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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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.