Case Study

Not-for-Profit: Royal Conservatory of Music


The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world. Providing the definitive standard of excellence, RCM has had a substantial impact upon the lives of millions of people globally and helped train a number of great artists, including Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson, David Foster, Sarah McLachlan, Angela Hewitt and Diana Krall.


In 2011, the RCM partnered with Carnegie Hall to create The Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program in the United States. This program planned to create engaging new ways for students—both children and adults—to measure their progress, motivating them to work toward greater musical accomplishments. The Achievement Program (TAP) would also assist parents who seek a better understanding of their children’s level of performance and musical growth, while supporting teachers through opportunities for high-quality professional development and curricular resources.


Using PRIZM, the segmentation system from Environics Analytics’ U.S. partner, The Nielsen Company, to classify consumers into 66 distinct lifestyle types, the RCM analyzed 5,400 U.S. students from a previous music assessment program, profiled them according to lifestyle segment and then applied the profile across the country. The RCM developed market rankings and site screening maps for communities containing large populations of both children between the ages of 7 and 18 and music teachers, as well as lifestyle types that are home to educated members interested in music and the arts. Analysts then prioritized the markets and identified the best neighbourhoods and facilities for hosting information sessions to attract both teachers and students. “These are areas where parents can bring their kids to an assessment centre and then do other errands in the area,” says Gerry Dimnik, the RCM’s Chief Information Officer.


The RCM is now rolling out TAP, focusing on markets with the highest potential for music students based on prospective students, the best-performing PRIZM segments and the most attractive sites. Because the RCM previously operated a music assessment program in some of the largest markets in the U.S., it’s also developing an approach for expanding into smaller markets—with a goal of establishing a national presence over the long term. And, of particular importance to the RCM as a not-for-profit arts institution, it has been able to conduct this targeted marketing strategy within a tight budget. At a time when many charitable organizations—and businesses, for that matter—are trying to expand into new markets, the RCM was able to use the data from one market to predict success in another country through smart market analysis and site selection.