To thrive in the digital marketing age, cultural organizations and institutions need to think of themselves as a media company with a focus on their audience and a multi-dimensional approach towards it. “Many cultural organisations face very similar challenges, including trying to utilise too many channels and so not making full use of any of them.” (Reading Room) Also the old outbound way of promotion is not so effective for today’s new generation of connected audiences.
The successful future for all, working within culture and art fields, need to be based on efficient communication with recipients, with a focus on digital environment. Both smaller organisations and bigger institutions, like state museums or theaters, struggle with many challenges when it comes to successful digital marketing strategies.
The biggest challenge is of course a lack of resources and capacity to drive effective marketing strategy
– says Iwona Preis, CEO at Intercult, a well known Swedish organization in cultural management and intercultural development.
Our focus is on promoting and internationalising Sweden’s cultural life through joint projects, networking and professional development. Also applying for structural funding from the European Commission and other institutions takes a lot of time and energy. We are very interested in all solutions which help us to be more time efficient.
To effectively get people’s attention, cultural actors cannot afford to lag behind in their marketing efforts. Especially as most of them depend on their audience’s support. Marketing automation strategy is a good way to save costs and time, while at the same time, get better results of applied marketing actions.
How? In a few important steps:
Get to know your audience.
Audience development means attracting diverse people at scale toward a social object. That definition goes really well with marketing automation which also focus on getting know the digital audience on a bigger scale and capture them as leads and later customers by having with them more personalised communication. Having knowledge of your audience and their behaviour in theory is a good starting point for analysis. Further, you also need to organise and understand your data to support this process to get better results of your digital strategy. This may be done easily with any marketing automation tool which provides great support for insights on previous campaigns and your audience behavior. But hold on… this is just the beginning. Read more about Data as a key to modern marketing Data the key to modern marketing.
Promote your products
We tend to see culture as a free product while indeed it is a product that should also focus on sales. It is easier when we talk about theaters, museums or exhibitions where the audience simply buys tickets. However, even smaller organisations, such as NGOs, have already started creating and selling their own know-how in order to finance themselves.
-At Intercult, we have recently started organizing paid courses on audience development. Only this way, can we ensure a more stable financial situation. However this also needs to be promoted in an efficient way
– says Iwona Preis.
All of these actions should be ruled by the same B2B or B2C best practice and require a very similar approach. With marketing automation, you are able to send more relevant and personalised offers to your audience and therefore sell more products. What is more important is that you are able to re-engage your audience and convert them into loyal repeat customers. Read more about how to target the new B2B buyer´s pyramid of needs here.
Prepare event marketing
Events are essential for professionals in the culture and art industries. Professionals love to meet each other, they enjoy meeting their audience, and they deserve to be paid for their work. No matter what the purpose is of the event (it may be performance, workshop or conference), it is important to create a smart and effective marketing strategy. Everything from nurturing potential guests, creating forms for signing up, sending confirmations and reminders – both through emails and sms, and later follow-ups; may be fixed with help of one marketing automation tool. Read more about how to use SMS in a smart and effective way here.
The branch of Digital marketing that especially helps improving audience reach without hiring a team of marketers in Marketing automation. Discover what it can do for you.
Here are some of the things marketing automation allows you to do more effectively:
Landing page creation
Cross-channel marketing campaigns (including social media channels)
Lead (audience) generation
Lead (audience) nurturing and scoring
Cross-selling and up-selling
Thanks to these features, it is easier to:
Identify, track and, engage your audience online
Filter and prioritise leads and contacts based on level of engagement and interest
Measure the results of every single one of your marketing campaigns
Make conclusions for next campaign and to perform even better in the future
Being more cost and time efficient is a big challenge for every company, but especially for NGOs and cultural institutions. Implementing a marketing automation strategy will help culture & art actors to perform better on the commercial market, to be more independent financially, and even to share their knowledge and fulfil their mission in bringing culture closer to the world.