This case study looks at how visitor research can be used to help create a shared language and understanding about visitors across an organisation and provide the impetus for change.
The case study highlights the benefit of using research as a springboard for audience development and clear communication with visitors and colleague, how to lift the research off the page and translate it into a manifesto for change.
Sharing the results
The marketing team understood that it was crucial to disseminate the research and so they:
• Fed back results to Museum colleagues
• Started to develop a shared understanding based around the needs of visitors
• Gave presentations to exhibitions, learning, collections, curatorial and research departments
• Shared results with the new Director
As results came in, the marketing team did workshops, presentations, pen-pictures of the key visitor groups etc at interdepartmental meetings. The team also arranged a series of special events to increase understanding about the research and the findings. The team took the view that if the research stayed within the marketing and communications team, the understanding would not be shared with programmers/curators, and the findings would not work through to interpretation, catalogues etc.
The team knew that this information would help the entire museum staff decide where to put money and effort.
The timing of the research was fortuitous. As a newcomer, the museum’s new Director shared the views of the museum’s potential visitors and what they said exactly mirrored his perceptions on arriving at Greenwich. This helped the process enormously. The new director was keen on using research, not least as a way of getting buy-in for the planned changes with Front of House, programming etc.