Consumers are Online

Last week provided many insides into consumer behavior in North America but also worldwide. It is a wake up call for all retailers, marketers but especially for classical music. The digital world with all its facets has become the standard for consumers to research about products and to buy.
Ryan M Craver, a retail and digital executive currently with Lamour, presented the latest research data on consumer behavior at Plug and Play. The first big surprise was the so called “eye share” in advertising. Eye share is a measure to understand what advertisements an average consumer sees. Only five years ago that was still dominated by television with 41% of a consumer’s eye share. Last year that changed dramatically to 47% digital on all devices. Not only that, the eye share of print halved in those four years to only 4%.

The other surprise was that the differences between age groups had become negligible. All age groups are online, research online and buy online.

I had also an interesting conversation last week with the marketing executive of a leading luxury brand. I wanted to understand what influences their branding partnerships. The answer was simple and straightforward – they only start considering branding partnerships when the institution or the individual has a significant social media following. By significant we are speaking of 100,000 fans on Facebook upwards.

Last but not least we did two surveys ourselves and published some of the results. We were focused on classical music. Our survey confirmed the trends to digital marketing preferred by consumers. Classical music listeners prefer e-mail marketing, their own research on the web, and social media to all printed materials or other forms of advertising. Only radio still plays an important role.

A artistic director of an orchestra wrote to me in answer to our newsletter that only 4% of their audience rely on digital media and that they love print. There are many answers to that. The most probable would be that the digital footprint of that orchestra is simply not up to today’s standard.

With all that data it is clear that the classical music world has to adjust. It is great to see institutions and artists leading by example. It was fun to follow the Twitter stream from the IAMA conference in Helsinki last week. Let us use the digital benefits to spread the passion for classical music.

Bernhard is the founder of HELLO STAGE. He is probably the first opera singer pitching an Internet start-up in Silicon Valley. Before founding HELLO STAGE in Fall 2013, Bernhard was the CEO and Artistic Director of the Wiener Konzerthaus. He held several C-Level positions in European technology companies with EUR 100+ million turnover. See www.bernhardkerres.com.

Bernhard is currently working for HELLO STAGE in the Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley, a leading accelerator for start-ups. He writes about his experience in the innovation hot bed on this blog.
Author: Bernhard Kerres
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