Culture segments in action: British Museum case study

Culture segments in action: British Museum case study

By Morris Hargreaves McIntyre


A case study of Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman exhibition at the British Museum. Explore how the British Museum developed a segmented campaign to reach new audiences.

The marketing challenge

Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman was a charging temporary exhibition held at the British Museum, London from October 2011 to February 2012. Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry curated an installation of his work alongside objects made by unknown men and women throughout history from the British Museum’s collection. In mounting the exhibition the British Museum sought to attract a new audience to the Museum, and to change perceptions of the British Museum as a place for contemporary artworks.

The Marketing Department at the British Museum quickly identified that Grayson Perry: The
Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman required a significant departure from their usual approach.
The British Museum recognised that the organisation’s traditional marketing strategies, successful as they are, were simply not going to work for the target audience.

A new approach to marketing was required if the exhibition was to meet its visitor targets.

The British Museum and Morris Hargreaves McIntyre worked together at an early stage of planning to carry out research to inform the development of the British Museum’s marketing campaign aimed at attracting a new audience for contemporary art to the Museum.

Using Culture Segments, an innovative sector-specific segmentation system for arts and culture organisations devised by Morris Hargreaves McIntyre in consultation with key sector organisations, including the British Museum, three target segments for the exhibition were identified. Formative research was carried out by Morris Hargreaves McIntyre to test the exhibition with each of the three target segments.

Using the findings, the British Museum developed and ran a differentiated campaign aimed at attracting visitors from the target segments.

The results surpassed all expectations.

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Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2013