- Make up an important and significant part of urban arts audiences
- This group are highly active, diverse, social and ambitious singles and couples and younger people engaging with the arts on a regular basis
- Often students, recent graduates and in the early to mid-stages of their careers
- Tend to live close to city centres, so have easy access to and attend a wide variety of arts, museums, galleries and heritage
- Interests cover mainstream, contemporary and culturally diverse offers and attending is at the heart of their social lives
- They are mostly in search of new things to do and have disposable income to spend on a variety of leisure activities like sports/arts memberships, visits to cafes, bars and restaurants
- Typically digitally savvy, they will share experiences through social media on their smartphones
Lifestage & location
A high proportion are singles and couples in their 20s and 30s with no children. Found all across the country but 56% focused in the South.
Seeking new experiences to support and drive their social lives. This group are open to a wide range of mainstream and alternative offers. Mostly digital natives they search out information online and are keen to ‘share’ and follow recommendations. They are well informed, feel that they have a range of choices and are likely to form key influencers amongst their peers.
Their engagement is likely to be wide but not deep, though nearly half consider themselves ‘arty’. They are mostly seeking out new things to do to accompany their social lives and easy access to a wide range of cultural offers from their home location makes this possible.
Whilst attending cultural activities more than the average, their focus on the contemporary and culturally specific is particularly notable. They see plays, galleries, musicals, public art, live music and film – and compared to the population – they are the most likely to engage with culturally specific festivals, jazz, video, electronic art and contemporary as well as diverse forms of dance.
Visits to heritage sites, museums and galleries are frequent with over a third attending 3-4 times a year and two thirds having visited in the last 12 months.
Other leisure interests
With their leisure-time mostly focused on cultural activities, Experience Seekers accompany this with frequent visits to cafes, bars and restaurants. They are not particularly ‘home-bodies’ so gardening and DIY play little role in their active lives and watching television is not a priority.
Nearly half consider themselves sporty doing sport for fitness and being able to access music on the move is important. Most stream music using sites such as Spotify on a regular basis.
As a fair few are still students, leisure-time can be limited and may also be focused on supporting their educational interests.
As an active group they are highly likely to be involved in a creative pursuit of some sort at some time in their lives – whether performing, writing or creating artworks. They are more likely than the average to have taken part in some sort of dance, acting, singing or playing a musical instrument and the most likely to have participated in some sort of street arts. They may also have tried more traditional activities such as painting, craft and sculpting, as well as arts such as photography, film making or using a computer to make digital art. It is likely that while some of these are more solitary activities, many may be driven by social interaction and participation or related to a professional interest.
Some have also bought original artworks and despite their busy lives make time for reading for pleasure.
86% participated in the last 12 months
Most likely to have written poetry or a play
A highly engaged and educated group (49% have been through higher education) – they are ambitious in their careers and adventurous in trying new things. Some may still be studying while others are well established professionals. Income levels are mixed with 46% earning between £20-40k and 38% earning under £20,000.
Ethically and environmentally minded they will seek out organisations and activities which match their principles. Willing to take risks, be spontaneous and lead, they are looking to be well informed and are able to consider a range of options.
This group are most likely to be digital natives, they use websites and social media to manage their lives and to help plan and access news and information to make decisions. There is a high likelihood that they use library, arts, museums, galleries and heritage websites to access information.
They share experiences by ‘chatting’ or posting content and a higher proportion use Twitter, have the latest smartphone/tablet, use SMS extensively and download the latest Apps. They spend a lot of time online, including downloading and streaming music from sites such as Spotify.
The Metro and The Guardian (2nd highest reading of all groups) primarily provide their news plus other broadsheets such as The Financial Times and The Independent which correspond to their political views (although some also read tabloids such as The Daily Mail).
They are open to advertising messages – although are most responsive to those which involve interactivity and are entertaining. As frequent users of social media they are looking for endorsements, suggestions and new ideas – mainly from their peers.
They will seek out information and are mostly looking to feel informed so that they can make decisions from a variety of offers.
Experience Seekers do some volunteering slipped in amongst busy lives with over a quarter having volunteered in the last 12 months. Whilst this is most likely to be for arts and sports organisations it covers a range of other sectors including museums, galleries and archives.
18% donated to museums and galleries
16% to heritage and 9% to the arts
This group greatly value the cultural offer in their areas and have a positive attitude towards giving generally. They are more likely to give to the arts than the average, and are also donors to heritage, museums and galleries. If they do give it is usually at a low level – up to £50 to the arts and up to £20 to museums, galleries and heritage – indicating an opportunity for membership or one off site donations. 11% of this group are members of The National Trust.
Whilst developing or holding down busy careers, this group have disposable income and more importantly time to lead active lives outside the home.
46% are single, with just 12% having children in the household. 23% are aged under 30 and 44% aged 31- 50.
Experience Seekers live all around the country, in or near easy access to city centres and rely on public transport.
Most live in flats (59%) or terraced housing (29%) with many renting privately (33%) or having bought their homes (55%) – possibly their first. A good proportion are couples or sharing as singles.
Singles, homesharers, young families and empty nesters
Diversity in segment
Although a fairly diverse group with a high proportion of younger people, this group does contain a range of ages with 32% aged over 50, some families and ‘empty nesters’. They are also diverse in their professional development and jobs, though mostly more highly educated than the average. They reflect the ethnic diversity of the country’s urban population with higher proportions than the average of non-British white people, and those of African or Indian backgrounds, as well as Turkish, Chinese and East Asian. There is a low incidence of long-standing or limiting disabilities with this group.
Best segment match
Mosaic 2014 – 76% Rental Hubs and 26% Urban Cohesion
Arts Audiences Insight: Fun, Fashion and Friends
Cultural activities either have to be familiar i.e. talked about, experiential, local or have an unusual or new element to catch their attention.
They seek out new experiences and a certain element of risk and can be quite spontaneous in their choices. This group need quality, clear information to help them make decisions and assess whether an opportunity fits their needs and (their peer group’s) identity. Social opportunities are their driving force, so a focus on the whole experience is essential – meeting spaces, food, drink and atmosphere. Led by recommendations and the ‘vibe’ on social media, they are to an extent self-organising, so finding an entertaining and engaging way of introducing new opportunities is vital – without it being too much of a ‘sell’. They are out and about a lot so ambient advertising on the streets and in local media is visible to them and they are receptive to its messages (if it interests them). However, their primary source is websites, where they are looking for the information they need to make decisions. They are not experts in any particular field and unlikely to be particularly ‘loyal’ to one organisation so building relationships using online tools would be most effective. The challenge with this group is keeping their interest live through interactive content which they can share, but also acknowledging that they may also have a preferred influencer – whether a friend, particular edited email listing, local website, critic or other journalist/presenter.
Open to most things, their cultural engagement will cross genres and artforms, indoors or out, familiar or alternative, contemporary or historical. Loyal only to the idea of going out and engaging with new things, their social networks (on and offline) will drive their choices, as well as some spontaneous or more random decisions.
For example, unusual combinations may grab their attention – roof top cinema, late night openings, site-specific, music in the grounds of heritage sites, specific street festivals. If there’s an element of cultural specificity, taking part or immersion, this may form a larger part of the attraction.
They are unlikely to want to miss out on the latest ‘blockbuster’ whether at a theatre, cinema, museum, gallery or must-see heritage site, but are less likely to be seen at pantomimes, or other family-orientated activities. They will make a bee-line for live music, exhibitions, plays/drama and musicals.
Partnerships to broaden the reach of the message – working through third parties either on and offline – to promote and endorse cultural offerings could be effective. Targeted media, tourist sites, local listings or organisations with a following which match the profile of this segment i.e. health clubs, bars, cafes, restaurants could be effective.
Making the right kind of offer to local businesses to attract their employees may bring rewards.
For this group the whole experience should be considered – food, drink, ambience, service, facilities. Site-specific work in unusual venues, experiential or immersive offers from outdoor to pop-up may all engage if they offer new experiences and opportunities to socialise. This group above all are looking for vibrant atmospheres to enjoy experiences with their friends and colleagues.
Place: Access & distance
With easy access to most cultural activities on foot, bicycle or by public transport, this group like to enjoy their cultural activities and (whilst having possible preferences), will be happy to seek new places out as long as they are accessible. Describing the location’s facilities is therefore vital, so that they know what they can do around a cultural activity to make it a whole day or evening out.
Value and price are key to this group – they will pay a premium for a guaranteed ‘experience’ – but may have a mental price cap for more unusual offers. Their frequency will also have an influence on what they are willing to pay, so they will seek out offers and discounts as much as possible.
They may not respond to packages or multi-buy as it could be too much of a commitment to one place and limit their opportunities to engage elsewhere. However, an annual pass to a gallery or museum with changing exhibitions which can be engaged with more casually may be attractive, though they are less likely to renew on an annual basis. They may also respond to food/drink and ticket offers in the right circumstances.
Value and price over loyalty and discounts
Email is key, backed up by an informative and engaging website and entertaining content on social media. Print advertising may reach them through the Metro and The Guardian or a regularly read local paper. Ambient, street advertising is also visible to them – on public transport in particular. Word of mouth is crucial, incorporating all the necessary information and content for an informed but not expert crowd to share digitally. There is an expectation from this group that the latest new offerings will be listed in national and/or local listings.
Making digital content work beyond the organisations’ digital channels will broaden its reach by working in partnership or simply by making content easily ‘shareable’. Online advertising, promoted tweets and Facebook ads/news feeds could be essential in bringing the offer to this group’s attention.
Opportunities to take part and ‘do’ will engage many within this group – whether as active watchers (immersive or promenade experiences) or in ‘have a go’ workshops e.g. ‘street gaming’, hands-on activities at museums, picnics at heritage sites and open air festival events. Activities, special open days or tasters may well be the way to highlight an offer to this group, if they don’t connect with an organisation’s core offer.
Giving & volunteering
Low level one-off or annual memberships may appeal to Experience Seekers’ sense of supporting culture – whether arts, museums, galleries or heritage. At a local level, social cohesion and community spirit may encourage them to volunteer in a one-off way or support something they believe has positive impacts or matches their interests – especially if they feel something fulfilling is in it for them. With few family commitments, making an offer to ‘do some good’ combined with an element of cultural engagement may be successful.
Experience Seekers place high value on the arts as part of their way of life and show a greater preference for contemporary work and that beyond Western traditions. This presents some challenges for the arts as they are unlikely to be ‘loyal’ to any one organisation, however, making sure that communications are engaging will keep their interest – and the organisation on their ‘possibles’ list. They are mostly likely to be ‘show’ or event led so ‘mass’ promotion with a wider reach must be balanced against direct, personalised and relevant digital communications.
Increasing reach & diversity
This group is diverse, so as long as programming is diverse and reflects the interests and eclecticism of the group, they will be attracted to one or more of its elements. Increasing reach is all about penetration of the message through the right channels – whether this is to a local community or a wider population.