West Australian Opera - Culture Segments

West Australian Opera (WAO) established in 1967, has been Western Australia’s only full-time, professional opera company for over 50 years. 

The company presents a rich, dynamic program of exciting new commissions and traditional operatic works year-round, supported by a thriving education and outreach program.

WAO are dedicated to creating meaningful relationships with our stakeholders and audiences. The integration of Culture Segments has already demonstrated new opportunities for growth and deepening of existing engagement.

- Danielle Barlow, Marketing Manager, West Australian Opera

Culture Segments TagTool

WAO has had a Culture Segments TagTool mini license since 2018, using this to tag bookers and serve segmented messaging, as well as learning more about audience wants and needs. 

Excited by what this enabled them to do, WAO upgraded to the TagTool full license in 2020, to allow for seamless integration into their Tessitura TNEW CRM.  

Strategising programming for segments

Through a series of interactive workshops, MHM supported WAO to develop a segmented approach to programming. 

WAO mapped out all performances in the 2021 program, starting by workshopping which segments would be a natural fit for each and then, in close collaboration with the Music Director and Executive Director, crafting resonant copy to highlight key messages for these target segments. 

To maximise results, WAO has imbedded Culture Segments as a shared language across the organization – this isn’t just a framework for the marketing team, but something that is understood and valued by all, including the board. 

Culture Segments and the 2021 program

These insights directly informed the 2021 brochure; largely designed for WAO’s dominant segment - Expression. 

A leading idea was to showcase the joy these performances could bring and opportunities for reconnection – something Expression is actively seeking in light of Covid-19 and the bright, colourful brochure was an embodiment of this. 

WAO were particularly cognizant of not assuming prior knowledge for inclusively-minded Expression and focused on painting rich pictures in the copy of what audiences could expect. 

The key message ‘colour your world with opera’, was crafted to appeal to Expression’s sensorial communication style and belief that arts and culture can enrich your life. 

In addition to segmented messaging in individual performances, the brochure also highlights WAO’s work in outreach and regional touring, to spotlight WAO’s work in making opera accessible to all; another key Expression value.

Early results demonstrating impact

WAO are seeing positive impacts early in this campaign, which can at least in part be attributed to this differentiated strategy:

  • Initial uptake for subscription packages is higher than ever
  • Ticket-buyers are buying more tickets per booking (typical of Expression who love to bring as many people along as possible!) 
  • Package bookings are at their highest in three years. In fact, more packages have been sold by end of February 2021 than year end for 2020, 2019 and 2018.

What’s next?

WAO will continue to use Culture Segments as a practical planning and communications tool for engaging their audiences and growing their reach. 

As their database of tagged constituents grows, they’ll soon be able to communicate directly with the segments using differentiated comms direct to their inboxes.

Culture Segments has become a common language spoken across our entire organisation. We're looking forward to continuing to grow our data, our insights and our audiences through our work with Culture Segments into the future.

- Danielle Barlow, Marketing Manager, West Australian Opera

All images courtesy of West Australian Opera. 


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Culture Segments TagTool