What about the audience members that are in the middle?

I read an interesting word-of-mouth study recently that talked about how companies are getting much better at recognizing the importance of responding and engaging with fans.

For the most part, corporate America is getting smarter about:

1 – Responding to complaints and putting out fires before they spread.


2 – Engaging the superfans and encouraging them to spread their fire.

Makes sense, right?  And all of you are doing this on your shows and at your theaters, right?


Well, the trick is, as this article went on to explain . . . there is a third group, which most likely is a larger group, that is even more important.  These are the customers/audience members that think your product is “good” or “fine” or . . . the one word I hate to hear more than anything . . . “cute”.

They had an enjoyable time, they got their money’s worth, but they are not exactly screaming from the top of their lungs that their friends should throw money your way.  In other words, they are “satisfied.”

The tricky thing about this group is that they are not easy to find. They probably won’t sign up for mailing lists, or respond to contests, or want to be surveyed.

We’ll call them the elusive “cute” customer.

And it’s your responsibility to hunt them down like they’re the Yeti.

Find them, and figure out what you can do to turn them from a “cute” to an “advocate”.  What can you do to make their experience more unique . . . more unforgettable . . . and therefore more “spreadable.”

Because in an industry where the stakes are high and the economics fragile, cute just doesn’t cut it.


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  • Marshall says:

    For the love of Mike, Ken: DON’T ask them to take a survey! If you find these Yetis: one or two quick verbal answers will make them feel appreciated without souring their day with another “Do I Have To?” survey. At least that’s my experience. Love your blog!

  • Cam says:

    I’d say I fall into this category a lot. I enjoyed the show, I’d see it every few years if it were still playing. But I’d also tell people that it was a good show if they were interested in seeing one. One example would be Fiddler on the Roof. I’ve seen it on TV a long time ago. The opportunity came up to see it performed live on stage. It was very enjoyable. But I wouldn’t go all of the time or even every year. I was satisfied. I’d guess that the majority of theatres and productions are customer friendly and work very diligently to make them happy. I haven’t run into one that I would complain about.
    I don’t like surveys either, but recently I went to a show and filled out one because they said they’d get continued funding for future shows if they could provide enough positive feedback. I’m a sucker for a good cause (or if I got paid for my time and trouble with a free soda or something.)

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