- A younger, cash-strapped group living in suburban and semi-urban areas of high unemployment
- Least likely to think themselves as arty, arts and culture generally play a very small role in the lives
- Less than a third believe that the arts is important
- Often go out as a family: cinema, live music, eating out and pantomime being most popular
Lifestage & location
Younger families, mainly under 50 years old living in city suburbs and on the edges of towns throughout the UK, but more predominant in the Midlands and across the North
Free Family friendly offers – local with a more popular or community focus, e.g. music and festivals, open days with non-bookable in advance drop in activities may be particularly effective.
Despite low overall engagement, they are occasionally doing some activities which meet the needs of their families and within their budgets and locality. Guaranteed family enjoyment and fun will take precedence over consciously engaging with the arts, museums or heritage.
Most likely to be interested and engage in the popular and mainstream, they are also more likely than the average to see work that is culturally specific. Their choices are particularly family-oriented such as cinema, pantomime, live music, musicals, carnival, circus and plays/drama. Occasionally, maybe once or twice a year, a museum could be an easier option, or a trip to a local heritage site, if it is free.
Other leisure interests
Facebook families have limited leisure time, money and opportunity. They are therefore likely to do more home-based activities and are the group with the highest likelihood of having a computer games console. TV plays a central role in the household – mostly screening kids programmes or football – with a high subscription rate to Sky or Virgin channels. There is an indication that some do have homes to develop, where DIY and gardening are main activities. Many also have pets to look after.
Outside the home they do some sports activities, particularly dance or Zumba for fitness and social reasons. Friends and family are important, but going on days out to restaurants, cafes or bars is relatively lower on the agenda. As with much of their lives, holidays are ‘budget’ and may involve trips to UK seaside resorts and holiday camps. Although they are likely to put on the odd bet and see shopping as their main leisure activity (albeit on low budgets).
Living in city suburbs and on the edges of towns throughout the UK, but more predominant in the Midlands and across the North.
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Otherwise a few play a music instrument and have participated in some digital creativity – films or animations made on their home computer inspired by YouTube and TV programmes.
With 84% on salaries less than £25K and 26% on less than £10K, these families are financially squeezed and stretched.
Facebook Families have low educational attainment, basic qualifications and therefore have lower job prospects or are employed in unskilled jobs. They live on a budget and many are claiming multiple benefits to make ends meet. Some may also be students living transient lives paying modest rents.
The best deals on food are sought at supermarkets such as Iceland, Aldi, Asda, Co-op or Spar, which need to be local and accessible by public transport as these families are unlikely to have cars.
This group, of all the segments, have amongst the highest use of the internet and email. They are the most likely to use Facebook every day amongst other social media and make extensive use of texting and free messaging. Many do not have a landline, so their mobile phones are their communication channel and lifeline. It will invariably be a smartphone, or whatever comes with a basic package or pay as you go service with some using the internet via a tablet rather than laptop or desktop computer. Some will access information through computers at a local library.
While their use of the internet is high, it may not be their primary source of information about cultural activities. They do use social media for finding out what’s happening locally and for some, chat about what they are doing, which may well include cultural activity. Otherwise they will be using online sources to access a wide range of entertainment from YouTube to music sharing sites for downloading music.
This group primarily read the ‘red tops’ – chiefly The Sun, Daily Mirror and a local free daily newspaper to provide their news and views.
As active social networkers they are heavily influenced by their friends and family, particularly if they feel there’s too much choice. In turn they will share their opinions and as part of a digital generation, will expect their promotional content to be involving, interactive and entertaining. Primarily they are big TV watchers and responsive to TV advertising, particularly with a strong emotional message.
For families with children they are subject to ‘pester power’ and messages which get filtered through them via schools and other community activities their children are involved with.
This group are least likely to feel that culture makes a difference to their area or benefits them, although there is a sense that they do feel it is important, perhaps for others who have the time, money, access or opportunity.
Nevertheless the arts and culture offer an attractive family activity and about one in five have done some volunteering in the last 12 months – mostly for sports and other sectors.
18% have volunteered in the last 12 months
Giving & volunteering
Despite being stretched, some do donate to heritage, museums and galleries and a few to the arts, particularly if it has impacts locally, amounts are mostly less than £20. Generally they feel giving to culture is a good thing, but have little means to do so.
Facebook Families can be found in and around the edge of urban areas with more in the urban sprawl of the Midlands and North and fewer in the South West, East and Greater London. It can be hard for this group to access cultural activity from these areas, particularly if the public transport infrastructure is poor.
Living mostly in terraced or semi-detached houses, many (46%) are rented from the council or housing associations, with some having saved enough over the years to be eligible to buy their homes (45%).
The youngest of the segments overall, 81% are 26 – 50 years, 67% also have children in the household of varying ages – mostly between 5-11 years. The group includes some quite large or extended families with older and younger children as well as grandparents or other relatives.
29% are single, living alone and mostly in the older or younger age ranges. House shares are not common for this group and the older members tend to have lived in the same house for a long time, are well established and tied to their local community.
Living in places such as Sandwell and Skegness, Maidenhead and Rotherham
81% are 26 – 50 years
67% also have children in the household of varying ages – mostly between 5-11 years
Diversity in segment
Fairly homogenous in lifestyle and outlook, with families dominating, this group does include some younger and older singles who are equally financially squeezed – likely to be either students or unemployed. About a quarter have some sort of long-standing illness, disability or infirmity. Otherwise the ethnic diversity is characteristic of many suburban populations with established immigrant communities including Black Caribbean or African, Irish, Eastern European as well as South Asian families.
Best segment match
Arts Audiences Insight: Time-poor dreamers, Limited means, Nothing fancy
Mosaic 2014: Family Basics 69%, Transient Renters 24%
A chance to get out with the children and enjoy some social time without having to worry about the expense. While they are willing to pay possibly a higher price than might be expected for family treats, it will only be for guaranteed product – popular and well-known. For all activities, these families will be looking for endorsements through either high profile local and TV advertising or their own social media networks. Hidden costs for a day out with the family may prove a barrier to engagement, so pricing strategies should consider add-ons such as transport, food and take-aways for children. At a local level, engaging families in community activities provide opportunities if they are free and offer social opportunities for parents.
Families within this group are looking for tried and tested product in the main which has the necessary guarantees for enjoyment from their children. They may also engage with local culturally specific activities which happen in their communities – most likely to be free. Engaging this group more deeply with more ‘risky’ or contemporary product would need to involve community engagement or outreach work offering programmes, workshops and activities tailored to their needs.
Particular considerations are important when making this offer – chiefly a range of product for different age ranges (but without being too prescriptive) – not forgetting those older (but not yet teenage) ages. With extended families common in this age range, programmes and experiences suitable for inter-generational groups might also be relevant.
Will follow the recommendations of trusted sources
Local partnerships may be particularly effective, such as through schools or community groups which involve children. Local children’s Sure Start centres, nurseries or after school groups may also provide useful links. Making relationships between cultural organisations and local creative participatory activities would be effective – bridging the gap between participation and attending. Care should be taken to ensure that partners are in themselves family friendly.
These families will also be receptive and respond to brand associations, particularly those which are visible on television and in advertising.
Family friendly facilities and an appropriate welcome is required for this group who are unfamiliar with cultural venues, to ensure that the whole experience accommodates their needs. Fundamentals from baby changing to buggy parks as well as appropriate and affordably priced food and drink facilities. Staff should be trained and empowered to ensure families feel able to take part, are safe and looked after.
Place: Access & distance
While this group live relatively close to arts, museums, galleries and heritage sites (being based on the edges of cities in suburban areas), their level of engagement is comparatively low. They will rely on public transport to get to larger, more central venues, which may or may not be reliable or easy to navigate (particularly with a large or very young family).
Depending on the programme, this group will either be looking for prominent and visible advertising through mainstream channels or endorsements from peer groups through word of mouth or social networks. This can be triggered by local level promotion through local press, notice-boards or by engaging community leaders of local groups. Once captured they may respond to direct mail by post or email – as long as it includes suitably engaging content and/or low prices, offers or discounts. Digital content should be engaging for both adults and children.
Beyond this community engagement, local ambassadors or outreach projects will be necessary to engage harder to reach families.
Kids love ‘doing’ things
For this group participation is most likely to come via children. Catering for different age ranges is important (with a consideration of how to occupy those not directly involved and their parents). For adults, participatory activities with child care attached could be effective to an extent. Activities which develop skills and confidence and could support job prospects may be more appealing, as well as opportunities for adults, representing time away from the family.
Many local families may just need an entry point to their local venue or museum – family fun days, free events or low cost tickets to appropriate programmes, e.g. Family days in the school holidays may offer them a foot in the door. For younger families use of café spaces on a regular basis with soft play or toys provided could also be an entry point.
Giving & volunteering
It is more likely that people in this group may be able to volunteer more than donate, although they are also squeezed for time, bringing up their families. Forging a relationship may be the first step as they are more likely to donate if they have some sort of personal connection through their children or their local community.
It may be challenging to engage these families further, but creating a local ‘family panel’ or family ambassadors may be effective if they are well connected in their communities, briefed appropriately or offered financial incentives. Use of venue spaces for local groups may also place the organisation in the consciousness of the local community and lead to further engagement.
Any relationship will also rest on providing appropriate facilities – as per those described in the environment section.
Increasing reach & diversity
Attracting more local families or those of a particular community should involve creation of links and consultation in order to devise appropriate projects or activities with the involvement of target groups.
Strategies such as working with local community organisations, housing associations, local authority arts managers, schools or children’s centres could be considered.