Customer Case Study: National Sawdust

January 10, 2018
We are really proud to present a first-ever interview with our customer—Becki Heller, the Director of Marketing at National Sawdust.

National Sawdust is an unparalleled, artist-led, non-profit venue, founded with an expansive vision: to provide composers and musicians across genres a home in which they can flourish, a setting where they are given unprecedented support and critical resources essential to create, and then share, their work.

As National Sawdust has very a large audience, they wanted find a way to better organise their growing database.

Having heard the value of creating targeted marketing campaigns and our CRM,
National Sawdust decided to integrate Radario to their Eventbrite account.
We wanted to leverage our database and knowledge on customers and speak to them in a more intimate way through email
Becki Heller, Marketing Director
National Sawdust is very different from other music venues by its unique approach to work and the formation of its program. What about your audience, how is it different from others? What do you know about them?
The most performing
arts institutions would
die to have exactly what
we’ve cultivated here
at National Sawdust
Our audience is actually a pretty incredible demographic. I feel like most performing arts institutions would die to have exactly what we’ve cultivated.

We are 52 percent women and 48 percent men.
The age range of our consumers is 27-42. Their household income is $125k-$150k. Since we’re in New York, renting vs. owning is a huge indicator of wealth here. 68 percent of our consumers own vs. 49 percent rent. At the end of the day this paints an interesting portrait of our consumer. Our two biggest demographics portraits are as follows:

Career Builders is made up of young, childless singles. They are a mix of mobile renters and first-time homeowners, living in condos and single-family houses. Career Building singles are young but well compensated. While repaying their education loans they are beginning to save and invest. They are also Internet savvy, listening to Internet radio and searching for financial information and using instant messengers.

Established Elite represents America’s elite couples and singles. With no school-age children at home and the third highest income in the country, these households have enormous disposable incomes and pursue correlating luxuries and activities. The Established Elite is among America’s most wealthy and well-educated couples.
How has your approach to promoting events and working with the audience changed over the course of your time at National Sawdust?

National Sawdust does have a unique challenge in that most shows are single events, but unlikely big concert venues like Madison Square Garden, many performers who come to the venue are unknown. So our goal is to establish marketing streams under umbrella series and festivals and establish core audiences based on type of music we’re presenting versus the artist who is performing.
What channels and marketing strategies do you use to attract your audience?
We’re hoping, with Radario now in place, to be able to leverage our knowledge about consumers to speak to audiences more intimately through the email channel
My personal goal [as a marketing director] is to use a lot of paid and owned strategies. For conversions we primarily focus on Facebook because it gives us the most flexibility in terms of targeting and building projected audiences. SEM is applied to build awareness and audience growth over time, leveraging our content channel. The Log [helps] to convert consumers and establish the venue’s position as an authority in the performing arts space. We use email, frequently, to lean into our owned audience.

We’re hoping in the future, with a good CRM now in place [B.H. speaks here of Radario], to be able to leverage our knowledge about consumers to speak to audiences more intimately through the email channel.
How many people in the National Sawdust team are responsible for promoting events and selling tickets?
My team consist of three people in addition to myself. One copywriter, one designer and one publicist.
Your program offers a diverse array of artists and bands—jazz, alternative, classical music. Does this choice in lineup help you to connect with the audience? Do you use different channels and tools to promote a particular style or format, or are they universal?
We use a number of different channels to advertise our work. Here is just a brief rundown:

* Facebook;
* SEM;
* Email;
* Out of Home;
* Banner Ads;
* Podcasts.
In just two years, National Sawdust has succeeded in creating a unique community. What mechanisms of maintaining audience loyalty do you use? Do you have specific discounts, subscriptions, loyalty programs, or just an attractive atmosphere?
We do. Here is just one more brief run down:

* Memberships;
* Artist Discounts: 33% off for consumers on an Artist’s email list;
* Neighborhood Discount: 50% off the first purchase of tickets to National Sawdust with proof of residency in the neighborhood;
* New Neighborhood: one free ticket for a new resident in Williamsburg;
* Hotel Discounts: 20% off tickets if you are staying at a local hotel.
What tools for analyzing audience segmentation did you use before adopting Radario Marketing Platform and why did you ultimately choose us?
I needed a quick cheap solution and as I was searching for each integrations with Eventbrite, the Radario app came up
The prior marketing group did not have a CRM for managing consumers and segmenting messages. In the past I used Salesforce and National Sawdust has a Salesforce account, but there is only one instance and it is set up to serve the needs of Development. I needed a quick cheap solution and as I was searching for each integrations with Eventbrite, the Radario app came up.
What features of the Radario Marketing Platform have you found out interesting and relevant to your work and what weak spots did you overcome using our services?
It’s super easy to pull consumers based on shows. We’ve looked at most spend and number of ticket orders, but we see a lot of consumers we already know. It is helpful to see though.
What tools are missing in the Radario Marketing Platform, how could we improve our product?
Discount codes are incredibly important to our business and would be incredibly helpful to have associated with each user profile and the tickets they’ve purchased. Also being able to pull consumers based on Discount Codes is important. Being able to tag individuals and the ability to be able to search based on those tags would also be extremely helpful. Tags would have to be flexible because everyone might have their own codifying system.

* At the moment the requested features are under development and will be released shortly [Radario team].
Finally, last but not the least—what does an artist need to do to become a part of National Sawdust and get an opportunity to perform at your stage and/or become your resident?
That’s really a programming question. They curate performances in the venue based on a number of standards that we in marketing are not privy to.
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