Faced with the exciting prospect of being part of the Digital Marketing Academy I was buzzing with ideas for where I would like to take many of the projects coming up in the future, but suffering a little from right place wrong time to be able to launch into them. Rather than being able to set up and run with something new, it has actually prompted me to look at what we currently do. What I am proposing is a ‘digital spring clean’…to take stock of the digital processes we have in place, take a step back, revaluate, declutter and polish the way we do things.
So, what do I ultimately want to achieve? What I’m keen to do is increase engagement with our customers, encourage interaction and ultimately grow a community of cultural enthusiasts, who can help guide our programme of work and become advocates for our venues and activities.
At present we are talking to (but mostly at) our customers through ten different social media accounts. Providing information of our services and events on our website and telling customers about events via a monthly newsletter. Mainly down to resources, time (and the crazy amount of social media accounts we are juggling), there is very little two-way interaction with our audience.
What I would like to do differently, is find a way that we can talk more with our audience, to find out and listen to what they want/like; via social media channels, audience generated content, audience feedback and direct face to face interaction…not an easy task.
To help achieve this I have engaged a super team of colleagues from other departments, namely programming, box office, community engagement, audience development and evaluation. To look at the process we have in place and identify opportunities for audience interaction, before, during and after an event to create a more complete experience.
Throughout this process we have agreed to listen to what our audience and potential audience wants and let this become a customer lead journey, trialling and implementing ideas based on audience results and feedback.
After talking to my mentor Tom he made me realise that customer research for digital projects didn’t just have to sit online and that speaking to customers face to face could be hugely beneficial. To kick it off we have implemented meet ups with our audience prior to shows. It has been great to meet them in person in a more social situation and our chats have already provided some great insight into how we can engage and do things better. Such as “I love going to shows with my friends, but we usually just end up going out for dinner” why? “Because it is easier to organise and one person doesn’t have to pay for everyone in advance. If we could make a group reservation, be issued with a group booking reference number and each person could pay separately, we would come a lot more” Done!
Taking an Agile approach to the project will enable it to evolve based on audience responses. I do not fully know what the end product will be, but I’m excited about the journey.