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Arts Marketing: Selling the Experience

by Lauren Bielawski

When I entered college, I knew I wanted to study disciplines that would help foster my creative and communicative skills. Especially with a focus on the arts due to how incredibly passionate I am about it. With that in mind, I looked to the Arts majors to see what Miami University could offer. As much as I loved art though, it wasn't art alone that I wanted to pursue. However, I was then introduced to the Arts Management & Entrepreneurship major. Studying in this field means studying effective ways of running arts organizations. It requires being able to navigate constantly changing environments and be successful in ways aside from purely financial profit. It intersects quite well with what I study in my Digital Marketing minor. Especially when it comes to understanding the deep and complex nature of your audience, effective ways to communicate and reach them, trying to add value to their lives, and having to process countless variables and information. The digital landscape is another field that is constantly changing and evolving, which is also a challenge to navigate successfully. Both integrate with each other in interesting ways. I often find myself learning similar concepts simultaneously in my different classes. It's fun comparing the subject matter and applying what I've learned to different projects.

For example, in my Digital Marketing class, we're doing a semester-long group project where we select a company and then analyze what they do. We analyze their content, try and figure out who they're trying to market to, look at their competitors, and various other forms of research that help us understand their strategies to market in the digital space. All of these exercises have helped me realize and better understand the importance of one’s audience. Even more so, the importance of communicating effectively with them. When applying this through an arts marketing lens, being able to do these things successfully is paramount in ensuring the success of an arts organization. In the arts and cultural industry, informing your audience of critical information like the when, where, why, etc. is essential for getting people to attend an arts event. Additionally, knowing who your audience is and demonstrating respect for their wants and needs fosters positive relationships. Informing your audience, showing that you value them, and building those relationships are the foundation between the audience and the arts organization creates a mutually beneficial experience as a whole. Allowing the arts to thrive even further.

Similarly in my Arts Management & Entrepreneurship class, we're also actively creating content on digital platforms for an audience and analyzing strategies to do so. In this regard, I actually get to help market the arts and communicate with our audience via first hand experience. Not only am I the Associate Creative Director for finalizing creative decisions, but I'm also working with my team to create the LinkedIn page for our program. It's been really fun applying what I've learned in a hands-on way. It’s one thing to read about how different social media platforms have differing demographics and usage, but actively looking at our impressions and seeing who is interacting with us has been really interesting. Even more so, seeing what content performs well and reaches our audience varies depending on the platform has been both a learning curve and fascinating experience. Seeing all of these things play out in front of me has really developed my skill set in not just remembering core concepts from class, but actually applying them and learning from my own usage. It’s helped me understand that importance of communication, especially in the arts marketing field.

When paired together overall, I'm building a strong foundation for myself in both the arts and communication.

Lauren Bielawski is a junior Arts Management & Entrepreneurship major at Miami University. She also has minors in Digital Marketing, Communication Design, and Japanese. She loves the Creative Arts and the way we can use these disciplines to communicate with those around us. Creation and analysis are her passions, in addition to design and art.


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