I’ve learned a lot from marketing the arts. It's possible that, for a marketing consultant, there is no more
Caveat this, caveat that, but I think the beauty of marketing a performance lies in the stark fact of it: at 8 pm, when the curtain rises, the results of the marketing work is apparent. Check the seats, they are either filled or empty.
No hemming or hawing, no "it takes us a year to know how we're doing." No: arts marketing is immediate, right now, unrelenting. It has, I'd say with a grin, a source of insight into the world of achieving results through the basic truths of identity, message, messenger and market.
I founded David Marketing in 2001, based largely on the following belief: marketing requires creativity; a vivid sense of mission; clear, unsentimental analyses of product and market; more discipline than you’d think; a little nerve (coupled with the capacity to have fun); an understanding of marketing theory (both the tried-and-true and flavor-of-the-month); and—finally—the applied lessons acquired from day-in, day-out experience.
As a full-time consultant, I work fast, am quite focused, and pride myself on over-delivery of services.
My marketing experience—nearly twenty-five years and counting— comes largely in two arenas: marketing a community-owned natural foods co-op, which grew from $1.9 million to $6.8 million in four years, then directing the arts marketing effort of an university arts program for eight years (450 events, 376,000 tickets and $7.5 million in tickets sold, 101% of goal).
I continued there at the Mondavi Center in programming the Distinguished Speakers Series, The Forum@MC, BackStage BookClub, SummerMusic and various single events until 2009. I’ve won over 28 awards for my work over the years.
I’ve enjoyed a rich and varied professional life, working in a fellowship for the California Arts Council, leading arts marketing seminars all over the western United States, serving as a civic arts commissioner and on the board of a radio station, a food co-op, and a consortium of arts presenters. In 2004, I was a founding member of an international consortium of lecture presenters, serving as president in 2008-09. With a past life as a musician and a current life as a writer (columnist, novelist and the occasional piece of non-fiction), the creative process continues to inform my professional work.
I’m happy to talk with you about your business and your hopes for the future— by phone or by e-mail— and to discuss if I can be of help.
I look forward to it.