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Know your audience

December 14, 2012

Christmas is coming and that means, groan… planning for 2013/14 (if you plan round the UK financial year). For successful museum forward plans to work you need to know who your intended audience will be. This is true of any business not just museums. It determines your exhibitions, shop sales, marketing and programmes. For instance if your museum wants to attract lots of families (parents and children) you might want to organise lots of holiday activities, produce bright publcity and send out flyers to local schools before term breaks.

It sometimes helps if you segment your visitors into different groups. They will have different interests and are likely to be attracted to different types of marketing. In the commercial world most businesses use consumer classfication to break down the national population into many groups. One company that does this is Experian that have Mosaic (to access the link you need to register, sorry) it allows you to find out which group of people live where, what they like, buy, eat and whether they are interested in the arts or culture.

For instance a group called Professional Rewards tend to be well off, have older children, like shopping for premium brands and are very numerous in parts of the Home Counties (and they like going to museums!). If your museum is based in an industrial part of the country it might not be a good idea to try to attract these people through marketing at a discount store.

Another good resource is the 2011 census, which has just come out in some detail. It provides population breakdowns by local authority, including age, ethnicity, employment, car ownership and so on. It’s a great way to find out about your local area and also see how the area maybe be changing.

So pick your audience wisely!

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