For artists and creatives the tricky marketing question is: are you producing what the customer want and needs; or producing what you prefer to make or produce; or a bit of both – it’s the ultimate marketing strategy conundrum?
Artist and creatives would say that they make unique products that attract purchasers and that they produce what they are creatively inspired to make. Artists understand that in many businesses producing what the customer wants and needs is critical, however what they make and offer is unique, it is the ‘product’ of their creativity and they never really know who will want it or need it.
Most artists and creatives have their own style and that style evolves often as their “business” become more successful, so by becoming more successful – is the customer influencing the artists style? There is also a set of customer needs and wants in terms of prompt delivery, and price when they chose to purchase from an artist.
Are artists and creatives an exception to the marketing strategy norm because they are driven by their passion to create? How does this relate to classic marketing strategy that suggests that the customers needs and wants should determine what you offer the market to satisfy them?
Many artists and creatives believe they can manage both. The classic example is a Mum who develops her own creative product because she can’t find a product that satisfies her or her families need. Her product is then seen by other Mums looking for exactly that same product. A gap in the marketplace is filled, a small niche market is created – a small business is born. I have heard these words so many times “I just sort of fell into it and it grew from there!”.
So, is it possible to give customers what they need using your skills, knowledge and satisfy their needs with products that you love and believe in? Of course it is.
The most vital step in marketing strategy development for any artistic or creative business is to understand the needs and specific motivations that underlie the customer behaviours you wish to influence. This will only be possible when the artist or creative has sold their ‘products’ to a range of customers. Understanding these customers better will enable the development of targeted promotional goals and greater sales.
Even artists and creatives are constantly getting feedback from customers and discovering what “product” customers are more willing to buy. Providing a range of ‘products’; and the quality and value customers want is a critical first step in marketing. Otherwise, you will be facing an uphill battle if you only provide something that you want to produce; and then always trying to convince someone to buy it.
Ultimately, it is the job of marketing strategy to define how marketing will support the achievement of artists and creatives business goals.
If you are an artist or creative business, I would love to know your thoughts?
About the author: Teresa Bassham is the boss lady of Zenworkz Authentic Marketing and educates businesses to think, create, engage and optimise their marketing effort. She coaches customers in Strategies for traditional and online Marketing; and implementation. If you would like free how-to-do-it-yourself marketing resources or to subscribe to free e-news about all things marketing, please visit the website:
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