I’ve always been interested in why advertisers do what they do. How do ideas get generated and why are they executed in the ways that they are? Where did the Energizer Bunny come from? And what exactly is Fahrvergnugen?
Sometimes marketing campaigns are absolutely genius and other times they are absolutely ridiculous. If you’ve ever watched the show Mad Men, you’ll know that there’s a lot of thought and planning that goes into every message. A strong, clear, and creative marketing plan is the foundation for everything you see on tv, hear on the radio or read in a magazine; it not only articulates the messages (what), but it also outlines the audience (who), the objectives (why), the media channels (where), AND provides the reasoning for it all.
We’re just now finishing up the final points of our 2010 Marketing Plan. It’s been exciting to work on and also exhausting. In order to give you a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes work of museum marketing, I thought I’d share with you some of the basics of how we put together our plan.
Step 1: We broke the IMA apart into 10 different marketing categories.
- 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park
- Public Programs
- Membership and Individual Giving
- Oldfields-Lilly House & Gardens
- Events and Facility Rentals
- Nourish Café and Catering
- Retail – IMA Store, IMA Gallery Shop, Design Center, Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse Shop, Lilly Shop and the IMA online store.
- New Media and Web
Step 2: We did a modified S.trenghs W.eaknesses O.pportunities T.hreats (SWOT) analysis for each. Full Disclosure: Because this is the part of the process that I like the least, the IMA’s plan only lists each category’s Strengths and Challenges (We’ve listed about 10-15 for each).
Examples of Strengths and Challenges:
Strength: New brand identity is fresh and dynamic
Challenge: New brand identity has yet to permeate public awareness
Membership and Individual Giving
Strength: New member-specific programming such as Member Night.
Challenge: Decrease in total IMA membership.
Step 3: We listed 10-20 marketing objectives for each of the categories.
Examples of Objectives:
Public Programs: Raise awareness of the Toby as a unique venue for movies.
Events and Facility Rental: Increase revenue from weekday facility rental. Emphasize the IMA’s meeting spaces.
Step 4: We identified the target audiences for each category. By determining the intended recipient of the message, it’s much easier for us to craft messages and identify media channels.
Examples of Target Audiences:
Nourish Cafe: Butler University and Marian College students
100 Acres: Nature and Wildlife Enthusiasts
Step 5: We crafted the Messages for each of the categories. (This is my favorite part of the process!) The Messages are the audience’s key take-aways from our marketing efforts. They communicate the value or benefit of the category (Retail, Exhibitions, etc.) and help to distill down our communications to essential sound bites.
Step 6: We identified available media and created strategies for implementing and integrating Messages across the channels. By integrating core messages across traditional channels (print, tv, radio) and non-traditional (web, social media, grassroots), we hope that our campaigns will have a broader reach and a greater impact.
Step 7 (Current stage): It’s now time to take the marketing plan to our colleagues in other departments and get their feedback. If all goes well, we will finish up our media buying, start on in print, tv, and radio production, and debut the new marketing plan in early 2010.
Stay tuned for updates on the unrolling of the marketing plan, the implementation of a new social media strategy, and the in-house production of a very exciting brand campaign!
Filed under: Marketing