Art Marketers Must Capture the Emerging “Creative Class”

Marketing art requires understanding the young, urban dwellers

Marketers need to aim for the young, urban dwellers who may not have the money yet to buy masterpieces, but have the passion to build an art collection.

Attendees at the recent Art Basel show in Miami Beach were witness to a display of affluence. According to a recent article in Quartz, the show attracts more private jet traffic to the local airport than would a Super Bowl. This is to be expected; collecting fine art has long been the privilege of the ultra-affluent, who can afford to drop thousands of dollars on wall decoration-cum-investment pieces.

However, Art Basel is seeing a new approach from gallery owners. Today, these gallery owners are not only targeting the “one percent,” they are reaching out to the “creative class,” those young, urban dwellers who may not have quite as much money, but have every bit of the passion required to develop and sustain art collection throughout a lifetime. In the Quartz article, Arun Sharma, professor of marketing at the University of Miami, noted, “The others come and go. The members of the creative class are the ones that come and stay.”

Get Inspired>>

What art experiences turn on the creative class?

But how do you market art to this new creative class? These consumers are driven less by the desire to collect investment pieces that will appreciate in value and more by the visual interest created by the works. Plus these buyers aren’t afraid to buy their art from an image on their computer screens, without actually experiencing the piece in a gallery. “In the age of Instagram, communicating through images has become a necessary part of contemporary life,” the Quartz article concludes.

Selling art today is not just about knowing your product, it’s about knowing your customer. Today’s customer is younger and on his or her way up in the world. Their art is a reflection of their own aesthetic sensibilities. They buy what they want to see and live with, not what they perceive as an investment piece.

Plus, the way they buy art is changing. Unity Marketing’s extensive research into the consumer art market finds that some 30% of recent affluent art buyers made their most recent purchase online and another 10% bought in some other way, such as at an art show. What gallery owner can withstand losing 40% of their business when real customers looking to buy art walk right by their door and go online or direct-to-artist to make their purchase?

Take Action>>

Unity Marketing offers two perspectives on today’s contemporary art market

Depending upon one’s specific interest in the art market, whether one operates a retail art gallery or designs and develops art marketing programs, Unity Marketing offers two distinct perspectives that will bring new understanding and insights to help art marketers and galleries find success in the rapidly changing market for contemporary art.

For those who have the most comprehensive and in-depth needs to understand the past, present and future of the contemporary art and wall decor market, there is the Art, Wall Decor, Custom Framing and Picture Frame Report. This report delves deeply into the art and wall decor customer, giving a demographic and behavioral profile of this consumer. By drilling down into the buying habits of the customer and the items they choose to purchase, this report gives marketers, galleries, retailers, and framing shops the information they need to capture the new “creative class.”

With the detailed Art, Wall Decor, Custom Framing and Picture Frame Report comes another focused exclusively on the retail business of operating an art gallery. Called Art Gallery’s Guide to the New Consumer Art Market: Retailer’s Guide to Marketing Art in New Luxury Style, this report is written for retail art gallery owners and managers. It shares insights to help them achieve a competitive edge with a better understanding of today’s retail art customer. Also included in the report are examples of art galleries that are succeeding and staying ahead of the competition. It presents strategies for art galleries to get out ahead of the curve and ideas to put the internet and social media tools to work for the retail gallery.

Depending upon your businesses’ specific needs, you can order the two-report package or the Art Gallery’s Guide alone. Click here to learn more about the art market resources available from Unity Marketing or call us at 717-336-1600.