Art Marketing Strategy · Uncategorized

(DIY) Art Marketing Strategy

Identifying, Appealing to, and Understanding Your Customers

Customer relationships are an ongoing challenge for every business. If you are in business for yourself things can get even more tricky. Fear not, artists – your creative problem solving skills will serve you well when it comes to developing an Art Marketing Strategy.

Maybe I like market research because it involves creative thinking AND data, whatever. My goal today is to introduce you to a market research strategy so you can SELL YOUR ART!

The goal here is to coach you to create a customer survey template. If you don’t have customers (yet) fear not – this an excellent first step towards finding them.

What is a customer?

As with everything in life; the basics are a good place to start.

Wikipedia defines a customer as “A customer (sometimes known as a client, buyer, or purchaser) is the recipient of a Good or a service, or a product, or an idea, obtained from a seller, vendor, or supplier via a financial transaction or exchange for money or some other valuable consideration.”

 If you are actively selling your art, you already have customers. What do you know about them? Do you have any unanswered questions about their behavior in the market? (You should)

The simplified goal of most businesses is to get more customers and art is no different. If you are merely getting your ducks in a row so you can sell your art – you may not have much in terms of quantitative data, but if you are resourceful you can access loads of qualitative data by listening to the information your “potential customers” provide.

 Regardless of whether you have a customer base or not – it is always a good business strategy to be aware of what is happening “in the market”. For an artist this means being aware of popular trends in the art world – as well as being aware of what (your) customers are buying.

Who are you? (Market Research is Your Friend)

If you secretly wish to be the next Banksy, I think I can help… but put the spray paint down for a minute.. it is about to get technical.

Quantitative information will help you to measure price, growth, and other number-related qualities.

  • Who is your biggest customer
    • Who buys the most? / Who spends the most money?
  • What products sell the best?
  • Who is your biggest customer
    • Who buys the most? / Who spends the most money?

Qualitative information covers the more… emotional side of things

  • How do customers feel about landscape paintings?
  • Which style do customers like?

Some other useful things to know:

  • What products sell the best?
  • Can facts (location, costs, and other categories) create understanding?
  • Where do your products sell best?
  • When do your products sell best?
  • How long does it take to deliver / How do you deliver?

Role Play:

You are history lover with a book shop and you notice that postcards with animals are selling more than usual.


This reproduction postcard with the Simplicissimus Hund has been particularly popular for the last four months. As a successful art marketing strategist, you will naturally have a few questions.

  1. Who buys these cards? (Demographic information)
  2. Which card is the most popular?
  3. Where is the card stand located? / Do I have new neighbors?
  4. Do these cards also sell well in other areas?
  5. When was the last delivery of post cards? How quickly did the cards sell out?
  6. Is the sudden popularity of my post cards related to any obvious factors? (i.e. a newspaper article about Simplicissimus Magazine, or National Dog Day)
  7. What words would I use to describe the most successful cards? (Red, Dog, Munich, etc.) – are there any correlations between these “keywords”?
  8. ….go on….

Customers… what do you want?

You wouldn’t sell anything that you didn’t think was good. It stands to reason that customers won’t buy art that they don’t like.

So, how do you find out what art buyers like? You either ask them, or you collect reliable data about their behavior patterns.

If you can survey your customers, I highly recommend that you periodically create a fun, interactive “quiz” to get an idea of who you customers are and what they want.

What to do next?

  1. Talk to your friends / customers
  2. What five questions would you ask them?
  3. Have you tried this before? What were the results?


My next activity will be to create a brief “customer survey” for painters. What questions would you ask?


Hey cool! You read THE WHOLE THING!

If you’d like to continue this conversation – leave a comment.

If you have suggestions for future blog posts – let me know.

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