Consumer Behavior Class Project, Fall 2022
The fall semester brought intrigue and suspense when two of Pace University's Consumer Behavior courses, taught by Marketing Professor Mary Long, performed an investigative deep dive on behalf of Pace SBDC client Theater for the New City for a market research project.
The theater initially connected with the Pace SBDC when Assemblymember Deborah Glick's office introduced it to a co-operative initiative that welcomed dramatic arts institutions to join the Pace SBDC's June 2022 "Developing Your Brand Story & Assets" workshop, led by Adjunct Professor Margaret "Peggy" Kim with assistance from business advisors Susan Gluck and Joseph Peterson. Susan later helped the theater's Co-Founder and Creative Director, Crystal Field, and General Manager and Marketing Director, Jonathan Weber, obtain market research data from the SBDC Research Network and better understand how to develop a practical, strategic marketing plan. Soon after, Susan suggested the theater for Professor Long's class project, as it would benefit from a Consumer Behavior analysis.
In September, Mr. Weber met with the classes and described the variety of challenges facing the theater. He gave a view into how the off-Broadway theater and writer's studio had survived for so long with so little. Professor Long asked the students to consider how to help Mr. Weber in his quest to expand the theater's pandemic-affected, shrunken market and gain ground with a Gen Z audience. Students who had dual majors of marketing and entertainment management especially expressed their delight at the prospect of digging into a downtown theater’s market.
Professor Long's students collected survey data, held interviews with theater goers, developed metrics into practical observations and bold recommendations, and put together colorful final reports. The top project groups delivered insights focused on making the theater venue visually more "Instagrammable" and suggested inviting in local grade-school and college students for drama and technical workshops, since providing experiences has been proven deeply motivating to younger audiences. In mid-December, following group presentations that showcased the top findings and recommendations, a pleased Mr. Weber provided feedback, expressing great appreciation for the suggestions, believing the theater should and would try them out. Weber also offered the students an invitation to attend upcoming TNC shows.
If your small business is in need of marketing and sales help during these challenging times, schedule a no-cost meeting with a Pace SBDC business advisor who will help you access market research and improve your strategic marketing plans and tactics.