Arts marketing framework: The arts organisation as a hub for participation

Published date01 May 2018
Date01 May 2018
Arts marketing framework: The arts organisation as a hub for
Ria Wiid |Paulo MoraAvila
Worcester Business School, University of
Worcester, Worcester, UK
Ria Wiid, Worcester Business School,
University of Worcester, Worcester, UK.
The proliferation of artistic content, increased mobility of people, ethnic diversification, and
increased scarcity of time outside of work against a backdrop of austerity requires an integrated
approach to marketing within the arts. This paper proposes a framework for the marketing of arts
based on participation, cocreation, and social networks. Additionally, the framework considers
the role of selfconstrual in the participation of arts.
Art is a nation's most precious heritage. For it is in our
works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others,
the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where
there is no vision, the people perish. Lyndon Johnson, on
signing into existence the National Endowment on the Arts
Unlike classical art, which remains fresh for each generation, the arts
have always operated in an environment of uncertainty (Burton,
2003). The needs and preferences of audiences have changedalter-
natives for arts and entertainment activities have mushroomed, new
technologies for interacting with digital content continue to prolifer-
ate, and the demographic characteristics of consumers are becoming
more diverse. Furthermore, consumers increasingly expect
personalised and individual control over their experiences (Novak
Leonard and Brown (2011).
Controversies over high art versus popular culture have always
been an inherent part of the challenges of arts organisations (Scheff
& Kotler, 1996). Attendance to art activities is declining for all age
groups, not just the young and well educated, so the traditional predic-
tors of attendance no longer suffice as a model for contemporary art
organisations (Jenkins, Purushotma, Weigel, Clinton, & Robison,
2009). For a long time, art organisations could rely on public subsidies
and were protected from pressures to respond to market changes to
ensure their existence. The system of public subsidies made art organi-
sations less alert to changes in consumer behaviour and to competition
from the everexpanding entertainment industry. To respond to com-
mercial pressures and continue to provide an impartial public service,
art organisations have little choice but to develop marketing strategies
to stabilise and diversify their funding sources (Boorsma &
Chiaravalloti, 2010; Eckersley, 2008).
This paper will first explore the background to art marketing,
followed by the presentation of a conceptual framework for the mar-
keting of art based on participation and cocreation. Next, each of the
components in the framework will be discussed and positioned within
the whole. Finally, the paper will end with conclusions and areas of fur-
ther research.
Traditionally, governments promoted participation in cultural activities
as a way of developing communities (Bianchini, 1993; Reeves, 2002).
In the early 1980s, when the community welfare model could no lon-
ger serve the arts, bureaucrats, practitioners, and academics stepped
in and developed the economic or cultural industry model (Caust,
2003). This led to the use of the terms cultural industries(in Austra-
lia) or creative industries(in the United Kingdom) to describe all
activities connected with the arts, including a broad range of activities
such as publishing, broadcasting, fashion, multimedia, journalism, pub-
lishing, the popular music industry, and both commercial and notfor
profit art activity (Caust, 2003).
So as to justify government support for the arts, the need to prove
art, which also has economic benefits, has become prominent, and art
policy has been expressed in terms of economic benefits and job crea-
tion (Reeves, 2002). This emphasis on the economic value of the arts
as opposed to its intrinsic value has led to confusion and division in
the sector (Caust, 2003). Furthermore, the tendency of Western gov-
ernments towards evidencebased policymaking and impact studies
to measure and assess the socioeconomic impact of subsidised art
has resulted in ongoing debate over how to assess the value of publicly
funded arts projects (Belfiore & Bennett, 2010, Bakhshi, Freeman, &
Hitchen, 2009).
Charitable organisations are designed to enhance the public good,
funded in part by government, private donations, and pricing of
DOI: 10.1002/pa.1657
J Public Affairs. 2018;18:e1657.
Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, 1of8

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