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Title: Product versus customer orientation in theatre marketing in Malta : an analysis of the current situation and recommendations for future action
Authors: Aquilina, Tania
Keywords: Performing arts -- Marketing
Relationship marketing
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: In marketing literature it is often stressed that organisations of all types must have an awareness and understanding of customer requirements in order to provide the product or service that their intended customer would wish to purchase. This approach has become a well established philosophy in this sphere of business and is referred to as 'the marketing concept'. While this concept has gained acceptance in the business world, it is suggested that in the arts this model is less easily applied, mainly because art is a product that is primarily created from the inspiration and talent of an artist, whose focus tends to be more on the product itself. Essentially, a product of art requires some degree of innovation, imagination, self-expression and emotion that may evoke a more profound response in people than other items that are held to be of utilitarian value. If an artist had to give in to market demands and produce items that are mainly based on what people believe they want, there is a potentially serious risk that the basic essence of creativity be stunted and the product would ultimately suffer. On the other hand, it is held within marketing circles that the customer is supreme and success is elusive unless one applies this dictum. The arts marketer is therefore at a quandary regarding whether to continue to focus on the product at the expense of pandering to customers' expectations or try to take a more customer-focused approach without compromising the product. This study focuses on the challenges that marketing these 'difficult products' may present in one of the branches of the arts, the theatre sector. It identifies the marketing approaches that these groups undertake in view of the dilemma outlined above, including the marketing strategies and techniques that are used and highlights elements which may be lacking within the context of the market in which they are operating. The different companies' marketing focus orientation is then placed along a product-customer continuum in order to determine the where the bias lies between product and customer focus in arts marketing within the theatre sector. Based on the findings, a number of proposals and recommendations are made which may help circumvent this dilemma.
Description: EXECUTIVE M.B.A.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEma - 2012

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