the information?

There is a detailed “pen portrait” of each segment covering their cultural habits, lifestyle, suggested engagement strategies and detailed statistics. Then you can use the Audience & Venue Mapping Tool on the Audience Finder dashboard to map each segment at postal sector level, including a count of households, to find out where they are.

Will it still be relevant in a few years time or will it need to be updated like other segmentation tools?

All segmentation tools need to be refreshed – but Audience Spectrum will evolve in a gentler, more organic way than most, as we add more data and more people experiment with strategies.

Is this only available through The Audience Agency?

Audience Spectrum has been commissioned for the sector from The Audience Agency, a charitable organisation. All the findings are freely available, but only The Audience Agency is licensed to carry out profiling – we are very happy to provide profiles and analysis for consultants, agencies, academic institutions and directly to cultural organisations.

What partners are involved in the development of Audience Spectrum?

See "The Science Bit" below.

How do I use Audience Spectrum to report back to funders like Arts Council England?

Arts Council England has commissioned this tool and ACE Relationship Managers have been briefed about Audience Spectrum and its uses - it should help in your communications with them. We hope to introduce Audience Spectrum to local authorities and trusts/foundations over the next year.

For reference: The Science Bit

The development of Audience Spectrum draws together some of the largest and most robust sources of information about people and how they engage with arts and culture, including:

  • The Taking Part Survey - the long established DCMS survey into people's leisure, culture and sport.
  • Experian - lifestyle, consumer and demographic information drawn from over 850 million input sources and 400+ variables, including Mosaic and the online analytics tool, Hitwise.
  • Proximity Indices - The Audience Agency's national overview of how well local populations are served by cultural provision.
  • Audience Finder - the largest growing Big Data set in the cultural sector about audience behaviour, built on ticketing and survey information, shared and compared by networks or “clusters” of partner cultural organisations.

We have used these information sources to make Audience Spectrum, a tool that categorises people first and foremost on how they engage with culture in a way that is very locally applicable. As the Audience Finder Big Data set grows, we will learn more about each of the Audience Spectrum segments, adding depth to the pen portraits and being able to comment on key themes and issues.

For reference: Key Innovations

Audience Spectrum is different from other arts segmentation systems because it:

  • Combines Taking Part - detailed cultural behaviour with relatively accurate geo-location (benefits of Arts Audiences Insight + Mosaic/ACORN)
  • Belongs to the arts and museums sectors as a not-for-profit resource including free tools, case studies and articles available through the Audience Finder website
  • Increasingly based on “real” Audience Finder audience data, not “modelled” data from a survey (making it more accurate)
  • “Living” tool – it will get richer, more accurate and nuanced the more it is used - with real data from our Audience Finder data warehouse and Audience Finder national rolling survey
  • Truly comparative because of the range of organisations able to use it through Audience Finder (basic profiles are free to Audience Finder users - currently more than 500 organisations).

Use it today to:

  • Order an Area Profile Report
  • Profile your attenders or visitors (database, mailing list etc)
  • Buy Audience Spectrum prospect names and addresses through The Audience Agency to reach people completely new to your organisations

Benefits to users

  • Understand what makes your different audiences tick
  • Find the best-fit audiences in your databases by targeting specific postcodes
  • Find new audiences in your catchment area by getting names and addresses
  • Pinpoint more audiences like your current ones to extend reach
  • Know how to appeal to a more diverse range of audiences
  • Find the people most likely to make a donation
  • Spot opportunities to collaborate with neighbouring or partner organisations
  • Improve access by understanding different barriers for different audiences
  • Plan with colleagues across your organisation to create experiences for different kinds of audiences
  • Create and target your communications more effectively
  • Profile your online and live visitors using the same segmentation
  • Used for advocacy purposes to help make your case to stakeholders
  • Uses museums and heritage survey information as well as arts

Coming soon…

  • Integrate Audience Spectrum into your audience development plans
  • Interactive Audience Spectrum Guide
  • Profile your web traffic using Audience Spectrum