* Note: Please scroll to the bottom of this page for a list of experienced advertising and marketing consultants.
About Marketing Consultants
Marketing, generally speaking, is figuring out who the possible audience for the show is, and how best to reach that audience. To that end marketing companies have relationships with internet providers, publications, group sales companies among others. Marketing companies can be responsible for many things including promotions, sponsorships, event creation, partnerships, grassroots outreach, and media trade or barter. They advise producers along with the advertising agencies on making choices to best promote the show and spur ticket sales.
Most Broadway and Off-Broadway shows hire up to four firms to help promote a show:
The term “marketing” can mean many things, but in theatre it has come to mean a certain segment of activity that a “Marketing Consultant” or “Marketing Firm” handles on behalf of the client. Marketers specializes in methods to increase awareness of your show by way of impressions. The more impressions a customer sees, the more likely they are to be aware of your show, and hopefully buy a ticket. As money is tight on most every show, the “Marketing Consultant” specializes in achieving those goals with little or no cash expenditures. Generally, they do this in several methods:
- Bartered Advertising – Marketers have lots of contacts in the media and obtain deals where they are trading unused tickets (on weak performances) in exchange for ad space. A good marketer can create barter ad deals with print, radio and online partners. Sometimes (depending on the show), TV can be obtained on barter.
- Performances that are promoted (but not broadcast) – While the press office will handle any on-air appearances or interviews, the marketing consultant/agency will handle appearances that are promoted via advertising. Some examples are bookstore signings, interviews/events at 92nd St Y and NY Times Talks, performances in bars and clubs and charity appearances
- Direct Response – The marketing agency will look for opportunities to promote your show via discreet discounting, thru media’s or lists that will not demand a cash spend. Some opportunities will be free, and some will be on barter. Some marketing agencies own lists and e-mail blasting companies that are free to clients.
- Grassroots Marketing – The marketing professional can provide a plan of grassroots methods to reach target demographics
- Event Creation – The marketer can create events to bring awareness to your show
- 3rd Party Tie In promotions – Gift with purchase, sweepstakes, etc
- Media Sponsorship and Product Sponsorships
- Advise on promotional ideas – Marketers with years of experience can gauge which ideas will create the most sales, and which might be an avenue best not travelled. While their thoughts are only opinions (not hard facts with all scenarios), their experience can help a producer best spend resources (time, money, actors talents) on promotions that would best serve the production
- Plus everything else you can think of – Marketing professionals tend to have the creativity to manipulate their lack of budget into promotional exposure.
Here’s a list of advertising and marketing consultants who have experience with Off Broadway shows:
The Pekoe Group
* indicates OBA member