Cultural and Creative Industries: New Trends and Developments in Research and Policies
3rd conference on cultural and creative industries
School of Spatial Planning and Development, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Regional Development Institute of Panteion University
Athens (Greece), March 3-4, 2017
The paper presents findings of a survey on 1,408 students at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), aiming to highlight some of the limitations of the cultural marketing and contribute to the discussion about the audience research for purposes of fragmentation. Usually, audience research is based on the assumption that demographic features influence significantly the behavior of cultural consumers, without considering any mediator variables like for example personality traits or motives. In the fields of cultural marketing it is – of course – recognized that audience decisions are influenced by or even depend on psychological factors. However, although considered for audience fragmentation, researchers usually overlook the possibility psychological factors to mediate the influence of demographic variables.
Responding to this void, the research presented in this paper focuses on motives as a mediator for the influence of demographic factors on the frequency of participation in cultural activities. The findings indicate that it may be necessary to review some of the standard assumptions underlying typically the surveys conducted by cultural managers and marketers, and also by cultural policy decision makers.
Based on previous studies by the authors, it was assumed that since motives affect cultural behavior and are affected by demographic features, it is likely that they are mediator variables. To test this hypothesis a path analysis was conducted after it was confirmed that the motives of cultural consumption can be classified into three basic types: cognitive, social, and emotional.
When motives were included in the structural equation model, a statistically significant decrease of the Beta coefficients was found. A statistically significant difference was also found between the regression coefficients with and without the motives. The comparative fit index (CFI) and the RMSEA were in all cases well above and below the acceptable levels respectively, and the comparison showed that the mediation is partial. In addition, it was found that the cognitive motives of cultural consumption are more important than the social ones, while the social motives are more important than emotional.
The contribution of this research is that it suggests a different perspective on audience segmentation and a better understanding of cultural behavior. Taking into account the increasing financial constraints of the cultural organizations, the number of competitive leisure activities, as well as the changes in lifestyle, a better understanding of the needs of the audiences can contribute to reduce some of the difficulties that cultural organizations face.
Perhaps overlooking the mediation of psychological variables does not have a dramatic impact on the reliability and validity of audience fragmentation or on predicting cultural behavior. This remains to be seen in future research. Similar surveys, however, need to be carried out on the general population and with more demographic variables, to determine the extent to which the hypothesis of psychological factors as mediator variables is confirmed.