Direct Marketing Program Management for a Performing Arts Organization Case Study

A Grammy-winning chorus and period instrument orchestra asked MSA to completely manage an analytics-driven subscription acquisition Direct Marketing program for them.

The Challenge

The Client is a Grammy-winning chorus and period instrument orchestra based in Boston with over a 200-year history. They approached Management Science Associates, Inc. (MSA) looking for an independent entity capable of creating and managing a database of their customers and customer information shared by other regional arts organizations, as well as manage an analytics-driven subscription acquisition Direct Marketing (DM) program for them.

The Solution

When approached by this client, MSA already had extensive experience managing large consumer databases and had a fully operational DM program management solution in place.

For this client, the first thing MSA did was to integrate multiple data sources into a central database. These datasets included the client’s historical subscriber/ticket buyers and prospect lists provided by other arts organizations. MSA then utilized its proprietary merge-purge algorithm to identify any duplicate individuals or households.

The next step was to append granular demographic data to as many records as possible with the help of a third-party service to assist MSA with its analysis. MSA then conducted data mining and exploration on the integrated dataset to determine the most appropriate analytical methodology that would identify the prospects most likely to subscribe to the client’s upcoming season. MSA ultimately decided upon a final approach for the analysis after comparing model accuracy statistics and ease of interpretability across various techniques. Variables considered in the model encompassed demographic and behavioral factors, geography, and traits of the participating list trade organizations.

MSA produced four direct mail files for the client’s subscription acquisition campaign and provided them to the client’s mail house/printer over the course of 11 weeks. Before delivering each mail file, MSA standardized addresses, ran NCOA, and excluded records as needed, such as recent subscribers and those on a Do Not Contact list. A total of 89K brochures were mailed to 39K households across the four promotions.

The Result

After the new season began, MSA conducted an extensive ROI analysis of the subscription acquisition campaign. Total subscription revenue came in at 4% higher than the previous campaign, and there was higher average revenue per order. ROI per piece mailed came in at $1.01 for total subscription revenue, and $2.74 when taking into account both total subscription as well as single ticket sales revenue.

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