The Cultural Marketing Plan for Art


    Art Rights Magazine in collaboration with ArtBackers.Agency dedicate the first column to Cultural Marketing, to the discovery of digital strategies for art professionals and their protagonists.

    The column to get a preview of the best practices, methodologies and secrets of communication: an access key to the world of Art 3.0  

    The marketing plan is a step-by-step process for defining the set of resources needed to meet a demand expressed by the market and increase the value of the cultural institution, whether it is an institution, an art event or a gallery.

    The phases of the marketing plan include moments of analysis (of the market and clients), to move on to operational moments and systems for verifying results.

    Here are the 6 steps to a Cultural Marketing Plan for the Arts.

    1 – CONTEXT ANALYSIS. Initially, it is necessary to know the context in which we want to operate in order to understand how to position ourselves strategically in the market. Fundamental will be a careful analysis of what we do, our activities, existing services, our customers and current and potential competitors, and finally the reference market at the time of writing the plan. The SWOT analysis is a key tool in this phase, because it allows you to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a project in order to achieve its objectives.

    2 – WHO WE ARE. After having analyzed the market context, it is necessary to move on to the definition of the organizational identity, which passes through the focusing of mission and vision. The mission is the explanation of the organizational objectives in a medium and long term perspective. For a museum, the mission may be the protection, enhancement and enjoyment of cultural heritage, while for a gallery, it is to promote artists by exhibiting and selling their works. The vision defines the value system of an organization that creates adherence and cohesion between the team and the public. It also serves to define a unique and recognizable identity and image in the marketplace. For example, for a museum, the vision could be the centrality of the educational and mediating function of the museum within the social fabric.

    3 – WHAT ARE OUR GOALS. We must always set S.M.A.R.T. goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Based that will allow us to achieve our goals such as improving a service or our image, or sell more works or increase visitors to an exhibition. 

    4 – OUR TARGET AUDIENCE. In order to know perfectly the scope of our cultural marketing action, we must know the audience we intend to address and their habits. For example, to know if they are collectors, artists, enthusiasts, professionals and what cadences they have, how they buy, their motivations and finally their age, sex, country and residence.

    5 – METHODS AND TIMELINES. The strategic plan must indicate the operations to be followed, the timing, the human resources involved and the methods we have chosen to achieve our objectives. The marketing plan takes into account what we have to sell or promote (a work of art, a ticket for an exhibition, a service …) the channel to do so (museum, gallery, fair …) at what price and with what promotional strategies (vernissage, online, exhibition, event, press …) thus giving life to what is called the Marketing Mix theorized in 1960 by economist Jerome McCarthy with his famous 4 P: Place (distribution), Price (price), Product (product), Promotion (promotion).

    6 – THE BUDGET AND ANALYSIS OF RESULTS. The budget plan is an economic forecast of the expenses to be incurred for the entire marketing activity. Once the program has begun, the analysis of the results becomes important, to be carried out with continuous monitoring and verification for each phase, using the so-called KPI (Key Performance Indicator), a key performance indicator that is established during the planning stage to control the real progress of the activities.

    As for other sectors, also for Art, good marketing and the right rules of communication can concretely help the recovery and the positioning in the market of culture and of our activity.

    It’s very important to know these technical concepts, because they will help when planning and tackling a new project, whether it’s in the physical or digital realm. 

    The experience and practice of Cultural Marketing and Digital Strategy professionals will help to manage these steps in the best possible way.

    How about you, are you ready to make a marketing plan for art?

    Photo Credits: Sotheby’s

    E tu, sei pronto a fare un piano marketing per l’arte?


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