On April 29, CultureConnect welcomed 300 culture industry stakeholders for a webinar on revenue strategies. Mitch Sava, VP of Innovation and Engagement at Museum of Life & Science and Samantha Diamond, CultureConnect CEO, used case studies and practical frameworks to illustrate the range opportunities available.
Harness Those Relationships
Tap into your proverbial rolodex. Work with partners and local communities to broaden reach and diminish the customer acquisition cost add (CAC). Unlike for-profit companies, museums don’t need to spend a lot of money to demonstrate goodwill or community value. This lends an earnest credibility to the “products” museums put out.
Key quote: “One advantage is that museums are good at relationships and have already have the trust of local communities” — Samantha Diamond
Identify Assets and Pair with Customer Needs
Offline, the relationship between a museum’s assets and its “customers” has long been established. At present, the needs of “customers” have been drastically altered and museums must pivot their assets accordingly.
Institutions should conduct regular internal audits (exhibitions, intellectual property, collections, network relationships etc.) and external evaluations to understand the needs of customers (filling extra free-time, entertaining restless children, escaping boredom etc.). Look for overlap and deliver a product that customers need at this time.
Key quote: “Are you addressing the same audience or is it changing? It’s very possible you are now serving a new audience” — Mitch Sava
Thinking Global and Local
Museums may be strong local brands, but they are now operating in global digital marketplace. Institutions must adopt business models and plan accordingly. Competition for attention is fierce with many providers already having lowered pay walls in a highly saturated marketplace. In short, create products that truly represent the mission of your institution and meet the needs of your base.
Key quote: “We might be a beloved institution in the local region, but the global audience is our competition.” — Mitchell Sava
Differentiate Brand Building from Revenue Acquisition
Digital initiatives such as video streaming, webinars, and online programs are excellent ways to drive traffic and brand build, but they don’t necessarily generate sufficient income. To drive revenue, institutions should develop thorough strategies that involve advertising, merchandising, and other more traditional revenue generating methods.
Key quote: “What’s the convention, the normal way of doing business, challenge that convention and new opportunities arise” — Mitch Sava
Placing a price on new digital products is difficult. For guidance, look at market comparisons, speak with institutions launching similar efforts, and conduct customer surveys. In short, create a constellation of data points. That said, the only sure way to properly assess is to test the product in the market place — though run internal tests in advance to mitigate risks. Once complete, make it an iterative process by asking feedback and conducting surveys.
Key quote: “Work with early adopters, work with the people who come [to your institution] a lot and are going to be forgiving and give good feedback” — Samantha Diamond