Informatics Starfish Update: Q&A with Mirrorbox's Cavan Hallman

Jun 3, 2022 | Give Back

We sit down with Mirrorbox Director Cavan Hallman to discuss what it's been like working with us as part of our Give Back project, the Starfish Initiative.

Over the past several months, the Informatics team has had the pleasure of working with Iowa-based Mirrorbox Theatre as a part of our Starfish Initiative, a new pilot program aimed at helping not-for-profit organizations in our community. In our last few update blogs on this Give Back initiative, we've introduced Mirrorbox and their unique dramatic programming, discussed our marketing strategies, and analyzed some of their initial paid social campaign successes.

We have been pleased with the progress Mirrorbox Theatre has made as part of our collaboration, but as anyone in the marketing biz knows, the true measure of success is how the client feels.

With that in mind, we're mixing up this month' update blog and throwing it back to our client. We asked Mirrorbox Director Cavan Hallman to share insights into his organization's initial challenges, and how our Give Back project is helping them stand apart in the not-for-profit space.

What marketing challenges has Mirrorbox Theatre faced?

CH: "As a growing nonprofit organization, every dollar counts. There are so many options between traditional marketing, like postcards, and more modern digital marketing campaigns that it's easy to feel uncertain about when and where we're getting the most value."

"We also have a built-in marketing challenge in the nature of our work. Every play is an Iowa premiere, so most of the titles don't have the strong name recognition of bigger Broadway hits that often play at other area theaters. Our shows in particular (and our company in general) require a little more audience education in terms of what opportunities we provide for patrons to have a new and exciting experience."

What opportunities does Mirrorbox have to grow?

"Awareness is the thing! There is a large appetite in Eastern Iowa for arts and culture programming, and with increased awareness, there is more than enough audience to support all of the great organizations working in the Corridor."

"Our work with Informatics coincides with our preparation to move into a brand new space in Cedar Rapids' Time Check neighborhood. We're working on making all of our 'real estate'—social media, website, and our physical building—work in concert to capture the attention of the nearly 500,000 people in our seven-county region."

How has Informatics helped you capitalize on those opportunities?

"Our Page Likes campaigns have proven very successful, and this is exciting as we work to gain long-term fans—people who are interested in being along for the ride as we continue to grow."

"Mirrorbox currently has a full-time staff of one (me), so it's really useful to have more voices creating fresh copy and graphics so we're not using the same material over and over again. They're also really invested in 'teaching us to fish,' so to speak, as part of the Starfish Initiative."

"We launched some digital ads during our last show cycle, and Informatics, because they're amazing pros, were able to point out where we could improve our process—even setting up a video tutorial for us so we have the information we need to succeed independently after our official partnership ends later this year.

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What's it like to work with the Informatics team?

"Whether it's in a tutorial session or when we have a strategy meeting, the folks at Informatics are always incredibly patient, and they're great listeners. They seem very interested in understanding our business, and tailoring their work to satisfy our specific goals."

"I'm always appreciative of their commitment to using data to gauge the results of any specific campaign. And they're really fun to be around! That might seem silly, but who doesn't want to work with genuinely nice people?"

Learn more about our Starfish Initiative here, and look for more updates as our collaboration with Mirrorbox Theatre continues. As always, reach out below if we can help your organization improve its digital presence!

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