Here is a restaurant that is embracing the ageing society and is living inclusion. 37% of its orders were mistaken, but 99% of its customers were happy. The Restaurant of Mistaken Orders is a pop-up project in Japan where all servers are people living with dementia. It wants to spread awareness and make society more open minded and relaxed about dementia. Highly relevant in light of 35 million dementia patients worldwide, which – according to the WHO – will increase to 115 million by 2050.
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“Most leaders say they’re customer-centric, but if everything they measure is company-centric, how could that be true?” asks Gene Cornfield in the Harvard Business Review.
Revenue, growth, and similar Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) measure how customers are performing for the organisation, but not necessarily how the organisation is performing for its customers. He suggests CPIs – Customer Performance indicators, and believes that the more an organisation’s attention is focused on outcomes important to customers (CPIs), the better it will perform on outcomes important to the organisation (KPIs).
Customers (we might call them visitors or audience in the arts) bring a purpose, problem, need, intent, or question — a desired outcome — to every interaction along with expectations for how quickly or easily that outcome will be realised. The most effective approach for identifying them is contextual inquiry, an ethnographic research method speaking with or observing customers in the actual environments in which they think about or try to achieve specific outcomes. Examples of CPIs from the business world are mentioned in the article.
What would the CPIs be for your audience?
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With lockdowns part of our life now, I thought it might be helpful to list the research that’s available about audiences and Covid. Thank you to all the organisations that are so generously making their data available for free.
Most relevant (not just in a New Zealand context) I find:
Culture Segments and Covid Audience Mindsets: Useful for organisations that are working with Culture Segments and Audience Atlas, MHM have looked into how the segments engaged during lockdowns and their attitudes to re-engaging after openings. Attitudes to re-engaging seem to be roughly in line with the segments’ general attitude to taking risk with culture. If you are new to Culture Segments, there is a lot of information freely available online that you can use, see more here.
Dexibit offers Recovery Index, a free dashboard that allows you to compare your visitation to the equivalent time in previous years and rate of recovery, and to put it into context globally and locally. In a live video in February 2021 Dexibit shared Secondary reopening trends for visitor attractions who are reopening after lockdown including visitation recovery, visitor behaviour like attrition and spend.
COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor Australia: This is a study by Patternmakers in partnership with international research partner WolfBrown. It tracks how audiences feel about returning to events in the context of the pandemic and was conducted several times with the latest findings from July 2021, with three more phases planned for 2021. It includes data about audience attitudes and behaviours, and how they are changing over time with indicators like attendance, ticket buying and spending, and measures things like comfort at different types of venues and confidence in different safety measures. It includes an interesting fact sheet on disability and factsheet on digital engagement.
New Zealanders and the Arts is the latest longitudinal study about New Zealanders’ attitudes to, attendance at and participation in the arts and, given it was conducted in 2020, touches on the impact of Covid-19.
Interesting data from other parts of the world – UK:
Culture Restart is a tracker of cultural audiences and visitors during Covid-19 by the Insights Alliance (a collaboration by Indigo Ltd, Baker Richards and One Further). In their Culture Restart webinar (September 2021), they look back on 18 months of data gathered from cultural audiences, lessons learnt and how to use this insight to build resilience and innovative ways to engage with audiences.
The Family Arts Campaign and Indigo have worked together to look specifically at family audiences. There are a few key areas in which families differ significantly, these are price sensitivity, social distancing, digital content, outdoors and Christmas.
Indigo also released a special report on disabled audiences. The headline finding is that “77% of disabled audiences consider themselves to be ‘vulnerable to Coronavirus’ whilst only 28% of non-disabled audiences do”.
Cultural Participation Monitor is the Audience Agency’s nationwide longitudinal and ongoing panel survey of changing views about participating in creative and cultural activities through the pandemic and beyond.
The Patrons’ perspective is research undertaken with 3,000 members of the TheaterMania community in the UK and US to better understand the impact of the pandemic on the performing arts industry.
LaPlaca Cohen shares Culture + Community in a Time of Crisis: A Special Edition of Culture Track, a national research and strategy initiative for US cultural organisations with Key Findings documents, raw data tables and an interactive tool.
And Colleen Dilenschneider shares data from Impact’s research with US visitor attractions in a Covid-19 section on her Know Your Own Bone blog.
Lastly, you might want to conduct your own research. But what if there is no budget to outsource research? Well, with some careful planning it can also be done in-house. MHM helpfully shared their 5 tips to get the most from in-house evaluation:
Starting thinking about evaluation early
Start by asking — what are you trying to achieve?
Take an audience-focused approach
Mix your methods to cover a range of outcomes
Push for objectivity – challenge your assumptions
Have you come across other useful data? I’d love to expand the list and share what you found useful. Please get in touch.
The experience of no (physical) audience during lockdown made even more obvious how central audiences are for our cultural organisations. Now is the time to really develop our audience centricity.
I have reflected on what I learned from my different experiences as a consultant, working at Tate and, before that, working in branded consumer goods, as well as from engaging with human-centred design more recently.
“Many companies pay lip service to being customer-centric, but don’t actually put it into practice. When used primarily as a buzzword, it’s no surprise the results are only buzzword-deep” says the Marketoonist and shares some data: The CMO Council found that “only 14 percent of marketers would say that customer-centricity is a hallmark of their companies, and only 11 percent believe their customers would agree with that characterization.”
I wonder whether one of the reasons might be that it is left to the marketing people and not approached in a multi-functional way?
If you are looking for a way to place audiences at the centre of your organisation, have a look at Tear Up the Audience Rulebook – a transformational workshop methodology developed and facilitated by InsightUnlocked in collaboration with Sally Manuireva Consulting. Find out more or get in touch.