Unique art marketing

December 1, 2009

Opus has sold MyArtClub.Com artist website CDs for years. Over that time, MyArtClub.Com has built a large image database. Using this to artists’ advantage was their objective.

Building from their October 2008 Canadian Fine Art Market Report, first reported in Opus’ November 2008 newsletter, Cam Anderson and Peter Newell of MyArtClub.Com launched a trial marketing program this summer, a 14 week fine art raffle with the Coquitlam Farmers Market!

Art buyers, the report had found, are 80% female, and supporters of local art are the most likely to buy art regularly. BC farmers markets attract an 80% female population of buyers seeking quality locally produced goods. The fit seemed very good, and indeed the success of the program bore this out.

This raffle was designed as a win-win-win for local artists, the farmers market, and local sponsors within the Tri-cities of Port Moody, Coquitlam, and Port Coquitlam. Three $2 raffles awarded a $300, $400 and a $500 gift certificate valid with eligible artists. The three winners are now very excited to be able to shop with any local artist shown on a custom site of tri-cities artists at MyArtClub.Com/FarmersMarket. The winners plan to visit art shows, studios etc to make their choice. MyArtClub then reimburses the local artist from the winner’s certificate.

A key learning from this study is that art buyers were very motivated and delighted to have a gift certificate valid for local artists listed on a local website. The program, once explained, was very popular with shoppers at the market, with comments like “what a good idea” being typical.

To make this work took some dedicated promotion, first to locate sponsors, and secondly to sell the raffle tickets. In our case six sponsors donated money to pay for the prizes. The sponsors benefited from repeated exposure to the 2,000 weekly shoppers over the 14 week program. They received a very high level of exposure relative to their cost.

Having sponsors was key to the program as then the farmers market could sell the raffle tickets and keep all the proceeds to support and grow the market, a popular undertaking in this age of building local sustainable communities.

Promoting the raffle and the local art to be won was fun, and gave participants a true sense of community. Each week the Coquitlam Farmers Market donated a booth dedicated to showcasing the local artists to promote the artist, and the raffle. Artists sold over $600 in sales, without commission. Artists benefited from new leads, contacts with friends and clients, and fresh foods too! The promotions let many new potential clients to see the talent of the tri-cities areas and learn about art shows. This program helped to build the arts community locally.

If you feel interested or up to the challenge to try something like this in your community, please contact Cam or Peter at Webmaster@MyArtClub.Com. They would be pleased to provide “how-to” details to help support you.

A myartclub.com CD makes a great gift for any artist who wants to establish a presence on the web. It’s easy, affordable and fun – available at any Opus location.