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THE AIMS OF PAPERThe aim of this paper was to identify key elements that create satisfaction of classic theatre audiences with respect to age (young (<35) vs. senior (35+) and theatre visiting frequency. It was measured as discrepan-cies between the level of theatre attendants’ expectations from certain dimensions of theatre service and their experience evaluation with the same.METHODOLOGYThe research was conducted on a convenient sample using an in-person method in two different intervals: in the first interval research was conducted on young respondents (18-34) and in second interval research was conducted on senior respondents (age 35+).MOST IMPORTANT RESULTSThe study has identified that the general major source of dissatisfaction with Croatian National Theatre in Osijek (HNK Osijek) are repertoire and the different experience offered. These are the dimensions HNK Osijek should focus its efforts on. Also, this study confirms that HNK Osijek customers’ perception of importance of different elements that create its marketing profile and their satisfaction with those differ with respect to age and theatre attendance frequency. The most critical segment in terms of satisfaction are the senior occasional visitors, where the discrepancies between the expectations and experiences are highest in general.Keywords: theatre marketing, theatre audience, theatre experience, audience satisfaction
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39MARKETING & MENEDZSMENT 2019. 4. SZÁM
Theatre Marketing – Analysis of Customers’
Satisfaction
Mirna Leko Šimic and Ana Pap
Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia
THE AIMS OF PAPER
The aim of this paper was to identify key elements that create satisfaction of classic theatre audiences with
respect to age (young (<35) vs. senior (35+) and theatre visiting frequency. It was measured as discrepan-
cies between the level of theatre attendants’ expectations from certain dimensions of theatre service and
their experience evaluation with the same.
METHODOLOGY
The research was conducted on a convenient sample using an in-person method in two dierent intervals:
in the rst interval research was conducted on young respondents (18-34) and in second interval research
was conducted on senior respondents (age 35+).
MOST IMPORTANT RESULTS
The study has identied that the general major source of dissatisfaction with Croatian National Theatre in
Osijek (HNK Osijek) are repertoire and the dierent experience oered. These are the dimensions HNK
Osijek should focus its eorts on. Also, this study conrms that HNK Osijek customers’ perception of
importance of dierent elements that create its marketing prole and their satisfaction with those dier
with respect to age and theatre attendance frequency. The most critical segment in terms of satisfaction
are the senior occasional visitors, where the discrepancies between the expectations and experiences are
highest in general.
Keywords: theatre marketing, theatre audience, theatre experience, audience satisfaction
DOI: https://doi.org/10.15170/MM.2019.53.04.04
MARKETING & MENEDZSMENT 2019. 4. SZÁM40
INTRODUCTION
Numerous studies on theatre marketing have iden-
tied that it is losing on attractiveness in contempo-
rary world, mainly due to increasing number of new
types of cultural products being available on the
market (Gainer & Padanyi 2002). The total num-
ber of visitors, especially loyal ones (subscribers)
is decreasing, and the audience is aging (Grisolia et
al. 2010). Moreover, the majority of classic theat-
res are publicly nanced, usually with very limited
and constantly decreasing total budget, and usually
a non-existent one for marketing and research pur-
poses.
Classic theatre is a social, situational and expe-
riential phenomenon rather than a xed or tangible
product (Walmasley 2011). Therefore it needs to
apply specic methodology and marketing tools to
identify the most attractive market segments and to
create optimal strategies.
The aim of this paper is to identify key elements
that create satisfaction of classic theatre audiences
with respect to age [young (<35) vs. senior (35+)]
and theatre visiting frequency. The focus of our
research was Croatian National Theatre in Osijek
(HNK Osijek). Customer satisfaction is one of the
key elements that determine customers’ behavioural
intentions, i.e. their future attendance (Cronin et al.
2000) and therefore its composition and measure-
ment are important for theatre management.
LITERATURE OVERVIEW
In the performing arts literature there are several
issues that have been studies as potentially inu-
encing factors and/or predictors of customer future
behaviour: socio-demographic characteristics (age,
gender, education), socio-economic (employment,
income, social class), geographic (urban/rural),
lifestyle and some others. A large number of studies
are devoted to customer satisfaction as a signicant
predictor of customers’ future behaviour.
Table 1 gives an overview of the most important
factors inuencing theatre attendance in dierent
studies.
Table 1. Overview of the most important factors inuencing/predicting theatre attendance
FACTOR STUDIES
Gender Sargeant (1997), Chan & Goldthorpe (2005), Grisolia et al.
(2010)
Age Peterson et al. (2000), Seaman (2005), Botha & Slabbert
(2011), Willis et al. (2012)
Education/knowledge Bourdieu (1973), DiMaggio (1982), Chytkova et al. (2012),
Obaidalahe & Steils (2018)
Income/social class/price Bourdieu (1973), DiMaggio & Useem (1978), Borgonovi
(2004), Solomon et al. (2010), Chytkova et al. (2012)
Geography/Location Baumol & Bowen (1966), Garbarino & Johnson (2001), Willis
et al. (2012), Gilmore (2013)
Lifestyle/hobbies and interests Andreasen & Belk (1980), Sargeant (1997),
Emotions/satisfaction
Cronin & Taylor (1992), L´evy-Garboua & Montmarquette
(1996), Minor & Hausman (2004), Lee et al. (2008), Jobst &
Boerner (2011), Andreea (2012), Tubillejas et al. (2017)
Previous experience/early exposure Morrison & West (1986), Boerner et al. (2011)
Socialization Andreasen & Belk (1980), Dos Santos & Rios (2016)
Source: authors’ work
41MARKETING & MENEDZSMENT 2019. 4. SZÁM
Most of the above mentioned studies are quite
consistent: there are signicantly more women
than men interested in and visiting classic theatre;
more of older than younger classic theatre visitors,
especially loyal ones, and more higher educated
and those with higher income and/or belonging to
higher social classes. Theatres in urban areas are
more popular, and the closer the distance to the
theatre, the more visitors are motivated to attend.
More previous experience with theatre causes more
willingness to attend, and socialization is an increa-
singly important additional motivation for theatre
attendance.
As it is obvious in the above table, consumers’
satisfaction is, especially in recent studies, iden-
tied as one of the crucial elements contributing to
both retention of existing customers, and attracting
new ones. A number of authors also identify satis-
faction with a cultural product as key segmentation
determinant (Oom do Valle et al. 2010, Jobst &
Boerner 2011, and others).
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION –
THEORETICAL OVERVIEW
The concept of customer satisfaction was rst int-
roduced by Cardozo (1965), who stated that it can
be used as a predictor of repurchasing behaviour,
thus emphasizing its role in retaining existing cus-
tomers. Oliver (1981) dened customer satisfaction
as the extent to which customers expected product
benets are realized, or the consistency between
expected and actual results. A number of other
studies also conrms the gap between expecta-
tions and performance as the basic concept behind
customer satisfaction (Dovidow & Uttal 1989,
Parasuraman et al. 1993, Tseng 2009, and many
others).
In this study we use the same approach to iden-
tify the level of customer satisfaction. We apply
a concept of overall satisfaction, i.e. cumulative
satisfaction, which represents an overall evalua-
tion based on the total purchase and consumption
experience over time (Anderson et al. 1994). It can
be applied to both goods and services. It enables
measuring satisfaction with dierent facets of the
company, opposed to transactional satisfaction,
which measures a particular experience (London
o
et al. 2017).
Some of studies in performing arts distinguish
between main and additional service (Kotler &
Sche 1997, Voss & Cova 2006), where main ser-
vice cover the elements of performance and additio-
nal services are related to pre- or post- performance
elements (booking and purchasing the ticket, per-
sonnel, information, parking, and similar). Very
similar to this, Burgeon (cited in Kotler & Sche
1997) identied perception of performance qua-
lity, perception of ambience and emotions to be
determinants of customer satisfaction. Garbarino
& Johnson (1999) have examined the inuences of
component attitudes of theatre goers toward actor
satisfaction, actor familiarity, play satisfaction and
theatre facility satisfaction, where the rst three
dimensions belong to the main service and the last
one to additional service.
Another important issue regarding theatre cus-
tomers’ satisfaction is the distinction between loyal
(subscribers) and frequent attenders as one group
and occasional attenders as other. According to
Boorsma & van Maanen (2003) the quality percep-
tion and thus satisfaction with performance might
dier between the two groups. Although current
research ndings are not consistent, we also took
the approach of dierentiating between the two
groups.
The review on classic theatre customers’ satisfa-
ction research indicates the importance of the topic.
Since most of the studies emphasize the dierence
between visiting frequency, we accepted this appro-
ach. Due to specic attitudes and behaviour patterns
in theatre perception among young audiences found
in previous research (Leko Šimić et al. 2018), our
goal is to test the dierences between young and
senior audiences.
RESEARCH
The aim of the research was to explore components
of classic theatre satisfaction and discrepancies in
the level of theatre attendants’ expectations from
certain theatre aspects and their actual experience.
Dierence between the two creates level of satis-
faction with theatre. Additionally we wanted to
evaluate potential dierences in satisfaction with
respect to age and frequency of theatre attendance.
This is an important issue, since, like in many other
classic theatres, HNK Osijek evidence shows a
signicant decline in theatre attendance, which is
depict in Table 2.
MARKETING & MENEDZSMENT 2019. 4. SZÁM42
Table 2. HNK Osijek attendance 2013-2018
THEATRE SEASON NUMBER OF TICKETS SOLD % GROWTH
2013/2014 38.189 n.a.
2014/2015 43.620 +14.2%
2015/2016 45.720 +4.8%
2016/2017 41.632 -9.8%
2017/2018 38.227 -8.9%
Source: HNK Osijek, internal reports on sales
Sample description and procedure
A self-completion questionnaire was developed
upon analysis of previous studies and distributed to
the population in the area of about 50 km around
Osijek The questionnaire was developed with a
goal to evaluate respondents’ expectations and
experiences, i.e. satisfaction with certain aspects of
HNK Osijek.
The research was conducted on a convenient
sample using an in-person method in two die-
rent intervals: in the rst interval research (2017)
was conducted on young respondents (18-34) and
in second interval research (2018) was conducted
on senior respondents (age 35+). Although, the
research was carried out in two intervals, it is pos-
sible to compare the results since theatre program
structure is dened by strict standards (three music
and three drama new performances each year and
four reprises from previous year).
Altogether 1315 participants took part in the
research (876 participants below the age of 35,
and 439 participants of age 35+). The information
obtained was analysed using the statistical software
package SPSS version 21.0. Statistical techniques
of univariate analysis (frequency distribution and
central tendency measures) were used. The major
sample characteristics of young and senior respon-
dents separately are shown in Table 3.
Table 3. Sample description
Young respondents Senior respondents
N % N %
Gender Male 355 40.5 206 47
Female 518 59.1 232 53
Age*
18-21 35-44 335 38.2 222 50.7
22-25 45-54 306 34.9 135 30.8
26-30 55-64 141 16.1 58 13.7
31-34 65-78 88 10 23 4.8
Place of residence
Osijek 569 65 304 69.4
Other urban areas 34 3.9 84 19.2
Rural area 142 16.2 50 11.4
Completed level of
education
Primary school 10 1.1 20 4.6
Secondary school 573 65.4 196 44.7
High school or university 268 30.6 195 44.5
Postgraduate 22 2.5 27 6.2
43MARKETING & MENEDZSMENT 2019. 4. SZÁM
Employment status
Employed 214 24.4 306 69.9
Unemployed 137 15.6 73 16.7
Retired 59 13.5
Students 523 59.7
Average monthly
household income
Up to 400 € 153 17.5 64 14.6
401 – 800 € 319 36.4 190 43.4
801 – 1200 € 218 24.9 121 27.6
Over 1200 € 177 20.2 63 14.4
Social networks
active
Yes 783 89.4 262 59.8
No 83 9.5 176 40.2
*age intervals in the rst column are related to young respondents’ age groups, and age intervals in the
second column are related to senior respondents’ age groups
Source: authors’ work
Research results and discussion
Theatre attendance was measured by a question of
visiting frequency to HNK Osijek. The results in
young age group (below 35) showed that only 1%
of respondents are subscribers, i.e. loyal consumers
to HNK Osijek, 5% visit HNK Osijek at least once
in two months, 45% few times a year, and 49% of
respondents have never visited HNK Osijek. Reg-
arding theatre attendance in senior age group (35+)
only 1.4% of respondents are subscribers, i.e. loyal
consumers to HNK Osijek, 5.2% visit HNK Osijek
at least once in two months, 54.5% of respondents
visit HNK Osijek few times a year, and 38.9%
of respondents have never visited HNK Osijek.
Respondents who never visited HNK Osijek were
excluded from further analysis since they could
not evaluate their level of satisfaction with HNK
Osijek.
For further analysis, respondents from each age
group (young and seniors) were divided into two
dierent groups according to their theatre atten-
dance frequency: frequent theatre attendants (sub-
scribers and those who attend theatre at least once
in two months) and occasional theatre attendants
(those who attend theatre couple of times in a year).
Total number and percentage of frequent and occa-
sional theatre attendants from each age group are
depicted in Table 4.
Table 4. Respondents’ theatre attendance
Young respondents Senior respondents
N % N %
Frequent theatre attendants
Subscribers and res-
pondents who visit
HNK Osijek at least
once in two months
52 6 29 6.6
Occasional theatre attendants
Respondents who
visit HNK Osijek a
couple of times in
a year
394 45 239 54.5
Source: authors’ work
MARKETING & MENEDZSMENT 2019. 4. SZÁM44
The table clearly shows that HNK Osijek mostly
attracts senior (35+) audiences, in both groups. This
corresponds with Chytkova et al. (2012) ndings
that conrm younger consumers to be signicantly
less represented in frequent theatre attendance.
Research ndings of Grisolia et al. (2010) also
show that majority of theatre attendants are occa-
sional visitors, no matter of age or type of perfor-
mance. London
o et al. (2017) also found that theat-
regoing in Columbia (only 16.6% of the sample are
visitors in previous year) is not a common habit.
The next part of the analysis aimed to com-
pare dierences between young and senior frequ-
ent theatre attendants regarding the importance,
i.e. expectations and evaluation of actual experi-
ence with some key elements that create main and
additional service of the theatre. The main elements
in case of HNK Osijek are identied as perfor-
mance, price, ambience, theatre names and sta,
while under additional elements we considered
other cultural oers in the city, dierent kind of
experience and lifestyle.
These elements, according to the mentioned
literature, strongly inuence the overall customer
satisfaction. The evaluation used 5-point measure-
ment scale (1 – not important at all, … 5 – greatest
importance) for importance and the same scale
(1 – not satised at all, … 5 – completely satised)
for satisfaction. Table 5 depicts (using arithmetic
means) how young and senior frequent attendants
evaluate certain aspects of HNK Osijek.
Table 5. Expectations and experience evaluation of frequent theatre attendants
Frequent attendants
Dimension
Young audience* Senior audience
Expec-
tations SD* Experi-
ence SD* Expec-
tions SD* Experi-
ence SD*
Performances/
repertoire 4.20 1.117654 3.95 1.06801 4.52 .871 3.86 1.177
Price 3.35 1.182353 3.64 1.077971 3.45 1.152 3.68 .863
Location 3.06 1.356502 4.37 0.900351 3.34 1.261 4.56 .847
Ambience/atmosp-
here in the theatre 3.77 .97281 4.28 0.825936 4.07 1.334 4.08 .891
Theatre names –
actors, directors 3.56 1.236093 3.83 0.934871 4.28 1.412 3.48 1.626
Sta 3.33 1.078481 3.90 1.019196 3.83 1.136 4.11 1.281
Other cultural
oers in the city 3.16 1.296581 3.43 0.814779 3.24 2.099 3.59 1.782
HNK oers a
“dierent” kind of
experience
3.63 1.057559 3.37 1.050638 4.07 2.034 3.63 2.221
Attending theatre
is recognised as a
part of the lifestyle
of those who
know true values
3.40 3.59 0.910844 4.52 2.115 3.67 1.861
AVERAGE 3.27 3.48 3.84 3.65
*Standard deviation
Source: authors’ work
45MARKETING & MENEDZSMENT 2019. 4. SZÁM
Table 5 shows that there are certain discrepan-
cies between attendants’ expectations and their
actual experience with HNK Osijek in both groups
(young and senior audience). It is also visible that
young and senior attendants have dierent levels
of expectations and experience evaluation when it
comes to HNK Osijek. In general, senior audience
has higher expectations of all elements of theatre
attendance than young audience. If we consider
the overall satisfaction to be the positive dierence
between expectations and actual experience, it
turns out that senior frequent visitors’ segment is
not satised with HNK Osijek, whereas the young
one is. Further analysis shows that young frequent
attendants are mostly satised with theatre location,
sta and theatre atmosphere and only elements
where their expectations are not met are dierent
experience oered by the theatre and the repertoire.
Senior frequent theatre visitors show the hig-
hest level of satisfaction with theatre location, sta
and price, and the highest level of dissatisfaction
with dierent experience oered by the theatre,
unrecognized lifestyle of theatre attendants and
theatre names. Dierence oered by HNK Osi-
jek and repertoire seem to be the critical elements
causing highest level of dissatisfaction within both
age segments of frequent attendants. Dierent
experience can be explained as novelty, i.e. desire
to do and experience new and dierent things and
is related to aspects such as discovery, adventure,
excitement, curiosity and uniqueness (Hixson et al.
2011).
Repertoire creation of HNK Osijek is limited
to a certain extent since the title of national theatre
house implicates inclusion of high-culture pro-
ducts into repertoire, while majority of attendants
especially young ones, strongly prefer “easy and
entertaining” type of performances (Leko Šimić
et al. 2018). Low satisfaction in these dimensions
could strongly demotivate theatre visitors for future
attendance.
Table 6 shows how young and senior occasional
theatre attendants evaluate certain aspects of HNK
in terms of expectations and satisfaction.
Table 6. Expectations and satisfaction of occasional theatre attendants
Occasional attendants
Dimension
Young audience Senior audience
Expecta-
tions SD* Experi-
ence SD* Expec-
tations SD* Expe-
rience SD*
Performances/
repertoire 3.53 .97851 3.50 1.02444 4.38 .964 3.53 1.236
Price 3.69 1.09397 3.15 1.002105 4.10 1.087 3.23 1.229
Location 2.82 1.25115 4.07 1.07133 3.29 1.445 4.29 1.670
Ambience/atmosp-
here in the theatre 3.67 1.03768 3.90 .92162 3.97 1.349 3.84 1.080
Theatre names –
actors, directors 3.29 1.23249 3.50 .98954 3.86 1.869 3.45 1.365
Sta 3.05 1.18145 3.63 .98265 3.45 1.482 3.83 1.657
Other cultural
oers in the city 3.12 1.21445 3.22 1.05932 3.55 1.544 3.28 1.620
HNK oers a
“dierent” kind of
experience
3.34 1.14240 3.26 .99973 3.97 2.006 3.53 2.020
Attending theatre
is recognised as a
part of the lifestyle
of those who know
true values
3.18 1.22099 3.14 1.08807 4.03 1.990 3.93 2.075
AVERAGE 3.28 3.48 3.84 3.66
*Standard deviation
Source: authors’ work
MARKETING & MENEDZSMENT 2019. 4. SZÁM46
Table 6 also shows di erences in terms of expe-
ctations and experience evaluation by both young
and senior audience who are occasional visitors.
Research results show the same pattern as in the
case of frequent attendants: young attendants are
generally satis ed with theatre performance and
senior attendants are not (expectations are higher
than experience evaluation). Deeper analysis shows
that young occasional theatre attendants show hig-
hest level of satisfaction with theatre location, sta
and theatre ambience and the lowest (and only)
with price and recognition of theatre attendants’
lifestyle. Senior occasional theatre attendants seem
to be most dissatis ed of all four groups. The only
dimensions in which their expectations of HNK
Osijek are met are location and sta . The highest
level of dissatisfaction is visible in elements of
price, repertoire and theatre “names”. Compari-
son of frequent and occasional theatre attendants
con rms the ndings of Boerner et al. (2011) who
found no signi cant di erences between “experien-
ced“ and “inexperienced” theatre visitors.
Given the average scores in tables 5 and 6, di e-
rent dimensions of HNK Osijek service are ranked
from 1 to 9 by the highest scores. Figure 1 to 4
depict how di erent segments according to visit
frequency and age rank importance (expectations)
of certain aspects of HNK Osijek and which experi-
ences they are most and least satis ed with.
Figure 1. Frequent young theatre attendants’ expectations and experience ranking
Source: authors’ work
4_ Šimić -
Pap
Figure 1
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
3
2
9
5
7
6
4
8
1
AMBIENCE/ATMOSPHERE IN THE THEATRE
HNK OFFERS A “DIFFERENT” KIND OF EXPERIENCE
THEATRE NAMES ACTORS, DIRECTORS
ATTENDING THEATRE IS RECOGNISED AS A PART
PRICE
STAFF
OTHER CULTURAL OFFERS IN THE CITY
LOCATION
Expectati on - rank Satisfaction - rank
As it is visible from Figure 1, young frequent
attendants give the highest importance to perfor-
mances and ambience. Besides that, they also seek
a di erent kind of experience in HNK Osijek. They
are mostly satis ed with the location to which
they give the least importance, but ambience and
performances are among three aspects they are
mostly satis ed with. This is contrary to ndings
of Boerner et al. (2011) who found that infrastruc-
ture and service in the theatre, which correspond
to our dimensions “Sta ” and “Atmosphere” were
not signi cant for a sample of German theatre audi-
ence. Our  ndings regarding the location, i.e. the
theatre building con rm the study of Chytkova
et al. (2012) regarding its relative insigni cance.
The level of satisfaction when it comes to getting
a di erent kind of experience is very low (from all
of the HNK aspects, they are least satis ed with this
aspect). It is evident that the greatest discrepancy is
precisely in this aspect.
47MARKETING & MENEDZSMENT 2019. 4. SZÁM
Figure 2. Frequent senior theatre attendants’ expectations and experience ranking
Source: authors’ work
4_
Šimić
-Pap
Figure
2
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
4
6
9
7
3
2
5
1
8
PERFORMANCES/REPERTOIRE
ATTENDING THEATRE IS RECOGNISED AS A PART
THEATRE NAMES ACTORS, DIRECTORS
HNK OFFERS A “DIFFERENT” KIND OF EXPERIENCE
AMBIENCE/ATMOSPHERE IN THE THEATRE
STAFF
PRICE
LOCATION
OTHER CULTURAL OFFERS IN THE CITY
Expectati on - rank Satisfaction - rank
When it comes to senior frequent attendants,
they also perceive performances as the most impor-
tant aspect of the theatre, but as opposed to young
attendants, they perceive theatre attendance as
a part of a lifestyle as important value, and also
put high importance to theatre names (actors,
directors). They are mostly satis ed with location,
sta and ambience – none of which they perceive as
most important. They are least satis ed with theatre
names, which represent the most signi cant discre-
pancy between expectations and satisfaction.
Figure 3. Occasional young theatre attendants’ expectations and experience ranking
Source: authors’ work
4_
Šimić
-Pap
Figure
3
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
8
2
4
6
4
9
7
3
1
PRICE
AMBIENCE/ATMOSPHERE IN THE THEATRE
PERFORMANCES/REPERTOIRE
HNK OFFERS A “DIFFERENT” KIND OF EXPERIENCE
THEATRE NAMES ACTORS, DIRECTORS
ATTENDING THEATRE IS RECOGNISED AS A PART
OTHER CULTURAL OFFERS IN THE CITY
STAFF
LOCATION
Expectatio n - rank Satisfaction - rank
MARKETING & MENEDZSMENT 2019. 4. SZÁM48
As it can be seen in Figure 3, young occasio-
nal theatre attendants give highest importance to
price (as opposed to both young and senior frequ-
ent attendants who did not perceive price even in
top 5 aspects – Figure 4.). Besides price, they also
perceive ambience and performances as important
aspects. When it comes to their satisfaction, as
well as frequent young attendants, they are mostly
satis ed with the location, then ambience and the
sta . They are least satis ed with theatre attendance
as a particular lifestyle value and with the price.
Figure 4. Occasional senior theatre attendants’ expectations and experience ranking
Source: authors’ work
4_
Šimić
-Pap
Figure
4
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
5
9
2
3
5
7
8
4
1
PERFORMANCES/REPERTOIRE
PRICE
ATTENDING THEATRE IS RECOGNISED AS A PART
AMBIENCE/ATMOSPHERE IN THE THEATRE AND
AMBIENCE/ATMOSPHERE IN THE THEATRE AND
THEATRE NAMES ACTORS, DIRECTORS
OTHER CULTURAL OFFERS IN THE CITY
STAFF
LOCATION
Expectati on - rank Satisfaction - rank
Similarly, occasional senior attendants perce-
ive performances and price as the most important
aspects of theatre. On the other hand, they also want
their theatre attendance to be recognised as a part
of a particular lifestyle. Their expectations in this
aspect are almost met with experience evaluation,
given the fact that, besides location and sta , this
is the aspect they are mostly satis ed with. On the
other hand, occasional senior attendants are least
satis ed with the price, other cultural o ers in the
city and theatre names.
CONCLUSION
Identi cation of di erent audiences’ pro les and
their expectations and experiences with di erent
product and service elements that create their satis-
faction is bene cial to marketers of theatres and
other public cultural institutions since it enables
adaptation of all marketing elements and strategy,
according to the needs and preferences of identi ed
customers’ groups.
The aim of the research was to contribute to
understanding of consumer behaviour in case of
classic theatre by exploring components that create
classic theatre satisfaction. It was measured as disc-
repancies between the level of theatre attendants’
expectations from certain dimensions of theatre
service and their experience evaluation with the
same. We also wanted to analyse and evaluate
potential di erences regarding the age and frequ-
ency of theatre attendance.
First of all, our study indicates that HNK Osijek
is, just like many other classic theatres, not a mass
culture institution. Very high proportion of our ini-
tial sample has never visited HNK Osijek (49% of
young respondents and 39.9% of senior respon-
dents). Secondly, only a few percent of respondents
are loyal customers (subscribers). The majority of
theatre goers are occasional ones, visiting HNK
Osijek a few times a year.
The study has identi ed that the general major
source of dissatisfaction with HNK Osijek are
repertoire and the di erent experience o ered,
which according to the analysed theories, are the
49MARKETING & MENEDZSMENT 2019. 4. SZÁM
core elements of the classic theatre product. These
are dimensions that HNK Osijek should focus its
eorts on.
Finally, this study conrms that HNK Osijek
customers’ perception of importance of dierent
elements that create its marketing prole and their
satisfaction with those dier with respect to age and
theatre attendance frequency and consequently that
such segmentation might be useful for analysis and
marketing strategy creation for classic theatre. The
most critical segment in terms of satisfaction is the
senior occasional visitors segment, where the disc-
repancies between the expectations and experiences
are highest in general. Hence, if HNK Osijek, or
any other cultural institution aims to achieve higher
levels of customers’ satisfaction, it needs to unders-
tand the specic needs and interests of each market
segment.
As every research, this one is not without limi-
tations either. The rst limitation is related to the
sample. The sample was convenient and the highest
percentage of respondents were the ones who rarely
or never go to the theatre. Also, the research was
limited to one country and one theatre only – HNK
Osijek. Further research should focus on dierent
theatres in Croatia and in dierent countries.
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9157-z
Mirna Leko Šimić, PhD
Professor of Marketing
lekom@efos.hr
Ana Pap, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher
ana.pap@efos.hr
Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Croatia
Faculty of Economics in Osijek
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