Feature | Get to know your online audience

Understanding who visits your website is key to developing audiences...

Through these infographics we reveal what our tools can tell us all about online arts audiences.


Audience Spectrum
Audience Spectrum is a powerful segmentation tool for the cultural sector. It segments the whole UK population by their attitudes towards culture, and by what they like to see and do. There are 10 different Audience Spectrum profiles you can use to understand who lives in your local area, what your current audiences are like, and what you could do to build new ones. Audience Spectrum is an accurate tool to help the sector target audiences, addressing both behaviour and geography.


Hitwise:AudienceView is a powerful tool that helps you to understand more about who your website audiences are and what they do online, so you can serve them better. Standard web analytics tools help you to understand how people interact with your website. Hitwise:AudienceView tells you about the types of people visiting your website.

Using these tools to understand arts audiences
To find out whether the same kinds of people who browse arts websites also book their tickets online, we looked at the booking transactions of National Portfolio Organisations in Audience Finder over six months (May to October) and visitors to those organisations' websites during the same period using Hitwise:AudienceView.

We found that websites are drawing visitors from the lower engaged Audience Spectrum groups in a way that is not being fully translated into ticketed sales. Are these people just browsing and not buying? Are they visiting websites of non-ticketed or free organisations and events? Are they engaging with the online content but not buying tickets for live events?

As you might expect, the conversion rate from website browsers to ticket bookers, and particularly online ticket bookers, is greater among the higher engaged Audience Spectrum groups.

If we split the Audience Spectrum groups into high-, medium- and low-engaged groups, we see that people in each of these three engagement bands are more likely to book online than offline. But significantly more of the bookers in the higher engaged groups tend to book online.

The tendency for people to book online in greater proportions than offline is not consistent across the Audience Spectrum groups. Home and Heritage and Heydays more often book offline than online. For Home and Heritage this journey from website to offline booking is important to them.

Most Dormitory Dependables live in suburban areas and small towns and have an interest in heritage and mainstream arts. Digital channels are also important to this segment and they enjoy searching for information about arts and culture online.

Metroculturals tend to be prosperous, liberal urbanites who are interested in a very wide cultural spectrum. As a group they are highly engaged with the digital world so it is no surprise that they have a high propensity to book online.

Kaleidoscope Creativity are the most engaged of the lower engaged Audience Spectrum groups. They are a mixed-aged segment with a low level of engagement. They prefer free local events, outdoor arts and festivals. Individually they are far more likely to book online than offline, with 75% booking online. This is actually a higher proportion of online bookers than seen in any of the middle-engaged groups. If you are attracting people in this segment as bookers, they are most likely doing it online.

Commuterland Culturebuffs are the biggest group of engagers. They are affluent and professional consumers of culture. They're the biggest group of browsers and bookers, both online and offline. Compared to the other two high-engaged groups, their preference for online booking over offline booking is slightly reduced. This may be because they have busy lives and tend to engage with digital for practical reasons, so do not spend a large amount of time browsing.

With this insight we can tailor our website content and online presence to enhance visitors' digital experience. It means that as we as developing our physical audiences by segmentation, we can do the same online.

First published by Arts Professional, 1 December 2016, artsprofessional.co.uk