We have become a nation of cynics when it comes to marketing. We have been trained not to trust the news (being told they have their own agenda), the bloggers, advertisements, or even reviews (which can be purchased.)
With consumer cynicism about marketing at an all-time high, arts groups must cultivate authenticity on a level never demanded before. Consumers are smart, resourceful and savvy. If your production doesn't deliver on all its promises, or fails to speak to an audience, your group will become irrelevant, or worse: a pariah.
This demand for authenticity will shift arts marketers' preference for communicating via advertising and direct mail. The overt sales focus inherent in these channels makes them more suspect in consumers' minds.
Conveying brand messages via third parties, especially if they are a trusted, impartial source, will be better received. We'll see an increase in arts using the more transparent channels of public relations, sponsorships, niche interaction, word-of-mouth/buzz and blogs, and especially Social Networks such as Facebook/Twitter to deliver seemingly unbiased communications.