Linden New Art is a small contemporary art gallery in Melbourne. Their ambition is to support brave new art by mid-career artists through thought-provoking exhibitions.
For a number of years Linden has used Culture Segments as a lens through which to think about and plan for their audience, independently.
To do this they used the free and readily available Culture Segment material on our website; studies such as Audience Atlas Victoria 2014 and the Australian National Arts Participation survey 2017.
This was an excellent starting point for a small organisation and gave them a framework and shared language with which to work.
This independent approach sustained Linden for a number of years. In 2019 however, with the publication of another Audience Atlas Victoria, Linden sought to reinvigorate their understanding of Culture Segments, and develop a more ambitious framework and strategy for what they were trying to achieve for their audiences.
Linden applied for, and were awarded, an Innovation in Marketing Fund grant from Creative Victoria. With this, they commissioned a Culture Segments TagTool mini-license and a series of workshops to put their new Culture Segment knowledge and insight into practice.
Championed by the Director, all staff at Linden attended all three workshops, thoroughly embracing the process.
The team discovered that a large majority of the staff were Essence (not uncommon in contemporary arts organisations!). Although Essence are a core audience for Linden, there were other segments with real potential for development.
Understanding and valuing the needs of their non-Essence audience – people with different arts values from themselves – took the team out of their comfort zone, but they embraced this challenge wholeheartedly.
All staff, not just those regularly communicating with audiences, worked to craft copy for key target segments such as Expression and Stimulation.
The whole Linden team has been quick to apply their new skills and is becoming increasingly adept at designing promotional campaigns to appeal to specific target segments.
For their annual Postcard Show 2020-21, Linden moved to an Expression-targeted campaign.
The key messages were optimised to appeal to community-minded Expression, encouraging visitors to support local artists and connect with friends after the long lockdown.
The Show’s creatives emphasised social interaction and bright colours, guaranteed to catch Expression’s eye.
The 2020-21 show smashed previous records, with high visitation, both onsite and online, and an increase of 116% in sales on the previous year.
Photo credit: Mathieu Vendeville
Looking beyond comms and marketing, Linden is keen to embed Culture Segments in innovative ways across the organisation.
Visitor-facing staff took the initiative of developing a comprehensive guide to the four key segments and their Front of House needs, including ideas for starting conversations, onboarding needs and providing recommendations for restaurants / bars and cafés in the area.
This ‘whole organisation’ approach to embracing and embedding Culture Segments has been highly successful, enabling Linden to work smarter, not harder in achieving their audience development goals.
“Working with MHM has provided the Linden team with valuable insights about ourselves and our visitors. We can’t wait to implement this approach across our organisation, test out new programs and approaches and see our audiences grow.” – Melinda Martin, Director, Linden New Art
Melinda Martin, Director, Linden New Art