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Targeted Marketing at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra

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Matthew Hodge

Matthew HodgeMarketing Manager for CRM and Database, Sydney Symphony Orchestra

TitleTargeted marketing at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Published8/31/2016

Read/View Time4 min


Sydney Symphony was the first user of Tessitura in Australia. It's the backbone of running development and all our ticketing and box office and online work, and especially in the marketing section. Our education department is becoming even more engaged with it.

For marketing we're finding that the data that you get is so important for driving decisions. We always want to know, how's the return on investment going? If we're spending this much, what are we getting back? Are we segmenting and targeting as many people as we can? And Tessitura just does that kind of stuff standing on its head.

Tessitura helps us build relationships with our customers by helping us just know who they are and what they've done. It's the idea of having all the information about a customer in the one place. Because a person who buys a ticket is just not a ticket buyer, they could be a subscriber, they could be a donor, they could be a large donor, they could be all sorts of things, and the more you know about them and can store in your database the more personalized you're able to be. So that could be everything from the experience they have talking on the phone to our box office staff. It could be the messages we put in emails that'll be sent to them. It could be the type of communication we give them as donors. Just having them in the one place, is immensely helpful.

"If you can think of it, you can do it in Tessitura."

Tessitura helps us communicate internally with each other, because we can use it to really answer questions about what's going on with our customers. It can help us know more about what our customers are like; it can help engage into conversations, particularly between say, departments like marketing and development. It's a shared platform for customer information. Because it's the single tool that we're all using, we have to work together in many ways to make it work.

Data & Reporting

Tessitura allows us to get instant feedback on what's going on on a day-to-day level, and on a broader level, what's going on institutionally, and we can go in all three levels at once. So for instance, you can have: every month a report of the customer service issues goes around that tells you all the customer feedback that's come in about performances; it becomes a way for the office to find out: This is what people think of our shows, what issues we've had.

On a daily basis, we have the sales data coming out because the sales team are looking every day. The first thing in the morning, they're looking at the latest sales in Tessitura to work out what marketing tactics they might need to put into play, that very day.

Then there are times like, we did a big data project last year, where we spent several months looking at the trend of subscriptions. What are our overall pool of subscribers? Are they growing? Is it shrinking? What's the change? What are renewal rates like for people who've been with us 10 years or more, nine years, eight years, seven years? All this detail to work out what's going on with our subscribers and how that's working, to then work out the patterns. Are they more comfortable with us, less comfortable with us?What's going on, and what do we need to do to adapt as a company to perhaps a changing profile on how people interact with us? 

Sydney Symphony Orchestra in rehearsal at the Sydney Opera House / Photo by Ken Butti

“The sky is the limit”

My favorite feature of Tessitura at the moment is just the ability to customize it. As long as you know a little bit about behind the scenes with the data, you can add in whatever data fields you want. So if you can think of something you could record about a customer, it could be anything from their favorite color to their favorite composer, you can store that in Tessitura. The sky is the limit in terms of how much personal information you can get, to be able to then communicate with people in that way. So it's the flexibility to customize and grow, to store whatever you want about a customer and to build up as rich a picture of them as you would like and then interact with them on that basis. If you can think of it and you've got the imagination to do it, you can do it in Tessitura. 

Subscriber Research

I did a survey recently. I wanted to know a little bit about subscribers who were moving from bigger packs to smaller packs. So the fact that we could send out a survey to them, which we just did in SurveyMonkey, but we could append their customer number to that. So as well as being able to get the immediate feedback from the survey I know I'll also be able to go and run numbers and see perhaps is there a pattern between their answers and what they purchased in Tessitura. If you can think of it, you can do it.

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