NCC Summer Music Theatre - Case Study

Everyone loves community theatre. Especially in small, close-knit towns like Naperville IL. But sometimes theatre tickets are hard to sell. This is what we did to increase ticket sales for NCC Summer Music Theatre in a short period of 3 months

The Challenge

North Central College Summer Music Theatre's audiences were shrinking instead of growing every summer, and ticket sales reflected this downward trend. Many competing events in the area and the lack of visibility had precluded NCC Summer Music Theatre to get more seats.

The iconic community theatre went from producing 3 shows in 2016, to only one in 2017. Something needed to change. 

The Strategy

The marketing plan consisted mostly of social media management and content creation for their already engaged Facebook page. It also included the creation of an Instagram page which quickly drew attention to the younger audiences.


In addition, an essential part of the strategy was the local public relations and getting the story in local news. Also, the poster for the show, personally designed by Christian, highlighted the iconic Shrek logo and was strategically placed in the most visited places in Naperville. It was a far cry from the previous lackluster posters they had been using.

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2,374 people reached and 94 clicks with only $18 spent, which is a $0.19 CPC.

Regarding the social media accounts, by consistently posting sneak peeks of the show's rehearsals and funny moments, the organic reach of some of the posts hit the thousands range. Promoting some of the most important posts was the cherry on the top.


On the other hand, the Instagram account was tailored to the younger group of 13-25. This allowed the theatre to get a new customer segment, which was reflected in the student ticket sales, which doubled from 2017.

A mix of photos, videos, and cast and crew bios was key in helping the word of mouth spread throughout the city of Naperville. Most of these posts were meant to get people talking about the show. Cast and crew bios got a lot of attention from their friends and families, who shared the posts and increased the organic reach.

Christian sent personal invites by email to key members of the city, like the mayor, the city council, the members of the Naperville Chamber of Commerce, etc. On top of that, he got the show featured on NCTV17, the local TV news; as well as in the Naperville Sun and North Central news.

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The cast members appearing on local news

The Results

Total ticket sales increase from $22,280 in the summer of 2017, to $41,730, and increase of almost 90%. Online sales virtually tripled from the previous year, reflecting the integrated marketing strategy.


And the most important, the theatre got a big audience that had been untapped with their traditional marketing efforts: students. Student tickets went from 411 tickets sold in 2017 to 1086 tickets in 2018. Everyone was happy.

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Case Study NCC Summer Music Theatre

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