June 26, 2023

Mission, entertainment, education. What’s the right mix?

Does your business both entertain and make a difference? Do you struggle balancing your messaging strategy between opposing dynamics?

Mission-driven brands do a great job of defining what they do, and “why” they do it. But, focusing solely on why you operate may create a gap between converting people who are interested in purchasing tickets or memberships. Your mission may be animal conservation or introducing art to the underserved, but if we don’t do a good job enticing consumers to engage, they may never even know about your mission. And, if we go to market with pure mission-based messaging, we may not engage the consumer enough to support it. This is where the expertise of a communications partner who understands the landscape of your business will truly pay off.

Leading with entertainment or education is often a winning strategy to engage consumers in a way that helps you support your mission. A simple example of this is a zoo. While conservation is at the top of the mission message, it’s the promise of entertainment and engagement that drives ticket sales, and therefore revenue, to support the mission of conservation. Imagine what this scenario looks like in your business. Are you leading with the right messaging to drive awareness, attendance and sales?

Bridging the Gap: Creating Loyalists and Driving Revenue

While loyal followers and superfans will always be there to support the mission, the goal is to constantly bring in new guests and create more loyalists. The road to creating a member, subscriber or donor is a journey, not a single transaction, and it takes an understanding of their perceptions to help bridge the gap. There are a few key points to consider as you pursue new customers regardless of the business you are in.

  1. Be aware of the perception your business category has among those you are trying to reach. 
  2. Understand if there is a communication gap between what you offer and what your audience perceives.
  3. Adapt your messaging in a way that helps bridge the gap between perception and reality. 
  4. Work to break down the roadblocks for the public to understand the experience you offer.
  5. Help usher in first-time visitors in a way that feels welcoming and relatable.

Helping organizations honor their purpose while at the same time allowing the public to participate in their mission in a way that provides engagement is the key to driving revenue to support the mission.

Where Messaging and Mission Meet

Find a partner who is experienced in distilling a mission into a relatable communication. In a perfect world, a well-crafted creative delivery intersects with the consumer in a way they can understand, allowing them to digest the message and participate in the mission.

We have a saying at Schaefer, “We understand the business of our client’s business,” and what that means is pretty simple. We know how to navigate the needs of key stakeholders, employees and consumers to achieve a three-way win. We know where to look for insights, the right questions to ask and what to promote to articulate your mission in a way that consumers can relate to and comprehend.

Demystifying the specific areas of art and entertainment in a way that helps them become more relatable to more people is a successful way to engage and mobilize more advocates for your organization. Whether you manage an animal attraction with a conservation mission or a symphony, museum, ballet or opera with the goal to capture the hearts and minds of more people, there is a fine balance to strike. Understanding the landscape and how to engage the target in a way that invites them in is the difference between simply surviving and creating a thriving entity. So, continue to evolve the way you articulate your mission to meet the needs and changing expectations of the consumer to avoid stagnation in your mission.

Guiding consumers on their journey to experience new art and entertainment can be complex and finding the right way to encourage actions is an art in itself. This art form includes mastery of the message and medium, which ultimately includes the path to engagement and purchase. Whether you operate a ticketed attraction, a not-for-profit entity or subscription-based membership, there are a handful of strategies you should consider.

  1. Ask yourself if you are playing it safe. Are you staying too close to your mission language?
  2. Consider engaging a marketing partner who understands your business.
  3. Conduct research among your consumers. Who are they today? Who do you want to include tomorrow? Gauge their tolerance for messaging.
  4. If you asked 10 people to articulate your mission, what do you think you will hear?
  5. Don’t be clouded by trendy tactics; ensure the strategy to engage prevails.

Our team of experts are here to help.

For almost 15 years, Schaefer has had a dedicated team focused on purchasing intent in the entertainment space. We call ourselves the Attractions, Tourism & The Arts team. We are experts in understanding how to get in front of your target market and convince them to invest in your experience.

If you share your business goals with our team, we will educate ourselves on your market and develop a strong, data-driven plan to drive sales. At the end of the day, if you’re successful, we’re successful.