No arts administrator will assemble a programme without considering at each stage the potential audience for the work. If the administrator does not believe that a 'proper' audience (in the sense we used the term above, p. 89) can be found for each work from within that potential audience, then it is plainly unwise to programme it. As the administrator pencils in any exhibition, film or recital, he or she must have a realizable audience, preferably one 'proper' to that work, already in mind.
It is no use pretending that any amount of information, field work or particular marketing formula will ensure that the administrator's belief that there is a proper and realizable audience for a work is always justified. Even the best administrators will sometimes find their 'hunches' about the likely appeal of shows can be misplaced. The exhibition thought certain to be a great attraction may hang for a month in near-empty galleries. Conversely a marginal event, of which the administrator had no great hopes, will suddenly be a huge success. For example, the authors remember with astonishment a Polish Dance Company packing a theatre in rural Somerset. At the other end of the spectrum, in 1993 virtually every marketer and every fixer on Broadway worked on reshaping a £5.8 million musical, Red Shoes, to suit that well-researched market. It closed after four performances.
The arts marketing consultant Keith Diggle (1994) has neatly defined the task of marketing, and in the process has helped to define further our notion of a 'proper' audience:
The aim of arts marketing is to bring an appropriate number of people, drawn from the widest possible range of social background, economic condition and age, into an appropriate form of contact with the artist and, in so doing, to arrive at the best financial outcome that is compatible with the achievement of that aim.