Wharton Center for Performing Arts Utilizes Digital Marketing to Increase Attendance

Wharton Center for Performing Arts


ICS Product/Service Areas: Digital Services

The Challenge:

  • Meet and create demand for attendance at events and performances, in conjunction with traditional advertising.

The Solution:


ICS proposed two digital marketing tactics: sponsored search listings and banner ad placement. 

  • Sponsored search listings positioned Wharton Center events in front of target audiences utilizing search engines to gain information on local area activities, competing activities, and the shows themselves.
  • Banner ad placement targeted a handful of mass market web channels, such as nytimes.com, as well as very targeted placements on websites that matched target demographics. The combined digital marketing plan targeted those websites with audience demographics identified as having strong potential for single ticket purchasing. 

Both tactics were structured so that ads were only served to users browsing on the Internet within a chosen geographic radius.


The Results:


Online search and banner advertising used in combination with offline campaigns helped support attendance at performances.  Features of this include:

  • Building long term awareness for the Wharton Center by displaying on search results for related activity and event keywords
  • Testing messaging of banner ads on web channels that are aligned with the target audiences of the Wharton Center
  • Testing of digital media publications and channels, with ads being served on national websites yet only seen in geo-targeted areas
  • Achieving consistently high search visibility for event and activity driven keywords sets

Wharton Center was able to take advantage of the flexibility of these digital marketing tactics, including:

  • Pre-set campaigns that can be activated if needed to push ticket sales, including strong fluidity with changing date ranges
  • Campaign messaging and placement of ads can be changed instantly to meet changing performance demand
  • Testing of intercept keywords on key events that may be competing for mind and eye share of potential Wharton Center show-goers.