George Fairfax Fellow 2009

Professor Francois Colbert Chair in Arts Management, HEC Montreal

Beyond branding: Contemporary marketing challenges for arts organizations

7 May 2009, NGV International (National Gallery of Victoria)



While the arts field is more vivid and dynamic than ever, arts organizations move through various states of success in the consumer market as well as in markets for sponsorship, philanthropy and government support. World growth from these three sources of revenue has come to an end, but fortunately or not, the increase in the number of organizations competing for such support has not stopped. In marketing terms, we say that the life cycle of the sector has not only reached maturity, but is totally saturated, with supply exceeding demand by a large margin.

Three challenges must then be faced by current performing arts and heritage organizations: the positioning of their 'brand' the quality of their service to the clientele; and the information technology expected by more savvy consumers.

This address concentrates on the consumer market, both national and international, but also parallels the position for the market of sponsorship, philanthropy and government support. Even if the diagnosis looks pessimistic, the position is not by any means a dead end. Adjustments in the marketing strategy of suppliers can help overcome this situation without compromising artistic integrity.

About Professor Colbert

About Professor Colbert

Professor Colbert is Professor of Marketing and holder of the Carmelle and Remi Marcoux Chair in Arts Management at HEC Montreal, Canada. He is editor of the International Journal of Arts Management. In May 2002 he was awarded the Order of Canada for his unique contributions in developing the field of arts management.

Professor Colbert served as Vice-Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts for eight years, until 2003. He is author of Le marketing des arts et de la culture, now in its second edition and available in English as Marketing culture and the arts, as well as in German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and Ukrainian (and soon in Korean). Professor Colbert is founding President and Co-Chair of the Scientific Committee of the International Conference on Arts and Cultural Management (AIMAC).

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