ArtBiz101 – Marketing Overview

Tree in Night Light

When dicussing Marketing today, I am looking at from the BIG PICTURE (nice pun, eh?), that is Marketing which includes Sales and Business Development and all things that gets the product into the customers hands, or better yet, on their walls.

Basic Marketing Class can divide Marketing into its four parts, usually called the 4-P’s: Product, Place, Promotion and Price. These 4-P’s are of course interrelated, but can stand apart enought for you to focus on (Yikes, another neat pun, I’m doing good(?) today). So for today, lets get the overview of the 4-P’s. Later I will discuss each of these parts in much more detail.

Product: Simply, this is inclusive of whatever you trade for the buyers cash. The product may be a service, such as teaching art. The product may have substance that you can hold, such as photographic print (or a framed and matted print) or a book. If you have a retail gallery, the artist you represent have their artworks available for display and sell, thus the artist provides inventory. For artists, the product may be conceptual, such as a temporary gallery installation. But last, since you express yourself in your artworks, you are also a part of the product.

Place: This is inclusive of where the artwork is sold/shown and the infrasture that supports the sales process. A photographic gallery is a “brick and mortor” phyisical location in a specific location. But know the place is also the Internet, with on-line galleries, potentially yours or others. Place may also be physical location of a public gallery such as a Museum or regtional Art Center. For an artist, the placet would include your studio or where you create your artworks.

 Promotion: This is how your artwork “product” becomes known by those who you wish to purchase. The two big catagories are Direct Marketing and Indirect Marketing. An example of Direct Marketing is a display advertisement in a magazine. Being direct, it is something you pay for to get some sort of sales benefit. Perhaps it is a series of postcards of your work being mailed out regualarly to a select group of gallery owners or those who purchased your work in the past. This would also include your on-line gallery website that displays your images.

Indirect marketing has an indirect influence on a buy’s perception that you are an artist worth collecting and MAY lead to a purchase. This would include writing an article in a magzine that used your artwork as an illustration, or a magazine article about you as an artist. Another indirect marketing is being included in a group exhibit of a regional (public/non-profit) Art Center. Your work is not for sale, but the fact that you are exhibiting in a Art Center gives you visibility and credability as an artist. You can even hire a Public Relations (PR) firm or individual to help you with your indirect marketing program.

Price: Last but certainly not least, is price. This is probably the trickest part of being an artist, especially when starting out and trying to determine what your artworks can be sold for. There are two basic parts of price, which is your retail price and your wholesale price. And the price will vary depending on your product and place; such as Limited Editions/Editioning at a (for-profit) gallery, with the price varing for the product size and what part of the Edition is avalible for sales.

Best regards, Doug

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