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Philadelphia Orchestra
Founded in 1900, the Philadelphia Orchestra, supported by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association (POA), has distinguished itself as one of the leading orchestras in the world. Responsive to the changing landscape of classical music participation and the increasing diversity of musical tastes, the POA commissioned WolfBrown in 2007 to conduct a major attitudinal study of its audience base. This study marked the first time that WolfBrown adapted the audience segmentation model, initially developed for the Major University Presenters consortium, to classical music. The overall goal of the study was to build an expanded understanding of the music and concert format preferences of POA ticket buyers, including their expectations for concert experiences. The study was conceptualized in two phases: Phase 1, develop the customer segmentation model; Phase 2, scale-up results from Phase 1 and apply the segmentation model to the entire customer base by creating a mechanism that pairs results to the POA ticket buyer database.

Two focus group discussions were held to test an initial draft of the survey protocol and to investigate attitudes about concert programs in general. Results from the focus groups were used to refine the questionnaire. A random sample of 4,000 ticket buyers from the aggregate pool of all POA ticket buyers over the previous three years was surveyed. The survey was administered both online and via mail. Altogether, 1,075 completed surveys were received, representing an overall response rate of 27%.

A cluster analysis was performed on a sub-set of attitudinal variables relating to music and concert format preferences, motivations for attending, and purchase decision factors. After five different iterations, analysis revealed a four segment customer model: Warhorses (23%), Old-School Connoisseurs (24%), Adventurous Intellectuals (25%), and Casual Followers (28%). The data suggests that POA audiences have diverse musical tastes, ranging from eclectic to classical-focused. Soon thereafter the POA incorporated this increased understanding of their audience’s needs into programmatic and marketing initiatives. For Phase 2, the protocol was revisited and the universal customer profile was developed. Efforts to canvass all POA ticket buyers began, but ultimately stalled, leaving Phase 2 incomplete.

Consultant: Alan Brown
Year Complete: 2007