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Don't Fear the Reaper

July 7, 2009  

In a post at the Marketing Analytics blog, Lynne Harrold describes the quandary faced by an important Bostonian cultural institution. As its established member base dies off, it needs to attract younger members. But there's a problem: the young don't care for the repertoire favored by their elders. In general terms, says Harrold, the nonprofit is dealing with a common problem: "How do you acquire new customers while retaining loyal customers?"

Here's some of her advice:

  • Focus on loyal customers for the duration of the recession. "Once the economic climate improves and budgets ease," she advises, "begin courting high potential prospects."
  • Develop a new sub-brand. Harrold cites the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, which performs in larger venues like Jordan Hall and less-formal spaces like Club Café. "They may play Elliot Carter at both types of venue but the club concerts are in a more intimate and less intimidating space," she says. "I imagine that they attract a different crowd as a result—probably younger and less well-versed in classical music."
  • Try to make everyone happy. The Boston Symphony Orchestra met some resistance when it added contemporary compositions to its traditional repertoire, but has persisted in offering something for everyone.

The Po!nt: If your primary audience is elderly, you must plan for the day when they are no longer here.

Source: Marketing Analytics. Click here for the full post.

Looking for help in attracting younger clientele? Check out Why Gen Y Is Passing You By from MarketingProfs staff writer Kim Smith. This article is free for MarketingProfs Pro Members (upgrade today to get access to all of our Pro-only resources to make your job easier).

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