An audience development plan could focus on engaging new audiences and visitors, deepening relationships with existing ones, or combine elements of both strategies.

Whichever approach you’re taking, the more you know about your target audiences, the more likely your efforts are to be successful.

Here some tips to get you started.

Get to know who you’re already engaging (and who you’re not)

Audience Finder gives you lots of data on age, gender, ethnicity, location etc. of your audience or visitors. All valuable information of course, but the ability to segment by Audience Spectrum type can help you understand your audiences on a much deeper level: the lifestyles they lead, what else they do with their leisure time, and the place that arts and culture have in their lives. 

By using the mapping tools, you can look at the make-up of your local area and see if there are groups in your local community who you’d like to be reaching, but aren’t currently.

Related article: How can I start using Audience Spectrum in Audience Finder in my everyday work?

Set realistic goals and track progress

We’ve probably all at some point found ourselves committed to targets which, in hindsight, seem wildly over-ambitious.

Save yourself some pain and make your targets realistic by using the data available to establish exactly where you are now. For example, if your data indicates that 5% of your visitors are Experience Seekers, then an ambition to increase this to 30% in the next year is probably going to be a bit beyond even the most brilliant marketer’s abilities! 

And as your data in Audience Finder is continually updated as it comes in from ticketing or surveys, you’ll be able to track progress as you go and alter course if you need to.

Identify the practical activities which are most likely to succeed

This is where the How to Engage section on the Audience Spectrum pen portraits pages could be handy. If there’s a segment you know is well-represented among your local population but you’re not currently reaching them, then you’ll find information here on what the barriers are for them.

For example, you might have a large number of Facebook Families in your area. For this group, cost is a significant barrier, they like to do things as a family unit and have little existing engagement with arts and culture. With this in mind, perhaps you could offer some free drop-in activity sessions for families, or take work out to a local park where they’re likely to feel more comfortable?

Once you begin to accumulate data in Audience Finder –  via surveys, ticketing or both – you'll have a rich source of information at your fingertips about your current visitors or audiences. Combine that with the insights available about who you’re not reaching (and some ideas of how to do so), and you’ll be well on the way to creating a winning audience development plan. Good luck!