It's Not (Just) the Economy: Art Marketers Struggle with Need to Attract New Customers
New Unity Marketing study finds loss of customers is the key challenge facing the art market -- Art marketers must understand consumer motivations in order to attract new customers
The past four years have been challenging for those who create, manufacture, and sell art, custom framing and other related products. Since 2006, the share of households that purchased any art, wall décor, picture frame, or custom framing products declined from 58 percent to 47 percent in 2010. This dramatic drop in people making purchases of items to display on their walls or to frame resulted in a 8.4 percent loss in the total market for art, wall décor, picture frames and custom framing, according to Unity Marketin's new report, Art, Wall Decor, Custom Framing, and Picture Frame Report 2010.
The art market took a big hit when it came to losing customers, dropping 11 percentage points in purchase incidence between 2006 and 2010
"Marketers in this category cannot simply wring their hands and blame the economy," says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and primary researcher on this report. "In our research based upon surveys with over 1,300 buyers, we found that potential customers are not holding back just because of a weak economy. In fact, those who remained active in the art market spent 40 percent more in 2010 than they did in 2006. But those customers who were less engaged in the category didn't just cut back, but cut themselves out of the art market all together in the past four years. As a result art marketer's key challenge is to entice potential customers who now walk by product displays rather than stopping, looking, touching, and ultimately buying."
Understanding the customer is the key to marketing success
To attract new customers, marketers must first understand the attitudes and motivations that cause people to buy art, wall décor, picture frames, and custom framing. By appealing to attitudes characteristic of art buyers, marketers can make new emotional connections with potential customers in order to build their businesses.
Among the attitudes most prominent with art and wall décor consumers are:
I hang art in my home to enhance the decor - 82 percent of art and wall décor buyers agree
Art transforms a house into a home. It enhances the environment to personalize the space. Art purchases aren't driven solely about decorating decisions, but the art that is purchased enhances the decoration in the home.
When choosing art for my home, the way the piece makes me feel is most important - 72 percent
The days of buying a painting because it fit over the couch and matched the room are over. Consumers see their selection of art as more important than just matching décor. It is an emotional choice that reflects them. Art purchases are driven by how the piece makes the potential buyer feel, rather than by decorating decisions (i.e. how will that picture look over the sofa?). Decorating takes a back seat to personal experience.
A home can't be truly decorated without art on the walls - 68 percent
Art is an essential element of the home among these highly engaged consumers.
The art I buy and display is an important outlet for my creative expression - 55 percent
Art buyers are creative people who strongly connect with the art they display on their walls. This is a natural outgrowth of the findings that consumers wish to buy items that reflect their personal taste and that the most important factor in play is whether they like a piece. Art is more than just an investment or an item to hang on the wall; it is an extension of the consumer's self.
"The latest report helps marketers focus on the key shopping behaviors and emotional motivations that drive purchases in the category. In order to be successful, marketers must first understand their current and potential customers, including where these consumers shop, how often they shop, what products they are looking for, and what inspires them. Armed with this consumer intelligence, marketers can reignite the passion necessary to spark new purchases and grow their businesses," Danziger concludes.
Information Included in the Art, Wall Decor, Custom Framing and Picture Frame Report
Unity Marketing's Art, Wall Decor, Custom Framing, and Picture Frame Report 2010 is designed to help art, wall decor, custom framing and picture frame manufacturers, marketers and retailers better understand the consumer market for their goods. Based upon research among 1,300+ recent product category purchasers (HHI $107k; age 45.8 yrs.; 36% male/64% female), this report focuses on market opportunities available to product manufacturers and retailers to help them deliver products and services that satisfy the consumers' desire for art, wall decor, custom framing and picture frames. A perspective on trends in the marketplace are provided by comparison with a survey conducted among consumers in 2006.
Through an in-depth investigation of consumers, their buying behavior, needs, desires and preferences, this report includes research data and statistics about:
- Art, Wall Decor, Picture Frame and Custom Framing Market Size and Growth: What is the size of the overall art, wall decor, frame and custom framing markets? How rapidly is it growing? How is the market segmented by type of product purchased? How are sales by channel of distribution shifting?
- Demographics of the Market: What are the demographic characteristics of people who buy art, wall decor, frames and custom framing? What are the key demographic differences found among and between buyers of the different product segments (e.g., gender, age, generation, household income, size, composition, ethnicity/race, education, etc.)?
- Art, Wall Decor, Frame and Custom Framing Buying Behavior: What are the primary characteristics of the consumers' buying behavior related to these products in general and each product segment in particular (e.g. art, wall decor, frames, and custom framing)? Why do they buy these goods and how do consumers' motivations different by product category segment? Where do they shop for the different types of products; what factors influence their decision making; how much do they spend buying each of the products segments and across the entire category? What is the role of brand in product selection and shopping choices? How do different demographic segments differ in their shopping and buying behavior?
- Psychographic Profile and Segmentation of the Art and Custom Framing Markets: Psychographic profiles of art buyers and custom framing customers is developed in this report. The personality profiles identify different types or personalities of consumers of art and custom framing. These profiles identify different drives and motivations found among consumers in purchasing these products; what factors are more or less important in driving their purchasing decisions; and how art and framing marketers and retailers can better understand the hearts and minds of their consumers. In essence, we will discover why people buy art and custom framing.
Deep Dive into What Motivates Consumers to Buy
In order to help marketers gain insight into what motivates the target customer to buy products in this category, a number of questions were included in the survey to give marketers reliable data about consumers' motivations and needs that drive purchases in the art, wall decor, picture frame and custom framing markets.
To discover why people buy, questions were included:
- Battery of attitude statements about art and custom framing. These attitude statements are used to segment the survey sample into different personalities that are motivated by different factors in their pursuit of these products
- Changes in home or purchase of new home that motivated purchase
- Type and number of pictures displayed on home's walls
- Importance of a variety of factors, such as style, color, price, in selecting items to hang on the wall
- Role of personal photography and displaying personal pictures on framing purchases and display decisions
- Favorite themes or subjects for art
- Whether consumer has any pictures waiting to be framed, when they plan to frame these pieces and what will influence the framing decisions for the future.
To Custom-Frame or Buy a Ready-Made Frame? That Is the Question
This study includes an analysis of both custom-framing customers and those who choose ready-made picture frames for their display needs. This study examines in detail the motivating factors behind the purchase of each framing option and gives marketers and retailers guidance in positioning their products to attract their best target customer and grow their business.
For media: Danziger available for interviews. Charts, tables and graphs detailing major findings in the report also are available.