Case Study | Using Audience Spectrum to segment mailing lists

How Audience Spectrum has been used to develop The Audience Agency's Go See This and Family Friendly mailing lists...

At The Audience Agency, the distribution team works with all the major arts, leisure, tourism and heritage organisations across the North West and has expert knowledge of the marketplace based on twenty years of delivery.

One of the strongest Audience Connect services is our quarterly Go See This newsletter. Mailed directly to 10,000 culturally engaged households, this cost-effective piece of collaborative print has a proven track record of engaging audiences across Greater Manchester. The database is an audience with a keen interest in culture and the arts at large. We know where the recipients of our newsletter live, we know they’re culturally engaged, and the development of Audience Spectrum has provided an opportunity to really get to know our subscribers better.

Background

In addition to our mailing database, we also operate a weekly Go See This e-newsletter with a database of 5000 serving Greater Manchester, and a monthly Family Friendly e-newsletter with a database of 6000 serving the North West. The Go See This e-database is broken down slightly differently. Within this we capture the audience’s preference at the point of sign-up, e.g. drama, dance, exhibitions or other art forms. This allows us to send each recipient a slightly different email based on their individual preferences - a level of customisation that is very popular with subscribers and organisations alike. Audience Spectrum is the cultural sector’s new population profiling tool which describes attendance, participation and engagement across the arts, museums and heritage sectors, as well as characterising behaviours and attitudes towards such organisations. More information can be found on segments here.

Geographical spread

The geographical spread of our subscribers

A notable point in the representation of subscribers geographically is the strong concentration of clusters outside the North West, especially those centred in London and the Midlands. This is an indicator firstly of the drive times audiences are willing to commit to, and secondly the quality of the cultural offer and nationwide interest in cultural hubs other than their own. The question we addressed was how to use this pool of data outside the North West to expand our services and reach, and explore how we might best develop a Go See This presence in other areas across England.

What we learnt from the profile

The ten Audience Spectrum segments allow us to analyse data at a deeper level and truly understand what makes our subscribers tick by allocating each of them a specific profile. Segmenting the database in this way would enable us to contact specific segments such as Commuterland Culturebuffs , or Facebook Families

with a targeted message more tailored to their likes and interests. The combined Go See This and Family Friendly profiling is as follows:

The collective database of 18,701 postcodes was successfully tagged to the relevant Audience Spectrum

Segments and data has been compared to a North West base. The first thing to note is that our data spans all ten segments, giving us a percentage for each. This is extremely useful considering our quarterly newsletter includes events across many art forms. Secondly, we can see there is a strong presence in both the medium and lower engaged segments, which is a good indicator of the strength of this data set. In particular Facebook Families, which although a strong proportion at 11%, displays significant potential for growth when compared to the North West base. There is also room for development within the Trips and Treats segment. While 16% is relatively high, we would aim to grow this beyond the North West base within the next 6 months through targeted campaigns. The highest segment Dormitory Dependables at 21% is over represented compared to the North West base, but worth mentioning as this is considered a medium engaged group when compared to Commuterland Culturebuffs for example.

What next?

Plans to investigate how this intelligence can be best put to use across our products and services is the next

step. Enabling organisations to mail specific segments that aligns to their own audience development plans would be one suggestion, whilst still allowing our quarterly newsletters to serve the entire database.
Encouraging the production of collaborative pieces of print between venues to increase a particular shared audience is another. For example, it may be advantageous to mail the Home & Heritage group – a segment of 1,601, medium engaged subscribers likely to attend traditional classical music - with a collaborative piece of
print between several classical music venues. The relationships and connections we have built through Audience Finder and our network of national Regional Directors will help facilitate this, as well as the strong client relationships and sector knowledge we have within the Audience Connect team.
This profiling has also enabled us to highlight which segments we might need to develop in accordance with an organisation’s strategy targets. This is an improvement on broadly encouraging sign ups, as we can now target potential subscribers within specific Audience Spectrum segments.
The strong representation across Commuterland Culturebuffs, Dormitory Dependables, Trips and Treats and a positive presence from lower indexing segments highlights the value and engagement with the Go See This and Family Friendly offer. The database continues to grow and we plan to develop its use in an intelligent and targeted way to benefit both subscribers and the arts organisations that want to reach them.

For more information on our Go See This and Family Friendly services, get in touch at audienceconnect@theaudienceagency.org.