You have a production to put on, cast and crew are rehearsing, and the company is looking at you to promote the show and fill the seats.  You stare at your computer screen into the abyss and wonder where to start.

This scenario is quite common for small & even large theatre companies, with limited budget, time and resources, where productions rely on traditional promotional tactics such as word of mouth, flyers, and passers by.

Through planning a marketing campaign, you will delve your thoughts deeper into your company, it’s production, and your audience, and come through this process with a clear structure, and answers to two key questions: what needs to be done and how you are going to do it.

When planning a marketing campaign, before setting out your strategy, you need to set the boundaries and parameters by which you will market your show.

This is the first of a 2-part series that details what you need to consider when planning a marketing campaign.  In this first series we will look at your objectives, your audience and the insight you have.  The second part of the series looks at the strategy for your marketing campaign.

Part 1: Objectives & Insight

Part 2: Strategy


1. Objectives

  • What exactly is it you are trying to achieve?
  • What is the single purpose of the communications?  Are you trying to build credibility as a theatre company, are you trying to promote your latest production, or are you trying to increase membership of your theatre company?
  • What are the main drivers of your objectives? 
    • What drives your brand?  Is it your place and context in society and culture?  
    • What drives your production? Is it your technology and innovation? 

Be sure to highlight and focus on the key drivers that your audience and prospects will understand from your comms.

2. Audience

  • Who is your primary audience? Who do you want to fill the majority of seats? Who will be your early customers?
  • What do you want them to think, feel and do?  
  • How are they to react to your communications?  
  • Who is your secondary audience?
  • What is it that will incite someone not initially attending your production to purchase tickets to your show.

These questions will also help later when you are writing your creative brief.

3. Primary KPI’s

  • What does success look like?
  • How will you know if your marketing has delivered what it set out to do?  
    • You can separate this out for your brand KPI’s, and your sales KPI’s.  

Your campaign may want to increase your brand affinity and become a trusted and respectable theatre company in one specific area.  While alternatively, the campaign could also be about driving attendance, customers and ticket sales.

4. Why You?

  • Why should the audience choose to come to your show over other productions?
  • What are your unique selling points?
  • What is your insight telling you?

5. Why Now?

  • Why are you different now compared to before?
  • What’s the ‘new news’?
  • Why is this compelling?

6. Live dates

  • What is the opening night or start date of the campaign?
  • What key dates & milestones from a marketing perspective do you need to hit?

7. Media spend

  • What is your media budget?
  • This will help shape where and when your show is promoted, and when dealing with media and PR agencies gives them scope to work within.


In our next post we will show you how your campaign plan then starts to take shape around marketing strategy and creative.

If you have an upcoming show and need a marketing plan, feel free to speak to us here!