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Darlex

'Evidence-based' marketing at the ROH - that would explain a lot!

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Maybe this can be moved to the 'open up' thread. Sorry, not sure how to move it there.

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No, I think it should remain here so that it doesn't get submerged.  I've expanded on your headline, BTW ;) 

 

Unbelievable!  The exorbitant price rises are in fact deliberately designed to drive away its regular (low-paying) audience, apparently:

 

"“We need to accept the difficult reality that making more tickets available to new audiences sometimes means that the frequency of attendance of regular customers might need to reduce.

“This is an incredibly delicate balance, where we need to increase price just enough to reduce frequency of attendance without reducing income or being exploitative."

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Selected quote from the above magazine article

 

'An extensive programme of analysis, begun by Baker Richards and now taken on by these new team members, identified that the ROH was relying on a small core of extremely frequent customers (though not always very high value in terms of ticket yield or donations) to sell the majority of tickets....

 

...this presents challenging decisions as they seek to spread risk by growing the core audience and generating new audiences: “We need to accept the difficult reality that making more tickets available to new audiences sometimes means that the frequency of attendance of regular customers might need to reduce.

“This is an incredibly delicate balance, where we need to increase price just enough to reduce frequency of attendance without reducing income or being exploitative. We can only embark on such a strategy with a really sophisticated understanding of the behaviour of our customers.” '

 

Presumably these 'extremely frequent customers' means many of the people on this forum!! it's nice to know you're wanted (or not!) However, it's good to know they have a 'sophisticated understanding' of price rises and customer behaviour (presumably the winter season increase in matinee prices has something to do with this new sophisticated policy and is meant to deter 'frequent attenders' like me who have to pay out a lot for public transport just to get there). At the moment words fail me; perhaps fortunately!

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Funny, at 40% plus, I'd say that some of those price increases definitely come under the "exploitative" heading ...

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Lovely to feel so wanted! I know it would be counterproductive, but just think what the effect would be if we unwanted audiences who have, over many years spent a great deal of our hard earned cash on tickets, travel, hotels etc, decided not to attend performances for a while. They would probably get their new audiences for the classics, but I suspect some performances would have a pretty low take up without us boring and unwanted members of this forum!

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I'm sure I could come up with a few programmes I could happily miss this upcoming season ...

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That's nice, isn't it?  Many of us on this forum have been supporting the RB/ROH for decades.  Even if we don't buy the posh seats, between us and other non-forum  regulars we have spent many thousands of pounds of our hard-earned money (often at the expense of other things) attending ballet and opera.  And for our loyalty and commitment they now want to price us out?  That's how they think they are going to find new audiences?  How about, for a start, their press people suggesting to newspapers that they stop perpetuating the myth that the ROH is elitist and unaffordable?  And that you can't get into any  Premier League football matches or London cinemas for the price at which you can see a full ballet or opera there?  Most people don't know that.  They really think that price hikes of up to 40% will bring in younger audiences?  We "frequent customers" are the ones who have always absorbed price rises:  because we love the ballet ( and opera) we somehow always manage to find a way to keep right on buying tickets, over years and decades, often at quite a financial sacrifice.  But hey, who cares? ....

 

Clearly our long-standing love of the artforms is meaningless to them.  Price out the old, fingers crossed to bring in the new.  Charming.

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Well, I guess it's time to quit my stupidly expensive membership and find a new hobby. What they might not have considered is that most non-regulars are not prepared to put up with standing or neck injuries through watching at extreme angles. 

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It says too that they have reduced prices for some seats  - anyone know of any examples? It all sounds like a total disaster!

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The arrogance displayed in this article is quite astounding and really rather offensive.

 

I’m afraid this is what happens when Arts organisations are forced into a business model that looks at the £ signs and nothing else.

 

I fear it is happening in other companies too.

 

Thanks Darlex for linking to this starkly depressing article.

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Posted (edited)

Anyone know what prices have been reduced, as claimed?

And how do  price increases  enlarge, or diversify, the  core audience? 

Why not just  be honest, and  say we have had to increase prices because of reduced grant funding?

Lucy Sinclair's attitude seems to be   "we love to see you here, but not too often". Charming!

Edited by Richard LH
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How very very sad and depressing.

I'm afraid this confirms exactly what some people has been saying on the forum about Open Up for a while.

I have felt for a while that my Friends membership is a bit pointless as the benefits seem now so small, the price so very steep...and a sort of 'unloved feeling' has been developing .  No doubt basic level Friends are the sort of people who are to be first up against the wall in the purges.

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Well let us all hope that the hundreds of passers-by enticed into the Opera House by the prospect of coffee and tomatoes on toast really are inspired to book for a ballet or opera;  but let them beware of falling sufficiently in love with the art forms to become part of the hard core of regulars.  They may then find that the open-arms welcome is short-lived.

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8 hours ago, alison said:

Unbelievable!  The exorbitant price rises are in fact deliberately designed to drive away its regular (low-paying) audience, apparently:

 

"“We need to accept the difficult reality that making more tickets available to new audiences sometimes means that the frequency of attendance of regular customers might need to reduce.

“This is an incredibly delicate balance, where we need to increase price just enough to reduce frequency of attendance without reducing income or being exploitative."

 

Well, its working on me, I'm definitely not going to be attending as much as I used to. Frankly, I get the impression (over the last few years) that mad keen regulars are seen as a bit of a nuisance

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What a depressing thread to start the day reading. Sad thing is it really doesn’t surprise me because it is endemic in art organisations. We have to cling to the hope that there are still those at the level of decision-making who are prepared to raise their head above the parapet, and embrace what  Open Up should really be about .

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50 minutes ago, Richard LH said:

 

And how do  price increases  enlarge, or diversify, the  core audience? 

Lucy Sinclair's attitude seems to be   "we love to see you here, but not too often". Charming!

 

by putting off regulars who know the prices from year to year, it makes 'affordable' tickets available for newbies, who may view the increased ticket price as a bargain still

And yes, don't come too often (because you're a nuisance) seems to be the mantra. Are they concerned regulars will become critical of the 'product' available?

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8 minutes ago, zxDaveM said:

 

Well, its working on me, I'm definitely not going to be attending as much as I used to. Frankly, I get the impression (over the last few years) that mad keen regulars are seen as a bit of a nuisance

That’s because it’s no longer about love of the art;  it’s all about the money.   

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2 minutes ago, Sim said:

That’s because it’s no longer about love of the art;  it’s all about the money.   

 

sadly, this may be true. I know they need the money to put on the art, but if they price out the less wealthy fans, then it will become elitist. Which is surely what they are trying to avoid. At least, that's what the lip service is at the moment...

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Coated said:

Well, I guess it's time to quit my stupidly expensive membership and find a new hobby. What they might not have considered is that most non-regulars are not prepared to put up with standing or neck injuries through watching at extreme angles. 

 

I ask you .... WHAT PLANET DO THESE PEOPLE LIVE ON?   

 

Even if they actually believe such insulting fodder in their hearts you REALLY have to question the mentalities that (a) actually want to write such in recorded print and (b) would allow such to pass muster when it is edited.  

 

Who are these 'Baker Richards' .... and what did their servants die of last year?  

 

Perhaps, Coated, they just think that having abused ourselves for years we'll die off all that more quickly and they can then mutter (none to quietly it seems) 'good riddance'.  

 

I now send them ALL of my very BEST wishes .... not that it seems it will make one iota of difference to them.  

 

HONESTLY!!!!   

 

YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP .... Well, I couldn't anyway ..... and I now realise that's MY failing.   

 

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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I suspect the core audience they want to 'reduce' (Orwellian use of the word) is one used to thinking the arts are for all of us, and that we all own the opera house and our national arts companies.

 

We don't give them enough money, perhaps because we think we pay for it already and it belongs to us all as a nation.

 

ROH and others perhaps want- are driven to need- audiences who expect to pay extra for everything because they have not grown up with this philosophy.

 

This old core audience with its outmoded views, as it says on page 387 of the report: ' unfortunately are benefiting from increased life expectancy due to advances in life science and social care, but this is expected to reduce in future.'

(I made that bit up , or did I )

 

 

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Mind you, you have to almost admire their chutzpah for putting it into print...

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The arrogance is breath-taking.  It certainly is having the desired effect on me though. My ballet ticket buying model for the last few years has been to be a basic friend which lets me book early and get the front row amphi tickets. This is one of my favourite places to sit plus they used to be a few pounds cheaper thus justifying the expense of the Friends membership. Now those prices have increased I have decided not to renew my Friends membership which expires in December. I’ll still go to the ROH for the big ballets but take my chances on public booking days. Instead I’ll go more to the Coliseum and Sadler’s Wells and look out for more bargain tickets.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, zxDaveM said:

Mind you, you have to almost admire their chutzpah for putting it into print...

 

With - I hope, Dave - your stress being firmly rooted on 'ALMOST' ..... otherwise I merely stand agape at their smug and - dare I say it - fatuous - hubris.

 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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I wonder what the ROH will make of this article this morning. Can someone with more social media skills than me maybe tweet it or something...

 

I'm going to contact the ROH Friends people and ask them to comment if I am really the 'wrong type of person' to go to ballet and opera.

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3 minutes ago, zxDaveM said:

Mind you, you have to almost admire their chutzpah for putting it into print...

 

I think it's more stupidity than chutzpah. Or perhaps it never occurred to them that it would be seen by ROH regulars. More fool them.

 

As one of the posts above has said, presumably new people paying higher prices will be tricked into thinking the prices are 'cheap'. 

 

And the ROH will end up with an ever richer audience, and very few people who actually know anything about the art forms on offer. Does the RB really strive for such high standards in order to give a good night out to someone who has never been before and (crucially) will probably never come again (because the prices are in fact very high)?? Newcomers do not and cannot really understand what they are seeing - it takes years to achieve this, and without an informed audience the ROH might as well shut up shop. 

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10 minutes ago, Timmie said:

I wonder what the ROH will make of this article this morning. Can someone with more social media skills than me maybe tweet it or something...

 

I'm going to contact the ROH Friends people and ask them to comment if I am really the 'wrong type of person' to go to ballet and opera.

I will be interested to hear the response, Timmie.  I am sure that if all regulars cancelled their Friends’ membership the ROH would soon find out that our bucks are worth something after all.  

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