During our first year we offered a programme of ’52 Things’ made with and for the city’s creative community to showcase the fantastic people and places in our city. You can find the full 52 here.

Last week we held a workshop to bring people working in marketing roles in the creative industries together. Professor Gabriele Troilo from Bocconi University in Milan is currently visiting Cardiff Business School.

He shared his thoughts on why marketing in the creative industries needs a unique approach. Below are some reflections from Gabriele and those attending:

Customers can’t always tell you what they want In a creative industry “what you buy is the surprise of creativity”. This can be counter-intuitive and challenging for people who apply a traditional marketing approach of selling a product which teh consumer wants.

The creative industries often sell an experience as a productUnlike with a product, customers can’t anticipate the quality of an experience before they consume it. Instead customers search for quality clues to help them anticipate the quality of the product. 

Is it always about the product? Concentrate less on the product Look at the experience of the customer. The value of the experience can be more important than the product.

Build a relationship with your customersAvoid creating ghost consumers who return repeatedly to venues but their interactions aren’t recorded and they feel alone. Organisations can own the post-visit experience, eg. by signposting visitors to books, events, tours, and through doing so build a customer relationship.

How can we build value for the customer through the overall experience? Think about pre and post experience possibilities. Give the customer a longer experience stretching out over time (before and after consumption) with different values at different points.

How do you use customer data? Know your customer/audience and reconnect with them at different touch points. Think about tracking customers and bringing them back. Develop a community. Build longer lasting relationships between consumers and products - it’s not a one time experience. 

Read more in Professor Gabriele Troilo's book - Marketing in Creative Industries: Value, Experience and Creativity

Photo credit: Flickr - marfis75