Arts+, formerly Community School of the Arts, believes in the transformative power of arts education. They have a long history of making high-quality arts education available to a diverse range of students in Mecklenburg County, serving 4,000 students annually, with more than 40 professional instructors. Classes are taught at convenient neighborhood locations across Charlotte providing high-quality private and group arts lessons and workshops made accessible to all through financial aid, merit scholarships, and outreach programs. Course offerings include music instruction, ensemble, instrumental, vocal, and early childhood training, and visual art instruction including pottery, drawing, mixed media, and preschool arts classes.
As community interests and needs evolve, Arts+ wanted to explore current conditions in the region to drive the organization’s fee-based/revenue programming and implementation of its strategic plan based on data-driven analysis.
Key questions the study sought to answer included:
- What is the organization’s market share in Mecklenburg County?
- Who are direct competitors for Arts+ programs? What is the cost comparison?
- Of the market share, how much can Arts+ be expected to obtain from that share?
- Are there gaps in the market that can be filled by Arts+?
- What additional resources will be needed to increase market share?
“This was a unique opportunity to combine so many of Next Stage’s offerings as we deployed an experienced, well-rounded team to combine our approach to strategic planning current conditions assessments, community voice gathering and uncovering marketing opportunities,” shared Next Stage CEO, Josh Jacobson.
To support this effort Next Stage conducted a market analysis study utilizing various research techniques. The team:
- Assessed current Arts+ programs and customer profiles
- Conducted a digital survey
- Facilitated stakeholder interviews with Arts+ constituents
- Identified and conducted in-depth interviews with individuals reflective of target personas
- Facilitated a focus group with community and school partners
- Conducted comparative pricing research for Arts+ class and camp offerings
- Profiled the demographics of key geographies
- Conducted trend analysis on Arts+ current customer base
The final deliverable informed Arts+ of its current market share, gaps in the market and vast market share potential. Additionally, Next Stage shared insights gathered for Arts+ to incorporate into future program offerings and marketing to communicate it as well as post-pandemic themes to drive future decision-making across the organization such as the belief in arts supporting mental health and wellness, increased interest in skill-building through the arts and positioning team building and group fun as a way to attract both corporate and new, younger audiences.
Devlin McNeil shared in a follow-up call following completion of the project that, “Our team was so pleased with the amount of directional information gained through the study and find ourselves using the report on a daily basis following presentation of it to our board and staff as we consider program modification, expansion plans into new locations, structuring new programs, targeting new audience segments; as well as assisting with grant proposals and marketing messaging.”