Executive SummaryMilwaukee Ballet is a dance company and accredited ballet school located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.Over the past few seasons, box office revenue has increased by nearly 40%, demonstrating the company’s prosperity. However, this success comes from a relatively narrow audience. Using promotional events, the Make MKE Dance plan strives to improve brand recognition through the greater Milwaukee area.This plan will expand brand recognition by catering to not only the primary market, but also the secondary target market.
Although there is currently a loyal target market of high income, family-oriented, artistically interested, and college educated people, the Make MKE Dance plan will reach out to a new segment of the market. This plan will reach younger, culturally diverse, and technology driven millennials. The promotional plan takes place over the span of two months, March 9-May 9 of 2019. As implemented, the Make MKE Dance promotional plan will cap off the 50th anniversary season.
It will be executed primarily in the downtown, metropolitan hub of Milwaukee, as well as in the surrounding suburbs.The Make MKE Dance plan is successful largely because it makes use of a multitude of promotional tactics; these tactics include advertising, special events, publicity, and display. Special events including Future of Ballet Class sit ins, 50th anniversary performance event, and lastly the grand opening of new facilities all engage current patrons, students, and potential new consumers. Furthermore, advertising through guerilla marketing, social media and Valpak are contrasting ideas that work in conjunction to inform and persuade consumers.
Additionally, a new app, superior performance decor, and a community outreach mural all improve the display features of Milwaukee Ballet. Lastly, cost effective publicity methods such as word of mouth and flash mobs are crucial policies to generate interest and exposure. The Make MKE Dance promotional plan is extremely cost effective and will drastically increase Milwaukee Ballet’s return on investment. The plan will cost under $40,000 and minimizes cost while maximizing efficacy to persuade, inform, and remind consumers of Milwaukee Ballet’s positive impact and potential for growth.
The secondary objectives of increasing season ticket holders, enhancing awareness of Milwaukee Ballet School, and publicize the new Third Ward facilities supplement the primary objective of improving brand recognition in the greater Milwaukee area and will have an overall favorable impact on Milwaukee Ballet.Description of the Company/OrganizationThe Milwaukee Ballet is a company and dance school located in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company was founded in 1970 and shortly afterward in 1974, the Milwaukee Ballet School was launched. The company will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in its 2019-2020 season. The school is currently the only Midwestern organization accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. The academy director is currently Rolando Yanes.
Right now, Milwaukee Ballet School has three different locations all around Wisconsin; Fox Point, Brookfield, and downtown Milwaukee. There are over 600 students ages 3-18 currently enrolled at the school. Classes are taught by world renowned faculty as well as company dancers. Additionally, MBS provides students with the unique opportunity to perform in company performances.
The company performs in the Uihlein Hall at Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in Milwaukee. It hosts four different shows each year with an average of 45 total performances. The company is particularly well known for its performances of the Nutcracker, which it has been performing since 1977.
The company is currently housed in the Jodi Peck Center in Milwaukee but is also in the process of launching construction for a new facility in the Third Ward. At present, Michael Pink is the artistic director of the company and has filled the role since 2002. The company is also involved in a variety of community outreach activities to spread recognition of the fine arts. Both performances and individual artists are well supported by a variety of arts supporters in the Milwaukee community and many donors at all levels.Financially, Milwaukee Ballet functions as one of cornerstone groups of Milwaukee who receives money annually from the United Performing Arts Fund. They operate on a budget of just under 6 million dollars yearly.
Financially, revenue is gained largely from performance sales, school enrollment, community engagement, and contributed revenue from trustees, foundations, special events, the United Performing Arts fund, and other individuals. Milwaukee Ballet’s expenses consist largely of the school and academy, world class performances, fundraising, and community engagement. StrengthsOpportunitiesInnovative cultureLoyal and active customers Consistent long term managementFew competitors in the regionExpand target marketIncome level is at constant increaseIncreased media and online presence potentialWeaknessesThreatsNarrow target marketBallet is not as prevalent in pop cultureHigh pricesHigh cost of performanceDevelopments in technologyMore interactive competitors for discretionary incomeChange in incomeObjectives of the PlanImprove Brand Recognition of Milwaukee Ballet throughout the Milwaukee AreaIncrease season ticket holders by 10% and therefore increase Return on Investment.Enhance awareness of Milwaukee Ballet School as an educational platform.Publicize the new facilities in the Third Ward.
Schedule of EventsSpecial EventsFuture of Ballet Class Sit-In: One of the first special events we will be initiating is a series of “Future of Ballet” class sit ins. Essentially, these will be promotional activities to emphasize Milwaukee Ballet’s educational foundation by taking place at Milwaukee Ballet School. For a reasonable price of 20 dollars, guests will be able to come in and watch a series of ballet classes at Milwaukee Ballet.
For one flat price of 20 dollars, guests can come in on one of various Saturdays offered and sit in on any of the classes offered that day. This will include the academy and second company morning class, afternoon classes, creative movement classes, and more depending on the weekly student schedule. Besides just sitting in on the class, there will also be opportunities for a question and answer panel with some of the students.
This is an effective special event because the school is not nearly as well known to most patrons as the company is. This event allows guests to better understand the level of prestige of Milwaukee Ballet School.50th Anniversary Performance: As Milwaukee Ballet celebrates its 50th anniversary in the 2019-2020 season. In honor of the anniversary, there will be a performance on the night of April 24th. This will occur over the same time period that Peter Pan will be performed. Peter Pan was one of Michael Pink’s most famous world premiers when first performed and is still extremely well regarded.
Thus, Peter Pan is an ideal ballet to honor the fiftieth anniversary. The performance will also have a pre-show banquet to celebrate the milestone. At the banquet, there will be a variety of antique memorabilia on display as well as a historical video montage.
This dinner also rewards its loyal donors due to the fact that its exclusive to Milwaukee Ballet supporters in the Adagio Circle, Pas de Deux Circle, and Grand Jete Circle.Grand Opening of Third Ward Building: Our grand opening event for Milwaukee Ballet’s new third ward facilities will be our concluding special event to cap off the promotional period. It will be internationally themed, Dance Around the World.
This will be particularly appropriate because the home of Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee, is a culturally diverse location and the company values that diversity and its influence on the arts. It will include speeches from the artistic director, Michael Pink; the school director, Rolando Yane, the academy directors; company members, donors, and Milwaukee ballet students. The event will also include tours of the new facilities.
Additionally, there will be a cocktail hour prior to a performance by the second company and academy students in the performance space located at the new building. At this cocktail hour, hors d’oeuvres from around the world, different cultural appetizers will be served. The performance will include dance excerpts showcasing different cultural dance and music influences to tie into the theme. The event will offer opportunities for donors, patrons of the arts, and Milwaukee Ballet staff and students to mingle and interact. At this event, there will also be the unveiling of the mural.
AdvertisingAlthough Milwaukee Ballet will continue to make use of traditional advertising methods such as billboards, print ads, and tv advertisements, the seasonal Make MKE Dance plan deviates from these methods. Milwaukee Ballet currently advertises within local newspapers, street ads within the downtown area, and magazine spreads in arts magazines. However, Make MKE Dance will primarily focus on more unique, tech-savvy tactics to reach its younger secondary audience. Guerilla Marketing: One creative advertising campaign that Milwaukee Ballet will be implementing is going to be called Make MKE Dance. This will be a guerilla marketing tactic that will be attention grabbing and memorable to potential customers.
Milwaukee Ballet will be transforming local bus stops in Downtown Milwaukee into a prototype ballet studio environment. This will be easily accomplished by changing the glass perspex sides of bus stops into one way reflective glass and installing a wooden rod to act as a barre. This will create an illusion of a ballet studio environment at bus stops all throughout downtown.
This ad campaign will be successful due to its high level of creativity and its ability to catch commuters off guard and hook their interest. Furthermore, by scanning a QR code on the side of the bus stop, they will be electronically directed to a brief video about Milwaukee Ballet. This advertising campaign will only be implemented in the Downtown area due to its large commuter population and high bus traffic levels. Social Media Campaign: We will also be launching a social media campaign as part of the Make MKE Dance campaign. We will focus this campaign on broadening Milwaukee Ballet’s Social Media presence and curating more professional platforms. The MakeMKEDance Social media campaign will be launched on a multitude of platforms, primarily Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter.
On all three of these platforms, one new strategy that will be carried out are increased live streams. Live streams will be used to film classes, rehearsals, backstage footage, as well as takeovers with MB staff and dancers. Live streams are one of the most up and coming social media tools and their more personal and up to date atmosphere has the potential to bridge the gap and broaden the target market.
We will also be promoting 3 universal hashtags, #MAKEMKEDANCE, #MILWAUKEEBALLET50 #MKEBALLETSCHOOL. These three hashtags all seek to promote our objectives. These hashtags will be implemented on all social media platforms as a way to encourage and track engagement.Valpak Direct Mail: Valpak is a direct mail advertising service that sends out a well known “blue envelope” of local business coupons and information.
This advertising method reinforces Milwaukee Ballet’s older primary target audience in addition to still reaching the younger secondary market who the Make MKE Dance promotional plan is trying to draw in. This is particularly effective since the blue envelope is something familiar that older, less tech-savvy audiences are very likely to make use of. This is a great way to distribute information and deals to a large amount of potential consumers.DisplayWallscape: Milwaukee Ballet’s newest display innovation involves commissioning a wallscape mural to be painted on one side of its new facilities. This will not only draw people’s attention, but also provides an opportunity for community outreach as well.
Milwaukee Ballet will collaborate with MPS high school students to compete to design the mural. This mural project will be completed within 2 weeks. Contest entries will seek to reflect the educational aspects of Milwaukee Ballet School, the company’s performance culture, as well as its unique history. The winner will be announced on social media platforms as well to tie in all elements of the promotional mix.
This large and colorful display will make it easy to identify the new facilities and quickly establish a community presence. Performance Theme Decor: Another aspect of the display will be in revamping the decor at Marcus Center during performances of Milwaukee Ballets. Currently, there’s very few decorations to contribute to the theme of the ballets. For example, for performances of Beauty and the Beast, there will be large rose displays, old set props set out for display, and people dressed up in themed attire selling merchandise and snacks.
Additionally, for Peter Pan, there will be pirate ships, star constellations on the walls, fairy lights, and more. All aspects of the performance environment will have a new and improved level of cohesiveness through color schemes and decorative accessories to take the ballet experience to a whole new level. Additionally, this is relatively cost effective considering the decor makes use of older stage props and costumes. Mobile App: Another aspect of our display is more targeted at the digital display and digital presence of Milwaukee Ballet.
The new MKE Ballet app is important to make information about Milwaukee Ballet more accessible on the go. Although the website has been recently redesigned and is very eye appealing and easy to navigate, it is not very compatible with mobile devices. This prompts the creation of a new app that makes it easier for people to immediately get information about Milwaukee Ballet on the go. It also makes the consumer experience easier for families investing in a ballet education for the children. It makes the schedule much more convenient to access and more.
Additionally, it also serves as a platform for patrons, students, dancers, and fans to communicate more directly through the chat feature of the app. PublicityWord of Mouth: Word of mouth publicity is going to be important for Milwaukee Ballet as a company and school. It is valuable due to the fact that it’s completely free.
Additionally, the magic of the ballet is something that is more meaningful when expressed by people who you know. There tends to be a disconnect between the current audience and our secondary target market of younger adults. If these young adults hear from their peers that the ballet is not antiquitated, but rather a hip and cultured way to spend an afternoon or evening, it will be more meaningful than most other publicity methods.
Word of mouth is an appropriate strategy as well because most people who are patrons of the arts care deeply about it and are willing and excited to spread the word about ballet.Flash Mob: In order to generate publicity, the Milwaukee Ballet will be putting on a flash mob. The company and students will be doing a flash mob performance in two locations. These two performances will be going on simultaneously at the Corners in Brookfield as well as at Bayshore Mall near Fox Point. These two locations correspond to the two branches of the school. Flash mobs are an iconic and free way to generate attention for Milwaukee Ballet.
We will be putting on this publicity stunt in these locations rather than downtown because the company is less well known outside of the metropolitan hub of Milwaukee. Additionally, by putting on this publicity stunt at Malls, there will be a lot of people present to see it and hopefully spread it. This will also generate even more word of mouth publicity.Responsibility SheetPositionNameResponsibilitiesTechnology SpecialistLori FlaniganApp developmentUpdating WebsiteEdit Content for social mediaBrand AmbassadorMegan SpangbergSocial Media ManagementOversee Wallscape CompetitionMarketing and Communication DirectorAnne MetcalfeAdvertising coordinatorAcademy DirectorRolando YanesCoordinate Activities involving Milwaukee Ballet School and StudentsFinancial ManagerShawn SelkAllocate Funds Place Orders for Custom Materials for Guerilla MarketingSpecial Events CoordinatorBrooklynn Lawrence–KrolFacilitate large eventsBudgetItemDescriptionTotal CostApp Development$10,000$10,000Guerilla Marketing$27.26 (x12)One way mirror film$23.73 (x12)8 inch wooden dowel$5.
58 (x12) socket mount$678.84Wallscape Mural$2,000$2,000Peter Pan 50th Anniversary Event$6,000Catering for dinner$1,500Decor$4,000venue$1,600Video montage$3,900Other costs$0Speechesmemorabilia$17,000Grand Opening Event$6,000Catering for hors d’oeuvres$1,000Cultural decor$7,000Decor$4,000 $4,000Publicity$0Word of mouthFlash mob$0Social Media Advertising$0InstagramSnapchatTwitterFacebook$0Valpak Advertising$32010,000 house radius$250Total Cost$39,998.84Statement of Benefits to the Company/Organization Milwaukee Ballet’s “Make MKE Dance” campaign is an original strategy to promote not only the ballet company, but also the school and academy, as a long term fixture of the artistic culture in the Milwaukee area. Firstly, the Make MKE Dance campaign achieves the goal to spread name recognition in the Milwaukee area through guerilla marketing and a publicity stunt.
The guerilla marketing downtown captures commuters attention and curiosity and will prompt them to become more interested in Milwaukee Ballet. Outside of the metropolitan hubs, the flash mobs in high traffic shopping malls will increase name recognition as well. Secondly, it will increase season ticket holders by converting some individual performance attendees into season ticket holders and generating new customers as well. Improved performance decor and the social media campaign improve the customer experience and engage current patrons more, encouraging them to become season ticket holders. Additionally, based off the brand recognition achieved in objective one, newer customers will also invest in season tickets as well and therefore increase return on investment with more ticket sales.
A large focus of the plan is promoting the Milwaukee Ballet school as an educational platform, an aspect of the company that is not currently as well known. The special events of the new facility opening and the class sit ins particularly shed light on the Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy in a new, more personal environment. Finally, the plan generates a lot of buzz about the new Third Ward Facility as an upcoming community fixture through a creative mural which livens up the urban landscape of the area. Additionally, by hosting events here, it will direct traffic towards the new facility. Conclusively, the Make MKE Dance promotional campaign will elucidate the community impact that Milwaukee Ballet has, as well as introduce and further engage new patrons of the arts.BibliographyBegel, D.
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