One Measurement, Unlimited Possibilities: How to utilize Net Promoter Scores (NPS)

by Brianna Firestone

in National Conference

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(This post is part of the 2014 TCG National Conference: Crossing Borders {Theatre | Technology} blog salon, curated by Jacqueline E. Lawton.) 

JACQUELINE LAWTON: First, please tell us a bit about yourself and your organization.

BRIANNA FIRESTONE: I am heading into my 3rd season as the Director of Marketing for the Denver Center Theatre Company.  Over the last couple of years, we have been focused on our patrons and driving patron loyalty.  We realized a 7% increase in our subscriber base last season and are continuing to build that base while looking towards single tickets sales in the coming years.  We are actively trying new things in our marketing and sales strategies so that we can better determine was truly works for our patrons in our market.  When I’m not at the theatre I am spending as much time as possible outside, doing crossfit and in the winter enjoying the slopes.

JL: Next, please share the title and description of your breakout session, so that folks can find you.

BF: One Measurement, Unlimited Possibilities: How to utilize Net Promoter Scores (NPS).

Net Promoter Score (NPS), is based on the fundamental perspective that every company’s customers can be divided into three categories: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. NPS is one measurement with immense impact that can be captured at no cost. Used widely in for profit businesses, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts will take you through how they have integrated NPS scores to guide marketing decisions around productions and patron loyalty. This session will teach attendees the basic principles of NPS, how to calculate it, and easy steps to start using NPS to guide your organizational decisions.

JL: Now, what inspired this breakout session?

BF: Our Chief Marketing Officer – about 2.5 years ago – brought to the table something called Net Promoter Score – or NPS. At the time, not a single staff member except her knew what NPS was. We didn’t know what it stood for, what it measured, or how we were supposed to use it.  Some of the most successful companies were gauging NPS; Costco, Ebay, Apple, Southwest Airlines, Enterprise – and knowing their NPS score was allowing them to make changes and drive growth and customer satisfaction. And we thought – why can’t we apply this to the arts?  And perhaps this measure might be an indicator to us to determine if a show will have the “word of mouth” that we so often need to be successful. Fast forward to the present day and you can hear the words NPS fluttering around various department conversations like second nature.  We’ve been capturing NPS now for 2 years and it is changing how we are approaching our business.

JL: Finally, what do you hope participants learn from this breakout session?

BF: Participants will walk away from this session with a working knowledge of NPS. And to be sure that this session is tangible – we will walk through how to start capturing NPS within your organization. From asking the question, to calculation to integration.

Brianna Firestone is the Director of Marketing for the Denver Center Theatre Company where she oversees single ticket and subscription campaigns. With 13 years of Marketing and Public Relations experience, Brianna has managed comprehensive marketing and communications strategies for the University of Colorado Cancer Center Fund (CO), BDE Public Relations (NY), Meredith Corp. (NY) and Okoboji Summer Theatre (IA).  She is well versed in executing advertising, social media, branding, promotions, special event planning and publicity with a proven track record of sales growth, new member acquisition and increased press exposure. Brianna holds a BFA in Theatre with a minor in music from Stephens College (MO).


Jacqueline E. Lawton received her MFA in Playwriting from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a James A. Michener fellow. Her plays include Anna K; Blood-bound and Tongue-tied; Deep Belly Beautiful; The Devil’s Sweet Water; The Hampton Years; Ira Aldridge: Love Brothers Serenade, Mad Breed and Our Man Beverly Snow. She has received commissions from Active Cultures Theater, Discovery Theater, National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of American History, Round House Theatre and Theater J. A 2012 TCG Young Leaders of Color, she has been nominated for the Wendy Wasserstein Prize and a PONY Fellowship from the Lark New Play Development Center. She resides in Washington DC and is a member of Arena Stage’s Playwrights’ Arena.