Tag: audience development

Should Museums Attract Niche Or Mass Audiences?

October 31st, 2011   •   2 comments   

NHB’s Night Festival 2008

I love reading Nina Simon’s Museum 2.0 blog for her cutting insights on stuff happening in my neck of the woods. One of the issues that she recently wrote about – audience development – is something that museums and art galleries in Singapore are also grappling with.

In her post, Nina questioned the need for museums to organise “hip” events to attract younger audiences at the expense of alienating a broader more diverse crowd. While many museums have shifted from being a “cabinet of curiosities” for an elite few to “community destinations”, the question now arises whether their activities should be narrowly focused on distinct segments or appeal more broadly across visitor groups.
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Digging Deeper To Find Gold

June 14th, 2010   •   no comments   

Finding treasure requires a lot of investigating and digging. Just ask Indiana Jones! (source)

In any successful marketing endeavour, one must be willing to think, live and breathe like one’s potential customer. This also means that preconceived notions and prejudices must be tested and thrown out the window if they are proven untrue.

What are some of these common misconceptions and myths? Let me offer some examples.
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Are Museums All Things to All Men?

September 2nd, 2009   •   1 comment   

Dinosaurs are a surefire hit, but should all museums have them? (taken at Melbourne Museum)

Should museums and galleries always attract the largest and widest crowd possible, attracting/attacking every customer segment? Can they be scholastically superior, operationally efficient, highly entertaining, marketing savvy, and customer oriented at the same time? Are major blockbuster exhibitions the only way to draw a big crowd?

Some of these issues were tackled in this excellent post by Nina Simon (of Museums 2.0 blog) in an interview she conducted with John Falk and Beverly Sheppard, authors of the book “Thriving in the Knowledge Age: New Business Models for Museums and Other Cultural Institutions”. Admittedly, I haven’t read the book yet but I am definitely going to check it out.
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Can We Truly Market the Arts?

April 23rd, 2009   •   no comments   

Art or sheer marketing brilliance? (Damien Hirst’s £50 million For The Love of God courtesy of Secretly Ironic)

There is an underlying tension in the field of cultural management where one has to balance between giving customers what they want and preserving artistic integrity.  This is especially prevalent in what we term as the ‘high arts’ like classical music, ballet, theatre and museums.

Against the ever growing competition from lifestyle activities coupled with the ever shrinking discretionary time of today’s consumers, it appears suicidal for art organisations to hold their ground for the sake of their art.  Considered by many to be a discretionary expense (compared to purchasing groceries, fuel and homes), cultural activities have never faced such tremendous competition as the present age.

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To Market Or Not To Market?

March 11th, 2009   •   no comments   

One of the greatest challenges facing communicators and marketers in the arts is the balance between satisfying artistic input and commercial (or public) interest. 

How does one reach out to new customers and audiences without diluting one’s craft?  Should we be setting the agenda and pushing the envelope in terms of experimenting with new art forms?  Or should we cater to the most mass of markets and stick to what everybody likes to see, hear or experience?
According to some academics, the arts should be kept pure and undiluted from the transgressions of the commercial world.  Artists, curators, musicians and dancers should exist in their own little bubble of creative experimentation, oblivious to the grind of dollars and cents while dreaming up that next original work of genius.  
The role of marketers would then be that of publicists helping to generate the greatest amount of buzz, media coverage and advertising effectiveness.  Visitors and audiences should thus be attracted towards their artistic inspirations in an organic fashion.  
This is what has been termed as being “product focused”.  Build it and they will come.  Or arts for arts sake. 
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