ABOUT THE COMMUNICATOR
For the past 10 years, The Communicator has been the voice of V&A. Columns from team members, industry experts and those who understand the importance and impact of great strategic communications have contributed to this online editorial.
As we always say, the advice is always free, it is what you do with it that counts!
PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF COVID AND WANT TO TRAVEL
Let’s face it, we are all tired of turning on the news and learning more information about infections, job loss, death and destruction. The world seems to be coming out of “the great reset” into an era of divide, mistrust and anxiousness. The phrase, “We are all in this together” now seems almost snarky and a slight to those still without work, worrying about paychecks and crushed by the weight of “government help” which is promised, but seems to be too-little-too-late.
How can you possible engage a consumer? If you are a tourism destination or cultural institution, you may have a chance. According an April 2020 report released by SKIFT Research, one-third of Americans want to travel again. Those people who have been quarantined in their homes for the last 90 days want to get out! Here is the hard part, you need to be the place they go!
Tourism destinations, especially non-profit organizations, have all tightened their budget belts. There are amazing museums and cultural attractions that are hosting animals from neighboring zoos just to glean attention. As a cultural institution vying for those visitors, you can take simple steps to gain market share of those anxious travelers:
Be a safe and fun option. Things have changed and pretending they haven’t isn’t an option. Avoid being tone deaf to a visitor’s reservations to bringing their entire family to a public place. Ensure cleaning is done and then market it. Showcase how the visitor experience can be accomplished while social distancing and then market it. Be a part of the community and then market it.
Become and enrichment opportunity for students and teachers. The education of our youth has become a quagmire of unknowns. As a museum, you have the tools needed to be an integral part of that new curriculum. Offer online opportunities with in-person engagement. The future of field trips may not be a group of students and sack lunches, rather, it may be groups of kids watching as distance learning teacher takes a tour and shows the value of the artwork, installations or other important educational waypoints.
Finally, understand the power of a well-targeted message. As a museum, you have a mission and vision statement. Those pillars can dictate not only the direction of your collections, but the audience to whom those collections appeal. Stop using marketing as a catch-all targeting anyone with a pulse, rather, tap into any data from past visitors you may have and try to find trends and replicate that visitor-type over and over again.
We are in a brave new world and the puzzle pieces keep changes every day. Make sure you are ready for tomorrow by focusing on how to capture the audiences you attract and offer them a greater avenue by which to engage.