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This is an archived post from our old blog. It's here for the sake of posterity (and to keep the search engines happy). Our new blog can be found at

Spring Clean Your Marketing

It's that time again: post your own piece of marketing wisdom in the comments or via Twitter (tag us!) and you can win a seat at the IAA Global Marketing Summit in NYC on May 4.

It's spring, and any devotee of lifestyle magazines or reality TV knows that means makeover.  Time to assess your marketing closet and throw out what's no longer flattering, what's no longer in style, and what you're holding onto out of tradition, so you can make room for what works this season.

To belabor the metaphor, no two wardrobes are the same, and only a style that truly suits you or your organization will come across as authentic - and be effective.  So here's a list of ways you can break free from what may be holding you back in your marketing.


Never stop learning. The marketing landscape is constantly developing in all industries, so it's vital to continually keep a finger on the pulse of what is happening now.

Consolidate all elements of your marketing strategy to one capable team and save loads of money, time, and resources.  These elements include marketing, advertising, publicity, branding, web design, and social media.  Without a clear top-down vision & corresponding management you will waste time and be inconsistent.

Borrow from other industries.  You do not have to market like other artists or arts organizations.

Your marketing budget cannot ignore the true investment it takes to fill your event.

There is no company on earth whose audience is "everyone."

Think of postcards like business cards.  Do not give them more marketing credit than they deserve.

Do not send an eblast unless you have something important to say.

You do not have to blog.  You do not have to tweet.  You do not have to advertise in the newspaper.  Match the marketing actions to your brand and strategy.

You must, however, manage your reputation.  If the public is talking about you publically, be preemptive and guide their feedback.  Start your Facebook page before someone else does.

Your most dissatisfied customers have the potential to be your biggest unpaid salespeople.  Count to ten, respond diplomatically, and see it from their point of view.

Start marketing earlier.  Spend more time on strategy so you can spend less on panicked execution.

Groupon and other crowdsourcing deal engines are a marketing investment, not a magic pill for generating sales.

Avoid discounting.  Build value instead.  Incentivize early purchases.

Only hire marketing and publicity people that understand your audience.

Stop selling program ads.  It takes too much time for the income generated.  Use program space as barter for other services you need.

Stop printing programs.  Websites will suffice, or produce a simple, engaging video program, a la pre-movie trailers & ads.  This can be in the lobby or in the space.

Recycle all the old print materials cluttering your office.  Make space - literally and mentally - for what's new.

Never underestimate the power of a well-executed event.

Record everything.  Take photos, video, write up a post-event report, get everyone's contact information.

Getting reviewed should not be the primary goal for your production.

Always conduct yourself professionally as if your actions will be recorded publicly for all time.  Facebook, Yelp, CitySearch, Twitter, and every online review site have made it so.

Everyone who represents your art in any way is your brand ambassador.  Inspire every single person involved on every level to exude enthusiasm about what you have created.

Spend your time wisely.  If you can't do something, hire out.

Don't be sentimental in business.  Don't argue for something just because it's what you've always done, how you've always done it.

Move forward.