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Article
Publication date: 2 January 2020

Christine S. Pitt, Anjali Suniti Bal and Kirk Plangger

While the motivation for collecting art has received considerable attention in the literature, less is known about the characteristics of the typical art collector. This…

Abstract

Purpose

While the motivation for collecting art has received considerable attention in the literature, less is known about the characteristics of the typical art collector. This paper aims to explore these characteristics to develop a typology of art consumers using a mixed method approach over several studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This is achieved by analyzing qualitative data, gathered via semi-structured interviews of art collectors, and quantitatively by means of natural language processing analysis and automated text analysis and using correspondence analysis to analyze and present the results.

Findings

The study’s findings reveal four distinct clusters of art collectors based on their “Big Five” personality traits, as well as uncovering insights into how these types talk about their possessions.

Research limitations/implications

In addition to contributing to the arts marketing literature, the findings provide a more nuanced understanding of consumers that managers can use for market segmentation and target marketing decisions in other markets. The paper also offers a methodological contribution to the literature on correspondence analysis by demonstrating the “doubling” procedure to deal with percentile data.

Practical implications

In addition to contributing to the arts marketing literature, the findings provide a more nuanced understanding of art collectors that managers can use for market segmentation and target marketing decisions. The paper also offers a methodological contribution to the literature on correspondence analysis by demonstrating a non-traditional application of correspondence analysis using the “doubling” procedure. Buyer behavior in the fine art market is not exhaustively studied. By understanding the personality traits of consumers in the art market, sales forces can better provide assistance and product to consumers. Further, understanding the personalities of consumers is better for art retail spaces to better serve consumers.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates a unique mixed methods approach to analyzing unstructured qualitative data. It shows how text data can be used to identify measurable market segments for which targeted strategies can be developed.

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