Museum marketing managers – attract and engage visitors
Are you “visitor-centred”?
With the decline in public funding for cultural projects and institutions, museum marketing managers are challenged to prove their relevance and set themselves at the forefront of consumer attractions to engage more visitors and increase revenues. Visitor experience is now at the centre of a changing museum culture. This involves making better use of museums’ content to create holistic, engaging and quality visitor experiences. More and more museum marketing managers are making being “visitor-centred” their primary focus – are you one of them? How can you attract visitors, make them feel welcome when they arrive, engage them during their stay, and make sure they’re eager to return?
Sharpen your focus on visitors
Museums that want to attract and engage large numbers of visitors face an ongoing challenge; how to be welcoming and inviting to a wider audience, while simultaneously upholding the highest standards of presentation and scholarship. It’s a hard balance to maintain. It requires museum marketing managers to understand who their customers are. This is essential to developing a targeted and effective marketing strategy. You need to think about your customer persona and understand the people you want to serve, with the same level of enthusiasm you bring to bear for the creation and stewardship of your collections.
Are you asking the right questions?
We are defined by the questions that we ask
Ask questions! It’s no secret – feedback will make you better at what you do! If you ask your visitors the right questions, you can use their answers as ammunition to make their next visit a more memorable and engaging one. You can ask visitors to your museum to complete a short questionnaire. Perhaps incentivise them for doing so? Incentivising people by entering them into a ‘prize draw’ for a family day ticket can help to generate a higher response rate. As well as helping to identify your core audience, visitor surveys can also be used to help shape your investment strategy in the development of the visitor experience in the future.
The “right” types of questions matter.
- Questions that trigger an immediate response
- Questions that motivate authentic expression
- Questions that draw from personal experience
- Questions open to anyone
- Questions that are speculative (“what if?” instead of “what is?”)
- Questions that produce answers that are interesting
Do you accomodate your visitors needs?
For example, you might be interested in knowing if visitors want more information on the art? If so, do they want an audio guide or a guided tour?
Digital technology allows a dramatic increase in access to information, cultural education and interaction. It may facilitate and improve the consumption of culture. Visitors should be able to access as much or as little information as desired, pick and choose their way through an exhibition and create a storyline. The museum’s experience should be mobile, digital and personal.