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Placing data at the heart of our strategies

In a world where data is abundant, it becomes important for the cultural sector to consolidate, master, and even share it.

What could be more embarrassing than being recognized by someone on the street... whom you do not recognize? Or forgetting what was said on an important topic. Or worse: showing up at a long-time friend's house, only to realize they moved seven years ago. While these situations may end up as fun anecdotes over a late-night drink, they can have a real impact on the success of our professional activities when it comes to managing our online contacts. Across email inboxes, newsletters, postal mailings, and other communication data, the number of individuals contacted and the channels used to do so multiply. While these platforms allow us to send our messages efficiently, it is still crucial to keep track of whom we are sending them to and who is actually responding. In larger teams or organizations managing multiple interconnected projects, it becomes essential to have efficient virtual address books.

For example, with eight employees jointly managing hundreds of relationships with broadcasters, partners, artists, and clients, CAPAS had to deploy a customer relationship management (CRM) software to ensure effective follow-up on its files. And this structuring pays off: better understanding of files and significant time savings are just a few of the benefits of this method. In an era where data is the virtual gold of modern times, knowing how to efficiently compile it and then use it to our advantage paves the way for numerous innovations that will greatly ease the lives of cultural organizations and artists. Here are some tips and advice for taking advantage of your data management.

Tips for a relevant and successful CRM

Adjust the tool to the size of the Company

There are several paid software options that allow for the creation of effective, interconnected databases that can even track a team's various email exchanges with the same partner. But before investing several hundred dollars a year in an extensive CRM, it is important to understand your needs relative to the size of your organization. Artists, freelancers, and small organizations might find that a well-organized Excel or Google Sheet perfectly suits their needs if they are consistently interacting with the same partners. When the amount of data expands, or the number of employees collaborating on it is significant, software like Airtable can connect different elements together and create beneficial automations.

Invest time

Building a database requires a significant time investment to enter relevant information, and especially to keep it updated. It is essential to ensure that each partner, project, or contract is integrated into our CRM, but it is also necessary to periodically validate whether the contacts, dates, and other files are still relevant. Therefore, plan for an initial phase to create comprehensive profiles and link them to software automations, but also schedule regular times to ensure that the information is still up to date. Tip: take a few minutes every day to check, for example, the profiles starting with the same letter, or linked to the same project. This daily routine will prevent the need for extensive verification each quarter, and in the meantime, avoid emails being returned because a partner has changed jobs!

Centralize information

With the accelerated digitization of the cultural sector during the pandemic, software often multiplied in haste, sometimes duplicating tasks or complicating some processes. To prevent it from becoming just another tool, it is important to integrate your database at the heart of your digital strategy. With tools that manage both email sending, newsletters, postal mailings, and data related to activities, development projects, and accountability, the CRM acts as the brain of your organization, keeping an overview on both internal and external operations. Properly linking as many virtual tools as possible to your CRM becomes a way to prune the virtual excess.

Facilitate and better understand through

Once your database is established and well-maintained, the possibilities it creates will redeem the time invested:

Time savings

The Label estimates saving up to 20% more time otherwise spent on repetitive data-related actions: searching for contacts, compiling attendance data, issuing documents, reminders, follow-ups, managing newsletter subscriptions, etc. Collaboration tools and the consolidation of information often repeated from one project to another save energy and headaches for the entire team.

Better understanding of the network

By analyzing the data emitted by the CRM, CAPAS better understands the behaviors of its partners. We can thus better connect with them, adjust our offer to their needs, and focus on what deeply engages them.

Better organizational memory

Having all contacts and documents in one place creates a lasting digital memory for various projects and contracts of an institution. Thus, documents or exchanges dating back several years are more easily found, allowing for easier reactivation of partnerships or more effective data handovers. With the labor shortage and high turnover of individuals in the cultural sector, the CRM becomes a method to quickly train individuals on past and ongoing files.

DataDanse: Towards a collaborative database

The current paradox in the world of cultural data is the multiplication of CRMs often finding the same information: contacts of artists or partners, attendance statistics for one or more venues in a region, public cultural trends, etc. In the long run, organizations within the same sector end up building similar CRMs, locked in their servers and therefore unable to complement each other with other complementary lists.

At CAPAS, we believe that an alliance between different organizations for better data sharing would solidify the entire sector. This virtual structure—charmingly named DataDanse —would allow for a cross-sectional view of the sector to equip every artist and organization to better defend their projects to the right audiences or relevant funders. As collaboration has never been stronger among performing arts actors, it is important to carry this cooperation into the digital universe to continue the virtual shift of our sector now facing challenges of regaining audiences and unequal international competition. To better storm the stages again, we must give them solid foundations. And this time, the foundations are digital.

* Do not confuse Customer Relationship Management (CRM) which facilitates relationships between businesses (B2B) and Customer Data Platform (CDP), which facilitates contact between an organization and its customers (B2C).


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