TRG Data Center: Los Angeles Community Network Report

I have long been a fan of "Big Lists" from around the country and specifically in Los Angeles. Whether operated by Enertex (uder a different model) or by TRG, and whether it was through LA STAGE Alliance or directly with the firm operating the list, the power of combining patron purchase data has long been useful to all manner of performing arts orgs large and small.

TRG's recent finding (presented on June 27 in Los Angeles for our community) further proved the power of combined data. A few highlights of the findings are below as well as some comments:

There is a 50% drop-off in purchase likelihood outside of a one-mile radius of the event location/venue in question. This makes sense and, on the upside, Angelenos are tolerant of larger distances with a much more gradual decline in likelihood in the 2+ mile range. For example, purchase likelihood is around 20% at the 13 mile range. Recommendation: For those managing their own Facebook campaigns and targeting a more general audience, I'd recommend plugging in a far more targeted radius around your venue than the "default" 25 miles around a city... try a five-mile range or even less depending on the size of your Facebook audience.

50 years old (or so) remains the median age for a performing arts patron, but there is a good amount of skew towards a younger audience: 12.7% are Millennials, 28.6% are Gen X, 41.5% are Boomers, 14.5% are Traditionalists and 2.7 % are the Greatest Generation. Recommendation: Not everyone is on Facebook but everyone receives direct mail and (practically everyone) uses the internet. Take a look at your own audience age metrics through Google Analytics or your own database and see how your metrics match up with these benchmarks. In a perfect world you could market all things to all people, but in a limited-budget non-profit environment, consider reaching your desired audience age segments through different advertising channels--direct mail, phone, programmatic advertising, email, etc.

Millennials and Gen Xers move addresses far more frequently than my internally held rule of thumb of 5% per year. They move at more like 15-25% per year. If you mail more than 2,000 pieces of direct mail at any given time (basically, if you use a mail house), strongly consider using TRG's solution if only to keep your mailing data clean.

Compared to the national average across other consortiums, Los Angeles enjoys a greater percentage of Latinx and Asian audiences with a relative loss (again, against the national average) to African American and White audiences. While I applaud this, I suspect some of this skew may be because Los Angeles is home to more nonprofit arts organizations presenting work relevant to those audiences. Recommendation: Keep this statistic in your back pocket. The next time someone in a meeting says that Latinx or Asian audiences do not attend theater, you can politely correct them. I'll also add that artistic directors and presenting venue programmers can rely on this metric a bit more when challenging their boards and other stakeholders to program relevant work.

I did not see any big surprises in the distribution of income levels across arts buyers. A nice bump happens around the $65,000 household income mark and continues up to $100,000 and beyond. This serves as a reminder to me that there are many other factors that take precedent over income when a patron makes a purchase decision. Education level, distance to the event, language, etc. Recommendation: Don't be mean. Very few arts events can take advantage of dynamic pricing. If you're running a "typical" event, be sure to have price points that are widely available and would be perceived as fair to someone from a household making $50,000 (let's try to get that spike to come down a bit, shall we).

If I didn't make it clear, I like this TRG service a lot and encourage arts organizations of nearly any size to join. And there is a lot in this community you can do (mostly just in the ease of list trades) that can result in far more actionable results than my brief summary findings above. I'm sure TRG would be happy to chat with you directly, but email me if you want more info on it before you call them.

*All data points published above are sourced to the 2017 TRG Data Center Demo Deck distributed by TRG on June 27, 2017 in Los Angeles. I imagine TRG would be happy to share this deck with you directly but I didn't want to publish it just in case it violated some rule!