Meeting Your Customers Where They Are: How Cincinnati Opera Brings Opera to the People

Posted on: Mar 23, 2020

Categories: Customer Experience, Leadership, Podcast

As executives, team members and thought-leaders, we’re all after the same thing: To expand and diversify our audiences so that our products or services can be accessible to anyone, in any circumstance.

In the wake of this COVID-19 outbreak, meeting our customers (and friends and family) where they are is challenging. With multiple states under a shelter-in-place order and more and more people having to self-quarantine, it’s an unprecedented, uncertain time to say the least. And yet businesses are still pivoting to meet their customers where they are more than ever, as I shared in a recent LinkedIn post.

While we can’t physically bring people together in this unprecedented time of outbreak and prevention, there are still universal truths about bringing people together to unite around a common goal, brand or arts experience.

As promised in the last episode, I’m having Chris Milligan, CEO of the Cincinnati Opera back on the show to share his expertise on meeting your customers where they are and collaborative leadership.

It’s episode #44: Meeting Your Customers Where They Are.

We recorded this episode before COVID-19 cases were popping up in the United States, but Chris’s insights ring true in this time of rapid change for businesses in all industries.

He’s been with Cincinnati Opera for 22 years to be exact, and he was named CEO in December 2019.

His motto? “Who can love opera? Anyone. Who should get the chance? Everyone.”

Now, when you hear the word “opera,” what do you think of? Close your eyes. Now open them. What did you see?

I’m going to guess you saw something like a large woman in a Viking helmet with a spear. And I’m going to guess that you didn’t see a box truck, an American Idol audition, a church sanctuary, or a baseball stadium.

On this episode, you’ll get to hear the amazing story of how he used all three of those things to make opera relevant to everyone from inner-city students to Whole Foods shoppers.

Listen in to hear:

  • How American Idol inspired a city-wide opera competition
  • What the Opera Express is and how it introduces new audiences to opera
  • Ideas for expanding your brand into new demographics and audiences
  • A new mindset that will allow you to experience what your customers experience
  • What it means to lead with humility in 2020
  • Who you need on your team to turn your business ideas into a reality

With his personal passion for the art form along with some marketing genius, Chris has cracked the code to changing the public’s perception of opera to make it a more inclusive experience that brings the community together. 

His stories and strategies will both inspire and equip you to do the same.

Tune in to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Play.