‘Rethinking the missionary position’ – the quest for sustainable audience development strategies

Hayes, Debi and Slater, Alix (2010) ‘Rethinking the missionary position’ – the quest for sustainable audience development strategies. Managing Leisure, 7 (1) . pp. 1-17. ISSN ISSN 1360-6719 [Article] (doi:10.1080/13606710110079882)


Audience development is an emerging priority for many arts organizations. This paper explores the nature and purpose of audience development and considers the role of arts organizations in nuturing both new and existing audiences. Two styles of audience development are described, 'mainstream’ focusing on existing arts attenders and ‘missionary’ focusing on traditional nonattenders.
The authors have drawn on literature from relevant areas as a springboard for their ideas, given the lack of theory and empirical data in this discipline. ‘Missionary’ audience development projects appear to dominate in terms of resources and priorities. Whilst the focus on these audience
constituencies is of value these groups are notoriously difficult and expensive to attract. This paper proposes that development initiatives should also focus on
strengthening the franchise with existing arts audiences who may deliver higher levels of loyalty and have the dual benefits of being lower risk and less resource intensive. A map of audience typologies described by other academics is presented based on behavioural and attitudinal loyalty together with a map of audience development potential that identifies additional sub-groups. Using Rogers’ integrated approach to audience development,functional and strategic responses for each group are then proposed. This discussion focuses on the arts, but is equally applicable to other areas of cultural tourism and leisure.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Audience development, behavioural and attitudinal loyalty, arts marketing
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Economics
A. > Business School > Marketing, Branding and Tourism
Item ID: 10108
Depositing User: Alix Slater
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2013 11:06
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2018 13:19
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108

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