Back to all case studies

Audience Spectrum in Action | Theatr Brycheiniog



Harnessing the power of Audience Spectrum to map out a strategic, data-driven approach to embracing new audiences and encouraging anxious returners in South Wales's altered post-pandemic landscape.

Image of a peaceful looking modern theatre building with its reflection in a body of water

In a picturesque canalside spot in Brecon, South Wales, sits Theatr Brycheiniog, a 477 seat arts venue rooted in its community. It’s been delivering audiences a varied programme of Welsh and English language theatre and music since 1997.

The Challenge

Like many, the theatre weathered recent years thanks to a necessarily flexible approach to forward planning and a strategy combining tentative experimentation with audience monitoring, community feedback via surveys, and keeping a sharp eye on sector evidence. In summer 2021, working with Theatr na nOg, the Brycheiniog hosted one of Wales’ first pilot events on behalf of Welsh Government to inform the easing of Covid restrictions for the cultural sector in Wales.

The Approach

The next year, Theatr Brycheniog became one of the first venues in Wales to apply Audience Spectrum Licensing directly within their Ticketsolve system - a service The Audience Agency also offers for other leading ticketing platforms. Essentially, this meant tagging each customer in the database with one of 10 segments (and 20 subsegments), unlocking a catalogue of background information on that customer, based on likelihoods from a number of evidence sources and trends from cultural datasets – used in a specific, applicable context.

Now, following a significant refurbishment to welcome its returning visitors, the theatre continues to develop its data-led approach to meeting its audience’s needs and mitigating the impact of challenges the cultural sector has faced, past and present.

We spoke to the team leading the theatre’s ambitious evidence-led audience development programme - Anna Wormleighton, Marketing, Comms and Audiences Manager, and Lynfa Protheroe, Marketing & Sales Data Analyst, about how they’re putting the the UKs most powerful cultural segmentation tool into practice.

The Successes

Objective #1

To take a targeted, evidence-led comms strategy over a one-size fits all approach.

The intention being to develop a deep understanding of current and lapsed audiences, and the factors impacting their return to live events e.g., Covid impact, cost of living and work-from-home effect.

Using a combination of Ticketsolve reporting and audience insights from the Audience Finder Data Tools (now Audience Answers), it’s been possible to identify some clear patterns in audience trends.

The profiling shows that 4 key segments made up nearly 87% of their total audience base in the last 12 months.

Having examined the in-depth behavioural and attitudinal characteristics of these 4 segments, Lynfa and Anna have created bespoke season launch comms for each – highlighting the events most likely to appeal and using evidence on preferred tone alongside contextual information to their advantage. Then, via mailing lists based on the same segmentation within their Ticketsolve system, the appropriate version has been delivered to each audience member via email and in some cases mailout.

Objective #2

Increase reach within the local community – identified as a 20-minute drive-time.

Postcode analysis of existing audiences is one thing, but identifying potential locations to focus on new audiences can be more difficult. Using population mapping by Audience Spectrum Type, Theatr Brycheiniog have begun looking at the postal sectors with the greatest potential in terms of existing populations.

Objective #3

Monitor audience trends and return on investment for targeted campaigns, in order to learn and adapt our plans to accommodate what’s working and what isn’t.

The team continues to monitor insights such as booker frequency, drop-off rates and return on investment to see how the new strategy is playing out in practice.

With support from The Audience Agency, Theatr Brycheiniog will continue to monitor progress and share findings with the wider sector when the data is in.

Interested in what Audience Spectrum can offer your organisation? Contact our team to find out more.

New to Audience Spectrum?

Audience Spectrum is the most powerful segmentation tool for the UK cultural sector

Find out how it can help you