In This Episode

Erik and Andrew talk about how arts organizations often segment based on past behavior and how that is not always the most effective, how understanding cultural segments can increase attendance and participation, and why dumbing-down marketing copy to appeal to the masses is the wrong move. They also discuss why it's essential to build a deep connection with your audience rather than just selling them tickets.

 

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We looked at a theater's audience and promotion around Shakespeare. They targeted people who had seen Shakespeare in the past 12 months. They received a 5% -6% response, not untypical for an arts promotion. When we dug into those responses, we said, 'What’s up with this? You’re meant to be the hottest leads in the city for Shakespeare. You’ve got a proven interest in it.' The respondents often said, 'Well, we’ve just been. We only went six months ago. I don’t want to see another Shakespeare. I’d like to see something else.'

ABOUT ANDREW

Andrew McIntyre is a co-founder of Morris Hargreaves McIntyre, a cultural research agency based in the UK. Andrew is one of the UK’s leading authorities on cultural audience motivations and behavior. His firm works on what they call “Culture Segments,” a segmentation system based on people’s cultural values and their beliefs about the role that culture plays in their lives.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Erik Gensler: Thank you so much for being here, I’m glad this worked out with your travel schedule.

Andrew McIntyre: Oh, great to be here. Thanks.

Erik Gensler: So let’s start at the beginning, I’m curious, how did you get into this field?

Andrew McIntyre: Oh, I accidentally got a job in the muse I wasn’t looking for one. And, small museum in the UK, we opened it, great fanfair. Everyone said how fantastic it was, 94% satisfaction rating on the exit survey. I started watching people around in my lunch hour and they were really misbehaving, they were not doing what they were meant to do, missing out whole parts of the exhibition. leaving the timeline early, choosing things that are, you know, using their own free will. And, they were seeing about 20% of the exhibits. It took them about eight or nine minutes and they’d leave and say 94% satisfaction. And I realized that these curators had spent half their life researching and creating these exhibits and nobody was looking at it. So I became fascinated by why do people go to museums, what are they thinking, what’s going on in their head, how do they behave, how does all of the decisions we make about interpretation and design and everything or how does all of that impact on their visit? So I became kind of an obsessive people watcher and that lead me really to… you know, really try to deeply understand audience, motivation and audience outcomes.

Erik Gensler: That’s awesome. So did you go from that museum job to doing independent consulting work? What were the first-

Andrew McIntyre: No I,

Erik Gensler:...two projects that you...

Andrew McIntyre: (Laughs) I... having been the accidental museum guy, I got a job in an art muse because then I was the museum guy, obviously.

Erik Gensler: (Laughs)

Andrew McIntyre: But, in both of those, I was just pushing really hard for the institutions to, do what needs researched to try and understand audiences and eventually, I made enough noise that, the Arts Council in England, which is the main funding body, gave me a job as, to set up a new audience research unit. So I was head of research there for about eight years.

Erik Gensler: Thank you so much for being here, I’m glad this worked out with your travel schedule.

Andrew McIntyre: Oh, great to be here. Thanks.

Erik Gensler: So let’s start at the beginning, I’m curious, how did you get into this field?

Andrew McIntyre: Oh, I accidentally got a job in the muse I wasn’t looking for one. And, small museum in the UK, we opened it, great fanfair. Everyone said how fantastic it was, 94% satisfaction rating on the exit survey. I started watching people around in my lunch hour and they were really misbehaving, they were not doing what they were meant to do, missing out whole parts of the exhibition. leaving the timeline early, choosing things that are, you know, using their own free will. And, they were seeing about 20% of the exhibits. It took them about eight or nine minutes and they’d leave and say 94% satisfaction. And I realized that these curators had spent half their life researching and creating these exhibits and nobody was looking at it. So I became fascinated by why do people go to museums, what are they thinking, what’s going on in their head, how do they behave, how does all of the decisions we make about interpretation and design and everything or how does all of that impact on their visit? So I became kind of an obsessive people watcher and that lead me really to… you know, really try to deeply understand audience, motivation and audience outcomes.

Erik Gensler: That’s awesome. So did you go from that museum job to doing independent consulting work? What were the first-

Andrew McIntyre: No I,

Erik Gensler:...two projects that you...

Andrew McIntyre: (Laughs) I... having been the accidental museum guy, I got a job in an art muse because then I was the museum guy, obviously.

Erik Gensler: (Laughs)

Andrew McIntyre: But, in both of those, I was just pushing really hard for the institutions to, do what needs researched to try and understand audiences and eventually, I made enough noise that, the Arts Council in England, which is the main funding body, gave me a job as, to set up a new audience research unit. So I was head of research there for about eight years.

Andrew McIntyre: Really, doing the kind of early audience research in Europe.

Erik Gensler: Right and then from there started doing consulting work.

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah, it’s the thing about these funded jobs, because money always runs out so (laughs).

Erik Gensler: (Laughs) Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: And, so going independent seems the obvious thing to do. There were three of us, when we went independent, hence, the Morris, Hargreaves and McIntyre. And there are now, I don’t know, maybe 50 of us, so we must be doing something right.

Erik Gensler: Wow, congratulations. So I first heard about your work in reference to the culture segments, can you tell me a little bit about what the culture segments are?

Andrew McIntyre: Sure, but we’ve been doing segmentation systems for a while. we kind of have two different sorts of client, we have marketing departments saying to us, how do we understand who’s out there, how can we target more people to come to, venue? And so we were doing segmentation of the market-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre:... based off, you know, the kind of commercial information that’s out there, but with a bit of an odd twist and really trying to help them to target their media strategies and so on. Meanwhile, the interpretation exhibition education departments were saying, “How do we understand how people are behaving inside our buildings?”

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: So they were commissioning segmentation system of visited behavior and visitor engagement on site. And we would gladly, taking the money from both departments, and giving them two, completely separate and incompatible segmentation systems. I mean not deliberately, but, it was interesting because the, the, the exhibition guys would go to the marketing department and say for our next show, we want more of these. The marketing department say, “Who are they, what... where do they live, what do they read, how do we find them?” We would say, “No, it wasn’t in the brief, we didn’t ask that... he didn’t ask us that.” And the other way around, you know, they’d say, “We’re getting all of these new people coming and the exhibition department didn’t know.” Yeah, we didn’t know how they would behave incidentally. So people at the British Museum, Tate Modern, came to us and said, “We want a segmentation systems that work at, you know, outside looking in and inside looking out.”

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: A single system that works across the whole institution, a common language if you like for audiences. and we set out... we said no problem, easy. So we set out to create the sixth system. the huge survey, I mean, you know, thousands and thousands of respondents, 140 questions.

Erik Gensler: Wow.

Andrew McIntyre: I pity anybody who had to answer that thing.

Erik Gensler: (Laughs)

Andrew McIntyre: It was every question that anyone had ever asked about segmentation anywhere including all the commercial stuff and, a few other things we throw in for luck. And what we found was a hundred of the questions were interesting, but totally useless for segmentation. And about 37 of the questions were really interesting in the way that they split the audience. So we started work on these 37 questions to try and create some kind of algorithm that divided the audience up in an interesting way. we give ourselves six weeks to do it. Six months later, we were still going.

Erik Gensler: Wow.

Andrew McIntyre: And we finally came up with an algorithm that worked. and what was interesting was with that algorithm was that we realized that in order to segment anybody, we now needed to ask them 37 questions.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: So you couldn’t add it to your survey, it would be your survey. And so we then spent another six months working on a lightweight version, which now only takes 90 seconds-

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: ...and puts you in the right segment about 90 something percent of the time.

Erik Gensler: That’s incredible, I took the test and I’m essence.

Andrew McIntyre: Ah-hah, well, it doesn’t surprise me (laughs).

Erik Gensler: (Laughs) Discerning, spontaneous, independent and sophisticated.

Andrew McIntyre: We always start with the flattery.

Erik Gensler: Yeah, (laughs) independent could go either way?

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah.

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: I think the thing is absolutely good news.

Erik Gensler: Huh.

Andrew McIntyre: If you want the bad news-

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: ...fiercely independent to the extent that they’re quite awkward. really enjoys not liking things that everybody else likes.

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: And, and maybe liking things that no one else likes or maybe even no one else has even heard of. I think the thing is that they’re not followers, you know, they’re the least likely to say, “What’s your recommendation?” And they’ll be the judge of what they like and what they don’t like?

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: high value, but high maintenance.

Erik Gensler: That’s about right.

Andrew McIntyre: (Laughs)

Erik Gensler: (Laughs) So there are eight different segments that you can get out with how many questions?

Andrew McIntyre: well, it’s about 9 or 10 statements and it’s a 90 second, pop survey really.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: what marks these segments out is being different, you know, there are lots of segmentation systems out there. And, you know, all segmentation systems have some value the fact that you’re just thinking about the audiences having different groups in it gets you halfway there, but what really marks these segments out from others is that they’re not demographic. You-

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: ...won’t find a millennial in there. You won’t find families. You won’t find I think... These are all entirely psychographic.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: So they’re all about your mindset.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: So they’re based on really deep-seated cultural beliefs and values that may change over time, but the change is glacial, you know. You’re not pinging about-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...between the segments here.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: This is about who you are-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...how you see yourself, how you see the world, and really I suppose what you believe engaging with culture will add to your life.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: and we find that there eight distinct groups of ways in which people see the world. And, of course, there are lots of people; they’re not quite in any of those eight groups-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...who we allocate to the nearest group-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...available. The system, it’s more of an... you know, there are more than eight types of people in the world. These are not 2D cardboard cutouts and the system is a little bit messy in some places-

Erik Gensler: Sure.

Andrew McIntyre: ...which we’re quite like. Those are... somebody said to me, lovely, which was all models are wrong, some of them are useful. I think this is a useful model.

Erik Gensler: Yeah, so how the organization use that to its benefit, how are they, first of all, glean that data in terms of getting their audience to respond to it and then how would they turnaround and use that and say, you know, we talked about two sides there, the planning of the programming perhaps and in their-

Andrew McIntyre: Sure.

Erik Gensler: ...outreach in marketing?

Andrew McIntyre: So, yeah, here in New York, you’ve got organizations like, 92nd Street Y, Lincoln Center, BAM in Brooklyn. They’re all tagging the data in the databases, so there’s a very simple... well, either proactively or reactively, so when people book through say, Tessitura or similar, they get to the end of the booking journey and then it just pings them a little link that says, “Hey, answer these questions for 90 seconds.” When they do it, it automatically writes the data back into their record, because, you know, we know our part of running. alternatively or additionally, you can then ping an email out to all the people you’ve gathered over the last 10 years and say, “Hey guys, do this in 90 seconds.” And, again, writes the data back. So increasingly, people got tens of thousands of records that are... or, tagged. And it allows them to do a number of things, even just basic analysis, all the reporting they’re doing. They can now see that by segment, which segments are responding to this, which segments are behaving this way, but they can also start to target by segment. So we’re going to hit these people, oh, look, you know, we know that they’re mainly in this segment or that segment. When we have huge amounts of data and insight into even now copyrighting level, which words and phrases that these segments respond to, which turn them off. So we can, you know, in some cases even double open and click-through rates just by using the appropriate, language.

Erik Gensler: Like in an email-

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah, in an email.

Erik Gensler:... subject line or some...

Andrew McIntyre: Sure-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...but I’m also in, you know what they... what any kind of advertising or copyrighting that imagery, and we know which imagery works well. We know its colors work well. It’s kind of... it’s kind of interesting. So we can… you know, one of the things is targeting, the channels, but the other one is the, is the efficacy of the message. And, and those organization that are using it are all reporting increases and everything they do.

Erik Gensler: That’s wonderful, especially in the day of micro-targeting, which we can now so easily do across social media and email and other digital touch points. It’s so... I mean if this, you know, this is probably much harder back in the days broadcast and print, right?

Andrew McIntyre: Sure.

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: I think it’s interesting, because, it’s, oh, you know, we’re in danger in a way with some of the ease of micro-targeting, of forgetting that the message or the contact is king.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: It’s interesting, we looked at theater audience, they were doing a Shakespeare promotion and they targeted those people who had been to see Shakespeare in the past 12 months. And the typical response, right, they got 5%, 6%, yeah. Not untypically for an arts promotion. And when we dug into those people and said, “So what’s up with this?” You’re meant to be the hottest leads in the city for Shakespeare. You’ve got a proven interest in it. That’s how we’ve just been. We only went six months ago.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: I don’t want to see another Shakespeare. I’d like to see something else.

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: And I think that so much of our, retargeting, is... assumes that, that we have these, highly focused, behavior, so, you like Mozart. I’m just going to tell you about the next 12 months out.

Erik Gensler: Right, right. It also makes the assumption and this is always bothering me, but the person enjoyed the performance, right? There’s a probably a big percentage of people that went to Shakespeare, but didn’t like it. So I, you know, I don’t think the next, best option for my return would be Shakespeare, so, it’s always... that’s always troubled me, that assumption of-

Andrew McIntyre: (Laughs)

Erik Gensler:... reaching out to the people who-

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah.

Erik Gensler:... you know, went to a similar. And also it’s our determination of what, oh, this person like went to a Mozart concert so they must only like classical, so we’re never going to show them any of our contemporary programming, we’re only going to show them-

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah.

Erik Gensler: ...you know, classical.

Andrew McIntyre: And, and so what this allows us to do is to say people with the same culture segment, with the same mindset, what have they gone to, and we start not only-

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...sharing some of that eclectic programming with them, but the way that we talk about that program is designed to appeal to their particular interests and sensibilities. So what we’re really doing is curating a potential program for them right across genres and art forms potentially even across venues. But the one constant threat is, we know your essence, so I’m going to speak to you in the way that you want to be spoken to and I’m going to tell you the things that are going to be interesting to you.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: I’m not going to, write to you as if you were enrichment or entertainment or stimulation-

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: ...in one of my other segments, because that would put you off.

Erik Gensler: Right. Does that, lead to not only the... how you’re communicating, but also the types of programming that you’re communicating? So it... and how do you... help an organization through that evolution, so they adopt the culture segments through appending their database, they perhaps change their direct marketing per segment? How do you move to the next level of say-

Andrew McIntyre: Sure.

Erik Gensler: ...suggesting or...

Andrew McIntyre: And I think that what’s happened is, quite a number of organizations have gone through this curve where they are retrospectively fitting the audience to the, to their program.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: And what we’re doing on the future programming is saying what have you got for this segment-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...or what have you got for that segment I see? And so, a festival would be a really good example of that where they got, you know 50 events on. And they are striping through their program, you’re saying these are the events for like, for essence.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: These are the events for stimulation, which is a second lining.

Erik Gensler: (Laughs)

Andrew McIntyre: And they may be events that, will be quite good for two segments or possibly even three segments. And so when they’ve done matrix here or the eight segments here or the 50 events-

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: ...they can actually start to look at the balance of the program and then they can actually look at the balance of ticket sales and the balance, the shape of it. And obviously, there are artistic concerns in there as well, but it’s interesting, we’ve seen festivals that have built a particular audience in one year and then the following year, forget to program anything for them.

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: So and then they wonder why they don’t come.

Erik Gensler: So you lose your essence people, because you’re not doing the kind of program that they are interested in.

Andrew McIntyre: Correct.

Erik Gensler: Fascinating.

Andrew McIntyre: and so, we’ve seen that particular where, organizations lose faith in the audience-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...where they may be financially challenged or they-

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: ...a bit anxious, so they play it safe.

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: They think what we’ll do is. We’ll second guess the audience.

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: We’ll go safe this year.

Erik Gensler: We’ll just do chestnuts or we’ll just do classical musical theater-

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah.

Erik Gensler: ...or we’ll do whatever that is in our form.

Andrew McIntyre: We’ll pull out the kind of main repertoire.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: You know, no one ever got sacked for buying IBM. You know, it sits-

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: It will just do the safe stuff.

Erik Gensler: Right, we’re just focusing on the new or what you think is the new.

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah.

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: And you may get away with that for a season-

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: ...maybe two, but the point is if you stop exciting, interesting, challenging and provoking essence, they stop talking about you.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: And when essence stopped talking about you, New York stops talking about you. And when New York stops talking about you, it’s... you’re in the race to the bottom.

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: So we have to have a healthy audience in which we are, understanding whether we’re meeting the needs of these different segments. You don’t have to hit all eight segments.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: You could choose, which segments you want hit, but–but the thing is that you need to know, which segments you are hitting.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: And whether the diet that you’re giving them is, you know, thin and watery or whether its, rich and nourishing.

Erik Gensler: Right, are some organizations designed in maybe just target one or two audience types?

Andrew McIntyre: I think so, yes.

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: I mean some of more contemporary clients-

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: ...will literally be targeting stimulation and essence. Essence are the taste makers, they’ll be the ones that endorse you or endorse you that are intellectually engaged with your brand and will give that gravitas stimulation are the cool seekers, they want to be in at the beginning. They want to see the, live experiment that might go horribly wrong.

Erik Gensler: (Laughs)

Andrew McIntyre: And if it goes horribly wrong, they’ll be back next week to see what you’re doing next week.

Erik Gensler: (Laughs) Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: So it’s in that, but they’re quite fickle, they want to go where the buzz is, but they’ll go through the opening and then... of that envelope.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm. Right.

Andrew McIntyre: (Laughs) And so it’s, you know, they’re consulting what’s... what the new thing is, what the new thing is. If you, if you want to be, relevant and cutting edge, if you don’t have those tool or audiences in your pocket, then you won't succeed.

Erik Gensler: That makes sense, yeah. I think of like I grew up in a town where, you know, there’s a number of theaters, and I think one of them very much focuses on that segment and the other one is a little bigger, so they... I think if you’re bigger and you have more programming, and you’re doing 10 or more works, you can reach more segments, but if you’re a small theater with a smaller budget, you only get like four or five shots a year, it probably makes some sense to focus on the right audience segment.

Andrew McIntyre: There’s also things with... say if you taken out museum and it’s got a major show on for several months, but it’s a show that’s not mainstream, it’s not familiar to everybody.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: Again, your stimulation in... and essence will be the early birds-

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre:... they’ll be getting at the beginning. They’ll be starting to talk about it. They’ll be building each reputation. and then you will get expression, which is a kind of people, segment there that they, they, hardwired to support cultural organizations. They want to be part of it. They want to share in-

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...in the thing. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. And they come along and they endorse it. And that kind of takes it into the early majority.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: And then affirmation, you want to do the right thing, thing, oh, no, we may be should get in on that. And, and in that way can build... and over time, you can find it towards the second half of the exhibition the mix of segments that are coming is completely different than the mix that are coming at the beginning.

Erik Gensler: Right, that makes sense.

Andrew McIntyre: And so what you’ve got is a life cycle where you’re working through the segments, but by the end, you could have the really mainstream audience coming, because everyone else has been-

Erik Gensler: Sure.

Andrew McIntyre:... since at the start. And, I think what’s interesting about that is that even during the campaign, you need to have these, points where you change up your message. You got the, you got the cutting edge people, so, you know, to get the cutting edge people in, you have to tell them that show is really dangerous.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: Really dangerous.

Erik Gensler: (Laughs)

Andrew McIntyre: Come and see this dangerous show, but by the end-

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: ...what you’re telling people is this show is really safe-

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: ...really safe.

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: So, if you... if you’ve got the same campaign running in the middle and the end of your show that you had before you launched it. Your numbers will dwindle and dwindle.

Erik Gensler: Yeah, I’m just picturing the output sets that you could map with tessitura once you have this data and then, you know, picture the upside down u-curve of the-

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah.

Erik Gensler: ...technology adoption, right? It’s the early adopters and the next phase.

Andrew McIntyre: Diffusion of innovation curve, it’s called.

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: And, we can build that from Tessitura later and we regularly do. iI like... it’s like geological timing.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: It’s like rock... it’s like a rock formation.

Erik Gensler: Layered up, yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: With all the sedimentary layers, but unless you actively manage your campaign week-by-week through that curve then it will flatten out or you get this soggy middle.

Erik Gensler: That’s really super interesting. I love to know, a case study of, organization at this kind of segmentation helped?

Andrew McIntyre: Here in New York, 92nd Street Y, was looking at it’s donor campaign.

Erik Gensler: Yeah, and they’re how I learned about you, actually.

Andrew McIntyre: Sure.

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: And what we identified in their user base is this abnormally large, concentration of the expression segment. This is the segment that wants to be long, wants to be part of things, wants to be connected, wants to feel, that they are, doing something worthwhile. and they changed their messaging and they changed, the things. And what they featured was, a lot of individuals, holding up cards, saying why they came to that section.

Erik Gensler: I remember that campaign, yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: And, because it’s... they’re hardwired to respond to people.

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: It became as people, people campaign. And their donations went up, you know, significantly, because of that, because people were giving to something that they want to feel part of and they want to belong to and it’s a way of expressing their affinity. whereas, you know, it’s easy to, write that copy so that you sound very prestigious or that you sound very kind of, you know, establishment or you sound more cutting... but the key to unlocking their audience was this sense of community.

Erik Gensler: That’s a great example, thank you. So I really enjoyed the manifesto on your website and to quote from it, you said, “We are champions of the audience, we recognize that customers for leisure.” I guess you would say, “Leisure, culture, heritage, education, sports and charitable organizations are passionate, articulate, intelligent individuals, their needs, voices and responses are the key to success for our clients.” And I just love how that champions, the audience, and it holds them in high esteem. And I also like how it recognizes that people who go to arts and culture are very intelligent people and I think, if there is, a raise to the middle, it’s dumbing-down our marketing copy to appeal to the masses, but I really love how this sort of elevates that.

Andrew McIntyre: Sure. I mean it’s interesting, the two things we have to have faith in is the intelligence of the audience-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...but also the quality of our art to move those audiences.

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: And I think sometimes, it’s almost like we don’t believe the audience are capable of understanding it-

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: ...or maybe we don’t believe our art is capable of moving them. And this dumbing down-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...is a cop out really, it’s a way of trying to hedge your bets. Let tell me you a little anecdote, which I... is almost apocryphal now, but it happened so many times, because we’re in focus groups. And let’s say we’ll do it at a major muse you know, and we’ll be talking about some forthcoming exhibition. And, you know, we have a couple of hours of really intense discussion about whatever the next exhibition is. And at the end of this session, you know, we like to have the curators and the director sitting in, they’ll come over and then say, “That was fascinating! Where did you get those people?”

Erik Gensler: (Laughs)

Andrew McIntyre: We’ll say, “Oh, they were just members of the audience.” And they go, “No, no, but they were so articulate.”

Erik Gensler: (Laughs)

Andrew McIntyre: We said, “No, just members of the audience.” They go, “But they were so intelligent.”

Erik Gensler: (Laughs)

Andrew McIntyre: “And then we’re so interested.” I’m just like, “No, honestly, they were just members of the audience. What did you think that they would be like?”

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: And I think it’s easy to see the audiences as the other.

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: You know, the, the kind of, the great unwashed.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: and that-

Erik Gensler: Well, they are. They’re just... they’re seeing Mamma Mia! Or Cats or Mozart.

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah.

Erik Gensler: You can cut that out (laughs).

Andrew McIntyre: But it... its, what’s interesting is these audiences may lack knowledge. They may lack experience, they may even lack confidence, but they don’t like intelligence, so they’re asking great questions.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: but they don’t know the answer... that they don’t know the answers to. It’s almost as if the belief is that you either can have, big audiences for work that is poor-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre:... artistically

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre:... because that’s accessible to people. but if you want to do really great art then only a certain number of people will be capable of appreciating it, therefore, your audiences will be necessarily small. And that belief becomes so fulfilling that every time you get 30 people for your recital, you think that the music must be fantastic and-and... but conversely every time a lot of tickets sell, you think it can’t be worth it, artistically it must be, you know must, h must now be sullied in some way.

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: And I think nobody wants to do bad art for small audiences. That’s not a segment we want to be in.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm. (laughs).

Andrew McIntyre: The big art the, you know, the poor art for big audiences is a known segment and the great art for tiny audiences is a known segment. We’d like to push into the great art for huge audiences segment. you know, I’ve heard, you know, that definitely exists. Well, the proof it, I think is often in festivals. You find it where festivals do all kinds of really interesting work, where, you know, you’re tackling contemporary subjects, you’re doing all kinds of interesting art forms and you get mass audiences for it, because you’ve... all the rules are broken.

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: You’re allowed to come and play-

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre:... in this kind of well turned upside down space. And you see people who’ve never seen contemporary art before, just absolutely loving it, given the right circumstances. So you have to conclude that we are either accidentally or deliberately creating circumstances in which most people don’t get to engage with our art.

Erik Gensler: That’s super interesting. So I noticed on your website, you offer a lot of different services from brand work, exhibition testing, segmentation, I’m just curious about how all of these different offerings evolve and what is the glue that holds them all together?

Andrew McIntyre: Sure, I think, if we’re being honest, we do struggle with this slightly, because quite a lot of people specialize in one thing.

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: They’re the brand guy or they’re the, you know the, the evaluation woman. we’re fascinated by the relationship between the institution and the audience member. And so we’re interested in every single touch point that might happen. And in offering to our clients to look at each of those touch points, we’re giving them a holistic 360 degree, view of the relationship with the audience. We see a lot clients who have got commissioning, you know one set of people to do brand over here, and other lot of people doing web over there, and another lot of people doing, you know, exhibition testing over here, and a lot of people doing visitor surveys over there. And then somebody in the institution is left to try and piece all of this together like some kind of giant jigsaw... but, the truth is that all of these different pieces of audience insight of being commissioned separately without any kind of common framework between them.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: If you start to look at them, as an integrated piece, what you’re getting is, a flow of strategic management insight about every search point in your audience, but that doesn’t mean that we often work with other agencies who have various particular specialisms, but we like to try and help the, clients to make sense of the... of everything in the ground.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.. So the brand work, do you employ designers on your team?

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah. We don’t do design-

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre:... but we will interface with a chosen design company, so effectively we do a lot of the, say brand definition work.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: We’ll often help write the brief for the design work. We may then be involved in even the procurement of that as, you know, as an adviser, but we would prefer to let the brand people do their thing, but we’ll give them every assistance we can by briefing in what we know.

Erik Gensler: Hmm. So besides the culture segments, I’m sure you spend some time talking about what other types of work are you currently really excited about?

Andrew McIntyre: Ah, well, what’s exciting is at the moment, most is this idea of brand engagement. We’re not just interested in how efficient our communications and touch points are. We’re interested in how effective they are. So we’re doing a couple of projects around, apps, and around, the web for example, where we’re not just looking at how, the user experience-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...which is, you know, fairly standard stuff, isn’t it? You know, how easy is it to find what you want, do you get what you need from it? We’re looking at two things beyond that. The idea of user engagement, so how engaging is this content. It’s, yes, you want to plan a visit to this muse what do you need? I need a map, I need a thing. Great, you got it, but how engaging is this? How much does it increase your anticipation of the visit? How much does it, make you want to share with all the people about this anticipation of the visit? and ultimately, it’s about user affinity. does it make you, you know, does it make you love this place? So I suppose user acceptance would be... I’d use that. user experiences, it... “I get what I need.”

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: User engagement would be, “I love this,” whatever it is. And user affinity is, “I love you.”

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: And does this make you feel that way about the institution? And so it seems to me that a lot of our websites particularly are designed to give people what they want in as few clicks as possible and get them to leave as quickly as possible. And I’m interested in what happens on the journey. It’s... you know, the thing I told you at the beginning, people walking around my new museum.

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: Nine minutes and leaving.

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: And they both are saying how great it was.

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: I was kind of interested in how to let them stay for 39 minutes and how do we-

Erik Gensler: Right, you do that on the web now.

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah.

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: So I feel like we’re repeating the same (laughs)-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...journey. Yeah, but we’re now repeating at a digital.

Erik Gensler: But I also think that’s a segment as well, right? There’s a segment that people who just want the information and leave and then there’s the segment of person who is going to stick around and watch the videos and engage with the experience?

Andrew McIntyre: Sure. you know, you can’t, make people want things they don’t want.

Erik Gensler: Yeah and it could be the same person in different times.

Andrew McIntyre: Absolutely, but I think it’s, it’s looking at optimizing the content. The other thing, of course, is we’re looking at different sections of websites.

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: And then we’re optimizing them for those segments, so we’re not just saying who goes to this page-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: We’re saying, “For whom is this page critical? Like, will it make or break their visit?”

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: So, you know, if we look at something like San Francisco MOMA, or we’re looking at the Guggenheim or we’re looking the Tate in London, you know, who is going to their websites? What is, you know, what are they looking for? Your essence, if you go to the art notice section, you want the full on, experience, you want the depth. You want the curatorial, voice. You want access to the work. If you take something like the “what’s on?” section, if you see the “what’s on?” section at the Guggenheim, you will... or the Whitney, you’ll scan down the page and there’ll be Lucian Freud and you know those names, you’ve been around, you’re an experienced, visitor, and so you don’t need to read all the blurb. You’ll be quite happily know what they’ve got. If I’m in the affirmation segment or I’m not sure what to see-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre:... and it just has the names I’m not touching it-

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: ...but if it has the explanation, I go, “Ooh, oh, that’s sounds interesting. Oh, he painted the... oh, I see.” So what’s interesting there is that for me that page should work for me. In affirmation segment, it needs to be like this. And if it’s not, I’m not visiting.

Erik Gensler: Right, right.

Andrew McIntyre: So, it’s can we optimize different parts of the site for the segments that need it the most.

Erik Gensler: Right, I’m having a podcast interview with the executive director of the California Symphony and, she did this focus group with millennials, I don’t know if you heard this blog post, but they would read the production detail page of, symphony and they would use all this language they wouldn’t understand it was written in a way that felt very much like a turn off. And she had this focus group and actually from that feedback, rewrote a lot of the listings pages to really appeal to people who weren’t necessarily versed in classical music with the assumption that the people that love classical music are not going to come, because of the, you know, they don’t need to sell it as much on the production detail page, they’re just looking for like you said, “What’s on?” Like, right? What work are you performing? When is the concert? What’s the cost?

Andrew McIntyre: You can say... you can say Mozart such and such in D minor, whatever and they can hum it.

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah. I’m going, “I’ve never heard of that. What’s it like?”

Erik Gensler: Right, so they don’t have to keep scanning down. Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: I’ll tell you, you know, it’s… we did something similar where we took a whole lot of people who never been to classical music. We took them to a symphony, and the feedback was... they got the program and we were reading along and it’s quite chatty. And then they just kept dropping in these Italian words that we didn’t, (laughs) we didn’t understand. You know these musical terms. And so when we did the next round, we said, “Right, you have to change-you have to change or at least put a glossary in to explain what-what do these things mean?” And they said, “Oh, we can’t do that, that would be, condescending, it would be dumbing-down,” is what they said it would be. what we’ll do is we’ll print a separate sheet and we’ll make that available for those people who need it. And of course what happened was that, all of the regulars got there really early to get their gin and tonic.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: Hoovered-up these sheets, before any of the new people got a chance and could be overheard in the bar saying, “Oh, I’ve always wondered what that meant.”

Erik Gensler: (Laughs) Right.

Andrew McIntyre: And they’ve been reading the program that’s for 20 years, you know.

Erik Gensler: Yeah. It’s, it’s matching that with the right people is the challenge, right?

Andrew McIntyre: (Laughs)

Erik Gensler: Yeah. I’m curious, I guess the firm started in the UK and you have offices in Australia and now you’re working with clients in the U.S. I’m curious, first, just to hear about the evolution of perhaps from the UK to Australia, and here, but I’m also curious if you’ve, you know as someone who’s engaged in their arts and in both the UK and Australia and particularly in the UK, it just... there’s some... as an audience member, I feel some differences, and I’m curious if you have any insights into particularly around like, you know the performing arts or museums that are between the U.S. and other... the other two countries?

Andrew McIntyre: Wow. Okay. (Laughs) What a specific question.

Erik Gensler: (Laughs) Multipart.

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah, I suppose that, our work did start in the UK, we had interest from Australia and New Zealand fairly early. And we’ve been building our operation there for some time. We have an office in Auckland, in New Zealand, and Sydney in Australia. And then I think we’ve also had work in Canada and the States and increasingly in continental Europe. I think they are all societies in which the relationship between funding and the arts has gone through profound change in the last 20 years-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...which is the kind of length time we’ve been getting. And some of them being forced through that curve more rapidly than the others. And I would say the UK was forced through it relatively early, in which arts organizations have far less income available than they’ve been used to-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...and they need to become more reliant on the audience in some way.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: And it’s exactly what you were saying before, some of those organizations chose to try and let’s say dumb-down, they didn’t last very long or they... because, you can’t sustain it.

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: And other organizations chose to really try and understand their audiences and try and build a community around their institution. They’re the organizations that have done very well.

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: And as successively each of those countries has felt the pinch-

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...and whether that’s from state funding being withdrawn or whether the economic downturn has meant that, you know, either sponsorship or philanthropy is being squeezed, each of those org... countries has moved to try and become more reliably reliant on the audience to understand more what drives the audience. Both in terms of matching that to their funding sources, but also maybe to try and drive, more membership, to try and drive more, you know philanthropy, in... from small donors and to drive ticket sales. And so what’s interesting in all of those cases, is they were fairly either in a comfortable position, because they didn’t have to do that-

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: ...or they were reasonably comfortable, because they could just send mass mailings out and sell the tickets.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: And I was that begin to be squeezed. Interesting what we did grew. So I suppose it’s... we were in a situation where in the good times we’d like you to want to work with us and in the bad times, we think you might need to work with us.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm., Mm-hmm. Yeah. It’s interesting. Michael Kaiser and I think it was his last book. He talked about when an organization start to feel the squeeze, there is a tendency to do two things, cut marketing and cut risk-taking, and he argues, you actually have to do the complete opposite.

Andrew McIntyre: Yes.

Erik Gensler: So you have to take bigger risks. You have to-

Andrew McIntyre: So am I.

Erik Gensler: Yep, you have to take, you know more adventurous productions that new people want to see, I guess to, you know, attracts and the segments you were talking about earlier, and also spend more marketing to drum up the excitement, which is like counterintuitive, but it makes a lot of sense.

Andrew McIntyre: If you see marketing as an expenditure item, it’s always vulnerable to being cut to saving, isn’t it? If you spend less, if you see it as an investment item, why would you cut your investment? the one that... when I was a marketing director in the muse if I went to the director of the museum and said, “Every time you give me a dollar, I’ll give you five, how many times would you like to do the transaction?”

Erik Gensler: Yeah, right.

Andrew McIntyre: That was my pitch.

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah.

Erik Gensler: Don’t sell things, sell dollars (laughs). That always-

Andrew McIntyre: I think what’s interesting is there’s been a twin danger I think in what I call orthodox sales marketing, that kind of box office driven, was originally mailing and has become an email version, which is this kind of mass, imprecise targeting.

Erik Gensler: Yeah, we call it “spray and pray.”

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah. and various people then can coming up with formulas to, you know spray less and still get the same results.

Erik Gensler: (Laughs)

Andrew McIntyre: But, it’s a failed mantra. You know, virtually all of the arts marketing, how to books from the 1990s, now wouldn’t... would sell you very few tickets, so we’re in a brave new, you know post marketing world almost.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: And I think what’s interesting is that, they’re replacing that with the reliance on, bulk data. I deliberately call it “bulk data” rather than “big data,” because I think people just keep accruing more data hoping that if they keep staring into it for long enough-

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: ...the answer will be in there somewhere.

Erik Gensler: And it’s a terrible buzzword (laughs).

Andrew McIntyre: We’ve started talking about the idea of deep data-

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...is, you know the intelligent way through the challenges that we’re facing in terms of building audience is deep data. Deep data is where the insight is, big data is just, you know, it’s big, but it’s not clever. and so if you keep accruing more and more data and keep staring at it for long enough, you know those painting pictures where you keep staring long enough, you’ll see the dolphin.

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: I think we keep staring into the box office hoping that we will see the answer. and it’s not in there, you know the answer is inside people’s heads.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: The answer’s in there, of course, we would say if you do something like culture segments and ask him what’s inside their heads and they tell you-

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: ...and then you record that, but, it’s understanding why people are doing what they’re doing and what they might do next is, is gold.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: Just looking at what they did last is actually an incredibly poor guide-

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...to what they’re going to do next-

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...you know to the point of maybe 5% accuracy.

Erik Gensler: Hmm. I think what’s interesting is you’re looking at the segmentation from the point of view of the patron where I think a lot of the segmentation models that, you know, you share a lot about it. Arts conferences or how organizations see their patrons is very much from their point of view or this is a single ticket buyer or this is a subscriber-

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah.

Erik Gensler: …this is, a donor or this is a first time buyer-

Andrew McIntyre: Yes.

Erik Gensler: ...but I don’t’ think people certainly don’t see themselves that way.

Andrew McIntyre: I think you put your finger on it. I think that we often... a lot of that school of marketing is about how can we get the audience to meet our needs rather than, you know the true or, early definition of marketing, which is how can we make our organization meet their needs.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: So understanding what makes people tick is the key. And past ticketing behavior is, really poor as a predictor. one ticket is just random, two tickets is still not a trend. I bought tickets to Swan Lake for my mother for Christmas, she loves ballet. personally, ballet leaves me cold. I like interpretative dance, but ballet, I just don‘t get it. I can see that it’s technical and pretty, but it doesn’t move me. So I bought these tickets, you know, it’s a nice thing for a son to do for his mother at Christmas.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: And I gave her these tickets. She was delighted with them. For the next five or six years, I was bombarded with letters saying, “Dear Ballet Lover.”

Erik Gensler: (Laughs) Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: And, you know, it eventually stopped being letters, it started becoming emails.

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: But, they’re hounding me, because it’s somewhere it says I’m a ballet lover on one of that data bases.

Erik Gensler: Because you bought one pair of tickets once.

Andrew McIntyre: Once, yeah.

Erik Gensler: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: And it’s... I’m like, “Give it up guys,” you know.

Erik Gensler: Yeah.

Andrew McIntyre: You know, ticketing history has its place, but it is a poor relation to understanding people’s motivations.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: Once you understand their motivations, I know that you might like to try jazz or you might like to try the circus thing or, you know, you might like to try this Peruvian fire eating thing that’s coming, because it’s the only kind of thing, because other people like you are liking it.

Erik Gensler: Right. Does age have anything to do with it? I turned 40 and in the last month I’ve started listening to a lot more classical music.

Andrew McIntyre: (Laughs)

Erik Gensler: And I just really get excited about it and so as my... and maybe it’s the falls in my cultural segment, but like I never would have gone to like a classical music concert in my 20s.

Andrew McIntyre: I think that your taste can evolve and change. Well, I would hope it would, because otherwise, we shouldn’t really be engaging, shouldn't we.

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: But the reasons that you’re going and what you're seeking from the experience-

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre:... will be similar.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: You will find every single age group in every segment. Having said that, some of them do track a little bit younger, and some of them do track a little bit older. It’s too early to tell yet whether that’s, because that’s a passage of life stage or whether that’s just the way society is changing. But, it’s interesting, let me tell you, I did this focus group is actually when we were first on the segments and we wanted to validate them just by getting each segmented into a room and just talking to them, just to see whether, you know what the math said was a or the algorithm said was a segment, was a segment. And you know when you get out for dinner, and there’s a big table, a big group. And you look across and you think, yeah, that’s Lehman Brothers or (laughs)-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm. (laughs).

Andrew McIntyre: ...they’re all New York cops or whatever. You know, you try and work out what these people have got in common. If you’d have come and looked at my focus group, you would not have any clue to what different age groups, different kind of social backgrounds, different kind of, you know, fashion styles vision. And it’s like they look like a ragbag group of people (laughs) from put together. And when we start going around to do the introductions, the first guy, he left school at 14, no qualifications, the only thing he liked at school was art, he had an inspirational art teacher-

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...and he liked drawings, he always liked drawing and he’s... so he took himself off to art galleries to see art and then he would take his sketchbook, and draw, and try and copy what was on the wall, and he just... that was his thing. And over the course of his life he’d done, you know, he’d become a plumber, he then got, you know five guys working for him. He then, you know, see, done okay. and then now he’s making a little bit of money, he starts to buy art.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: No-nothing fancy, but he’s starts... and then he starts to get into contemporary art. And he starts to buy contemporary art. And this guy has found his way into contemporary art, as a buyer from liking sketching as a kid that dropped out of school.

Erik Gensler: Sure.

Andrew McIntyre: Yeah. Great story, yeah. So we move to the woman sitting next to him. She’s 27-years old. She’s a nuclear physicist (laughs). I’m not jo... I’m not making this up. I promise.

Erik Gensler: (Laughs)

Andrew McIntyre: And I’m thinking, whoa, okay. And we go around the room and it’s just like they’re all just like (laughs) enjoying it.

Erik Gensler: (Laughs)

Andrew McIntyre: And as soon as we start talking about art and contemporary ideas and, you know, contemporary culture, it’s like they’re speaking with a hive mind-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...you know. They’re all completely on each of wavelength, they’re finishing each others sentences, they’re totally going, “Yes, that’s how exactly how I feel,” you know. And they’re saying, “I don’t meet people who think,” the... you know, “the same as me.” So they were all really thinking and tapping and saying... and they’re all exchanging email addresses, you know, because... and they’re the most unlike socially, they’re the most unlikely bunch possible, but, but intellectually and spiritually-

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: ...they’re a kind of absolute match for each other.

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: And so I think that’s really for me what it’s about, it’s about what’s driving you. I think there will be some age skews here and there. There’ll be some geography skews. Hey, you know, if you’re still in the stimulation segment like me, you’ll want to be at the heart of the action.

Erik Gensler: Mm-hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: You want to be, you know in some farmstead upstate somewhere.

Erik Gensler: Right.

Andrew McIntyre: You want be here.

Erik Gensler: Right, right, right. I think that’s my husband. He must be... yeah, always wants to see the new... and he could... he has to live or be in a city where there is constant cultural activity. He’ll see three to five things a week. Where do you look for business or marketing or research inspiration?

Andrew McIntyre: It’s funny, when I was younger I used to read a lot of the books, you know. There’s always a new book coming out, wasn’t it. and maybe it’s because a lot of that stuff just moved online. I’m into podcasts now and blogs. I’m less bothered about those kind of books, the books anymore. the thing I really love is, a blog called Jumper by a woman called Diane Ragsdale. it’s published through ArtsJournal. It is inspirational, because it comes at you from, an angle you weren’t expecting. It makes you think about things that are both incredibly practical like ticketing. Things that are deeply spiritual like beauty.

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: So she has an amazing ability to take some impetus from something that’s happening in the sector and reflecting on it in such a way as she puts a finger on something that you had missed.

Erik Gensler: Hmm.

Andrew McIntyre: And I had this experience of reading her blog where for the several weeks after I have read it, almost everything I come in to comment with seems to be relevant to this blog. I can’t understand how I could have possibly engaged with this stuff without having this blog in my hand. And it’s rare that you get that.

Erik Gensler: Yeah, I love that.

Andrew McIntyre: She’s one to look out for, she’s fantastic.

Erik Gensler: That’s great, maybe I’ll check her out and maybe see if she’d be a good podcast guest.

Andrew McIntyre: She’d be great.

Erik Gensler: So, we’re at the last question is what we call your CI to Eye moment. And the question is if you can broadcast to the executive directors, leadership teams, staff and boards of a thousand arts organizations, what advice would you provide to them now to help them improve their businesses?

Andrew McIntyre: I think my advice would be to hold their audience as close as they can to their organization, to stop trying to sell tickets to them and stop trying to get these people to be part of their organization, to feel a deep sense of connection, and our best work is where we’re helping the organizations to do just do that.

Erik Gensler: Yeah, it’s great answer. Thank you so much.

Andrew McIntyre: Thank you.