Knowing how to effectively promote your museum and understanding the different marketing methods that you can use to attract new visitors, volunteers and other supporters can sometimes feel like a full time job in itself.
In this fast paced world, keeping up with the latest techniques and tips from marketing professionals is often time consuming, which is why AIM teamed up with the Arts Marketing Association (AMA) to offer one AIM member a bursary to attend their renowned ‘Retreat 2’ course in arts marketing.
The recipient of this bursary was Vivien Crummey, who leads a very busy life working as the Marketing Manager for Edinburgh Museums and Galleries,The East of Scotland Museums Partnership (ESMP) and The Scottish Fisheries Museum.
AIM sat down with Vivien to find out why she applied for this bursary and what attending the AMA Retreat meant for her personally – and for the museums she represents.
AIM: Hi Vivien, can you tell us what inspired you to apply for the AIM bursary for the AMA Retreat please?
VC: I have worked in marketing for the whole of my career, but have only recently made the move into arts marketing and really feel I have found my niche. I was inspired to apply for the AIM bursary because although I have worked in marketing for a number of years, my experience has been mainly in the corporate sector. Having read the detail of what is covered on the Retreat I thought the bursary would help me to increase my knowledge of arts marketing, particularly in terms of marketing strategy around public engagement, audience development and the digital space. Not only that, but the insights gained from working with other arts marketing professionals, and the opportunity to build a network of arts marketers also inspired me to apply.
AIM: What did attending the Retreat give you personally?
VC: An increased knowledge of marketing in the arts sectors gained from the speakers but also from the other delegates at the Retreat and also, the opportunity to share learnings. My current role can sometimes feel quite isolating, so to learn from others plus the increased confidence in leading and motivating the diverse teams I work with, was a very beneficial output from the Retreat. I am keen to develop quickly in my current role, and the Retreat gave me the ability to swiftly increase my influencing skills at my current level, but importantly it also gave me the skills to develop at a more senior level.
AIM: The new skills you learnt from this course sound like they are going to help you to develop professionally, but how will you use your new skills help the Scottish museum sector?
VC: A key part of my role is the development of a strategic marketing plan for Edinburgh Museums and Galleries. This is a complex project and the marketing planning aspects of the retreat were fantastic in helping me put together a robust and well thought through marketing plan. The insights from the speakers and other attendees at the Retreat were also really helpful in terms of adding value to my plan.
AIM: Why was this course relevant to the museums that you work with Vivien?
VC: The audience development, public engagement and digital areas covered in the Retreat were extremely relevant to Edinburgh Museums and Galleries, The East of Scotland Museums Partnership and the Scottish Fisheries Museum – these are all topics identified in our plans and my increased knowledge will greatly benefit all of these organisations. I am currently acting as a marketing mentor for Industrial Museums Scotland which comprises 9 museums across Scotland – I think the leadership and motivating skills I learnt at the Retreat will be enormously beneficial to all those I am mentoring.
AIM: The networking opportunities from attending ‘Retreat 2’ look extremely beneficial too – how will this networking help you?
VC: Being quite a lone voice in my current role, and new to arts marketing, I have not yet built up a strong network in the sector. I think the Retreat gave me a great opportunity to do this, which in turn will benefit the organisations I work for as it provided me with fresh ideas and learnings from others which I can apply in my own role.
AIM: Vivien, why is good marketing so important to the museums you work with?
VC: I really believe that good marketing is essential to the livelihood of museums. It is so important to know your customers well, to have a sound branding strategy and to communicate what you have to offer in the most effective way possible. Without good marketing it is very difficult to survive in an increasingly competitive world where we are competing against not just other museums, but other ways for our customers to spend their valuable leisure time.
AIM: That is very true. Thanks so much for doing this interview and is there anything else you would like to add?
VC: Really just my thanks to AIM for awarding me the bursary – I greatly appreciate it. The Retreat benefitted me, the organisations I am working with and the people I am mentoring.
You can find out more about the Arts Marketing Association HERE