by Flying Geese Consultant, Beckie Smith
With a view of making step-changes in developing new audiences for Milton Keynes Museum, we worked with The Museum to build a detailed report into the current and potential audiences of their museum both locally and across the region (particularly Buckinghamshire).
Understanding current engagement
First off, we wanted to understand how Milton Keynes Museum’s current online visitors behaved and engaged with the Museum. We did this by performing an in depth analysis of the Museum’s current website and social media channels.
We looked at key performance data such as acquisition statistics, site engagement and onward journeys, amongst other data, which gave us real insight into who their website visitors are, and how they behaved on the site. We also used Flying Geese’s very own brand clarity assessment tool to measure how well the website was performing in terms of communicating the museum’s brand and key messages.
Although MKM do not collect booking data at the point of entry into the Museum, we were able to run a headline analysis over the a set of data that did exist to understand where current audiences were coming from and the different ways in which they engaged with the Museum.
Understanding audience perception
We wanted to learn what current audiences, and non-attending residents of Milton Keynes thought of the Museum so that we could understand its brand perception and associated value in the community. To do this we developed an in depth and robust public survey focusing on brand awareness, engagement with the museum, relevance of programming, marketing & communications, value within the community and of course the information about the respondent.
We also conducted one-to-one stakeholder interviews to dig deeper into the perceived value of the Museum amid key community groups and influencers, as well as to explore a variety of views concerning the strengths, challenges and opportunities that the Museum faces.
Understanding future audiences
Using a combination of Census 2021 and EAPR data, alongside the use of many situational analysis tools, we conducted market research to understand where the Museum had established good market penetration and engagement, and where lies the biggest opportunity for audience development.
Developing a strategy
With the research phase completed, we set to work developing an audience development strategy that would see the Museum make step-changes in increasing visitor numbers at the museum as well as more deeply engaging with current visitors.
We took the team through Flying Geese’s very own audience development and marketing health check to understand which disciplines of marketing and audience development the team had most expertise and confidence in, and where there was room for growth and training.
The strategy detailed short, medium and long term recommendations which covered areas such as place, price, programming, product development and promotion.
Short and medium term recommendations were developed in detail.
Legacy and Impact
Our research for Milton Keynes Museum equipped the team with an in depth understanding of who their current visitors are, how they behaved online, and how much they value and cherish what the museum has to offer. Our market research gave the team a clear direction and clarity as to where to focus their target markets and where there was good opportunity for visitor growth. Our audience development strategies empowered the team to know exactly what they could do in the short, medium and long term see an increase in visitor numbers at the Museum.