One of the greatest challenges facing communicators and marketers in the arts is the balance between satisfying artistic input and commercial (or public) interest.
How does one reach out to new customers and audiences without diluting one’s craft? Should we be setting the agenda and pushing the envelope in terms of experimenting with new art forms? Or should we cater to the most mass of markets and stick to what everybody likes to see, hear or experience?
According to some academics, the arts should be kept pure and undiluted from the transgressions of the commercial world. Artists, curators, musicians and dancers should exist in their own little bubble of creative experimentation, oblivious to the grind of dollars and cents while dreaming up that next original work of genius.
The role of marketers would then be that of publicists helping to generate the greatest amount of buzz, media coverage and advertising effectiveness. Visitors and audiences should thus be attracted towards their artistic inspirations in an organic fashion.
This is what has been termed as being “product focused”. Build it and they will come. Or arts for arts sake.