Arts Marketing Europe : Flashback

Culture Communication was a partner of #ArtsMarketing2018 and despite the freezing weather we took a train to Amsterdam to participate in a fascinating day that brought together strategies for diversifying visitors with marketing.
We’ll give you a brief account detailing the key points for mobilising new visitors. It’s a fascinating subject because many of the museums and cultural spaces that are seeing record visitor numbers are now looking to reach a wider public that is more representative of the diversity of modern society.
The Tate is a perfect example with its Queer British Art and Soul Nation exhibitions.
Building on this example, here is a checklist for the perfect marketing and communication practice.

1 – Take your time

It’s important to understand and to define what the target of your project is.
In the case of the Tate, knowing how the LGBT+ community understood the term “Queer” was very important. You can’t scrimp on getting to know the group you want to address.

2 – Get a head start

Communicating to a new target can not be improvised. You have to start building your strategy as early as possible. Finding influencers or contacts in the community can take time, and they should be included in the project as far upstream as possible.

3 – Take a step back

You don’t know everything! It’s unbelievable, I know, but you don’t have any innate knowledge and you need to show cultural sensitivity. which shouldn’t be so hard, considering the industry we’re in!

4 – Take the lead


… And build your SQUAD.
Surround yourself with a willing team who will help you do things differently, because as Einstein (didn’t say actually) :
Madness is always doing the same thing and expecting different results.
Try to break your habits and escape your comfort zone.
  • If you have a small team and a generous budget, don’t choose the same agency as your neighbour, but try new things.
  • If you have a large team and no budget, create content and innovate in your working process, trying to be inclusive in your approach and working method.
  • If you have a small team and no budget . . . well, you’ll need to be smart to not exhaust yourselves! Identify your strengths and use them.
The Sonar festival has rationalized its use of content on social networks: making videos that can be adapted for other uses, making a playlist that is exportable to multiple channels.

5 – Take your pulse

New visitors = New practices.

In London free cultural activities are rare. By making their exhibition free the Tate was able to welcome a large and diverse range of visitors. To share a hip musical programme every month Uniqlo Tate Lates invites contemporary DJs to London to play in the atmospheric South Tank and in the new Terrace Bar.

6 – Think of the future

When beginning a discussion with a new audience . . . You mustn’t interrupt the process whether the project is a success or not, or when the project draws to a close. Approaching a new public because it’s fashionable to do so could be seen as “tokenism” and will lead to a breakdown of trust.

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