Policy Research Director

Areas of expertise:

  • Market research
  • Data analysis
  • Segmentation
  • Benchmarking
  • Secondary audience data

Oliver leads on Policy Research for The Audience Agency. One strand of this is strategically-significant research projects, for example, audience analysis for Leeds 2023, strategic research advice for Arts Council Ireland, and aggregate sales reporting for Theatre UK. Another is sector- and nation-wide audience insights. As part of the latter remit, Oliver coordinates our ‘Bounce Forwards’ Evidence Hub, creating and interpreting research throughout the pandemic. This includes responsibility for analysis and reporting of the Cultural Participation Monitor, an AHRC-funded nationally-representative longitudinal survey of public responses to culture in and beyond the time of COVID-19. As the academic lead for the agency, Oliver is involved in several other projects in partnership with the Centre for Cultural Value at Leeds University, including responsibility for a national set of Evaluation Principles and the ESRC-funded Making Data Work project, exploring the means and benefits of linking cultural and other datasets.

Alongside these, Oliver delivers bespoke marketing consultancy and research projects, using audience data to advise on marketing and strategic planning with clients including Warrington Brough Council, Shakespeare North, Northern Stage, Manchester Metropolitan University, Culture Liverpool and Exeter Custom House. His wider sectoral focus has included facilitating benchmarking clusters in Newcastle, Yorkshire and nationally (for opera), as well as leading on our work in the literature sector (including our evidence review of reading habits for Arts Council England). 

Oliver is responsible for the redevelopment of Audience Spectrum (the segmentation model at the heart of Audience Finder and much of our client work), with previous experience of developing segmentation models for Opera North (both for main stage opera and the Howard Assembly Room), Audiences Norway and more. An arts marketer by background, he has delivered both Arts Marketing and Creative Entrepreneurship modules at the University of Leeds and regularly delivers other professional development, including at Theatre UK’s Essential of Arts Marketing course. 

Twitter: @OliverMantell

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Bounce Forwards | COVID-19 Response

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