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The purpose of this report was to analyze the market and suggest appropriate marketing strategies for an upcoming event hosted by The Wallace Collection. The report makes use of market analysis methods to understand that while the restrictions placed due to the pandemic has affected galleries negatively, the upcoming re-openings could prove successful for the gallery’s new exhibition. Direct marketing strategy involving the usage of flyers and emails and digital marketing strategies of using social media tools like Instagram and Facebook has been found to be most beneficial in publicizing the event.
The following document will elucidate on some of the marketing strategies which could be undertaken by The Wallace Collection in order to publicize their event which is going to be held in Autumn 2021. The event is an exhibition of celebrated painter Frans Hals’s most celebrated work, The Laughing Cavalier. The purpose of this report is to understand the problem that is being faced by the client in order to suggest age most favorable strategies for the publicity of the exhibition and increasing the revenue of the gallery.
The following section will try to analyze the market of the art environment in the city of London in order to understand the advantages and disadvantages the event possess.
1.1 PEST Analysis
Political: In the backdrop of the pandemic related restrictions, the museums have been closed for public since 2020. However, in the month of May, it was announced that museums will be open to public again. However, it is of some contention if large gatherings (like exhibitions) will be allowed, and the museum needs to mindful of that (Bailey, 2021)
Economic: A significant drawback to the pandemic related restrictions is that museum goers have significantly reduced in numbers due to social distancing restrictions. The restrictions placed in UK are expected to lift by the 19th of July of 2021, however it cannot be guaranteed that the flow of revenue will return to the museums (Harris, 2021).
Social: Although specific figures cannot be cited for what could be the case once museums all across the UK reopen, it is likely that there will be a renewed interest among people to visit the museums. This is supported by the discovery that in 2019, museums across England saw a record breaking number of 50 million visits in the year, shattering records of last year (www.gov.uk).
Technological: A significant technological advancement which can aid the museum is offering virtual tours, which has become as a useful method which individuals avail in order to visit their favorite galleries (Connor, 2020).
2. SMART Goals of the Event
The SMART goals of the exhibition event and the gallery in general are elucidated as follows:
Specific: The specific goal of this event involves a short and a long term goal. The short term goal of this event is to garner as much attention as possible to its event in Autumn 2021, where the painting of Frans Hals will be in exhibit. The long term goal for the event is to garner enough interest in the local population to increase permanent membership for The Wallace Collection.
Measurable: The goal is to have at least 20,000 visitors for the exhibit. In terms of long term goals, the exhibit wants to ensure at least 5% of the exhibit visitors take on permanent membership of the gallery.
Achievable: The goals which have been put forward in this plan are very achievable, given the fact that Frans Hals is a very well known artist and The Laughing Cavalier is one of his prime works, the fact that The Wallace Collection possesses the painting to exhibit it is a rare opportunity for individuals to observe a priceless piece of art.
The following section will be discussing some of the digital and direct marketing strategies that will be used in the publicizing of this event. However, it is is first important that the target audience of this event. An important group the event wants to target are the art tourists. A study discovered that museums have increasingly begun to concentrate their marketing strategies on people who specifically visit towns and regions for the artwork. Art tourism has increased steadily over the years, and it is important that the gallery makes use of that opportunity (Franklin, 2018). Additionally, the gallery’s long term goals are increasing the permanent memberships of the community, hence it is in their best interest to target marketing towards other art pieces as well, as well as exhibitions and educational seminars which they might hold in the future, to encourage permanent membership by individuals.
3.1 Direct Marketing
One of the most effective methods of direct marketing which can be followed is using flyers. Museums have recently experienced a surge in popularity. A revival of locals in their displays, most likely as a result of the limits imposed as a result of the restrictions because of the epidemic (nationalgeographic.com). As a result, flyers will be an effective tool to spread the word. Local residents are mainly targeted through the usage of this form of marketing, which will be put out at mailboxes and given at public events.
Another method which can be used to directly market the event is email marketing.
Email marketing is when businesses send a promotional email message to their 'email subscribers,' or those who have joined up for a newsletter and given you explicit permission to send them emails.
Email marketing is often used to keep your customers informed, increase sales, and create a community surrounding your business (sendinblue.com).The Wallace Collection offers visitors the option of joining up for a newsletter; newsletter subscribers can be contacted (wallacecollection.org). They may also gain access to the emails of visitors to their website by providing freebies such as a free art print sent to their home. Aside from that, there are ways to get access to mailing lists, such as through companies like Optinmonster, which provide services for getting access to email lists and sending bulk emails (optinmonster.com). An example of an email which will be sent to all guests who attend the event is attached in Appendix 1.
3.2 Digital Marketing
Digital marketing, often known as online marketing, is the advertising of companies by using internet and other kinds of digital communication in order to engage with potential clients. As a marketing channel, this covers not just emails, social media, and web-based marketing, but also text messages. Digital marketing is defined as any marketing effort that uses digital communication (mailchimp.com).
In the case of The Wallace Collection’s exhibit on Frans Hals painting, social media is a powerful tool which can be used in order to publicize the event. Social media marketing is without a doubt one of the most powerful marketing tools accessible to businesses today. According to a research on the impact of social media on consumer behaviour, about 71% of individuals are more inclined to purchase a product after seeing it on social media (blog.globalwebindex.com).
One of the most popular methods of using social media in order to publicize the event is making use of Facebook and Instagram posts. Posting images about the event and using the hashtag which is decided for the event is a smart approach to leverage Instagram as a venue for marketing the event. Giving visitors a sneak peek at the items that will be on exhibit on the day of the event is a smart approach to get them to click on the description or link provided, which may lead them to the webpage where they can enroll for the event and purchase tickets.
With regards to Facebook, the gallery already possess an operational Facebook page. In order to publicize the event, the gallery needs to use a social hashtag, the usage of which will allow the interested people to find the relevant posts. Another way in which the hashtags will be useful is if they are used by the people who have attended the event. This will ensure continuing interest in the gallery and will garner interest from the local population in gaining positive reactions from the local populations.The Wallace Collection’s Facebook page needs to start with making posts about the Frans Hals event, providing the date of the exhibition and the timings as clearly as possible. Another mechanism that can be used to increase the visibility of their posts is the usage of hashtags. The usage of unique hashtags in posts makes it easier for like minded individuals to find certain posts and it is and effective way of generating greater visibility of the post (Mittal et al, 2017).
The budget for this event will be centered around two main components. Firstly, the event infrastructural requirements; such as security, refreshments, ticket printing, city permissions, accommodation and fee of guest lecturer and/or honorary guest etc. Secondly, the event will need to account for digital and direct marketing strategies like printing of flyers, buying sponsored posts on Instagram and Facebook.
To create an operational plan, we shall use the PASTA model as a framework. PASTA is an acronym for the terms problem definition, analysis, strategy, tactics, action respectively. The application of these principles in the context of the Frans Hals exhibit aids the formation of a concrete operational plan ready to be put into action.
A) Planning: The challenge is to create and sustain interest in the exhibition throughout the 5 month period which would quantitatively amount to approximate 20,000 visitors. It is also important to attract visitors to the permanent collection, so that the second target of having at least 5% of the visitors subscribing to the Wallace Collection membership. All potential avenues of generating additional revenues should be explored in the context of the effects of the pandemic. The potential obstacles is the limitations of visitors because of social distancing guidelines, and the lack of a confirmed sponsor makes attracting a principle sponsor an immediate task.
B) Analysis: The Wallace Collection is an organisation which boasts of an impressive collection of national and international works of historical art. It periodically hosts exhibitions which generate a lot of footfall, and that footfall is leveraged to generate revenue. Private events, merchandise sales, restaurants are accessory sources of revenue. Pertinently, a previous exhibition centred on the artist Henri Moore in 2018 generated a footfall of nearly 36,000 visitors, which demonstrates that the organisation has the ability to generate interest around popular pieces of art. It also now collaborates with other art institutions and can borrow and lend art with the other institutions.
While the art exhibition industry is competitive, a recent upsurge in cultural tourism has been fuelling larger audiences in art exhibitions around the world, and especially in cultural hubs such as London (Carmichael, 2002)
C) Strategy: The target group should not only be the existing customer base, but also to attract art enthusiasts from all over the world, and a second group which can be targeted is adolescents, because studies have shown that they are underrepresented demographically in exhibition audiences and can potentially be a an opportunity to expand the market (Batat, 2020).
D) Tactics: In order to attract maximise revenue from accessory sources, small food stalls can be set up offering refreshments, since the operational costs to build them will be minimal. Merchandise may be targeted towards certain groups such as kids by having merchandised customised for the age group, like sports gear or shirts their size. To better increase the percentage of visitors opting for the membership of the Wallace Collection, tie ups with other art institutions can be explored, wherein a Wallace Corporation membership will allow discounted entry into other art exhibits, as this will attract the art enthusiasts, who regularly attend the exhibitions.
E) Action: There is a time period of 11 months from the announcement of the exhibition to the actual opening. An online marketing strategy on social media will be put in place which will disseminate information about the artwork and its relevance in a staggered manner, to generate peak interest right before the opening and/or use other mechanisms such as promotion by celebrities, online giveaways to generate publicity. The necessary legwork for the aforementioned collaborations shall also be completed in a timely manner.
Franklin, A., 2018. Art tourism: A new field for tourist studies. Tourist Studies, 18(4), pp.399-416.
Sendinblue. 2021. What is Email Marketing and How Does it Work? | Sendinblue. [online] Available at: https://www.sendinblue.com/blog/what-is-email-marketing/#definition [Accessed 15 July 2021].
Travel. 2021. How museums are staying alive during the COVID-19 crisis. [online] Available at: <https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/article/how-museums-are-staying-alive-during- coronvirus> [Accessed 24 March 2021].
OptinMonster. 2021. Email Marketing Made Simple: A Step by Step Guide [+ Examples]. [online] Available at: <https://optinmonster.com/beginners-guide-to-email-marketing/> [Accessed 24 March 2021].
Wallacecollection.org. 2021. Subscribe. [online] Available at: <https://www.wallacecollection.org/subscribe/> [Accessed 24 March 2021].
Theartnewspaper.com. 2021. What it's like to visit museums now—and how Covid-19 has fundamentally changed
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Theartnewspaper.com. 2021. Visitor figures: how many people are actually returning to London museums
post-lockdown?. [online] Available at:
GOV.UK. 2021. Record breaking year for museums and galleries in England. [online] Available at:
Connor, M., 2021. Here's How To Experience London's Museums Virtually. [online] Londonist. Available at:
Carmichael, B.A., 2002. Global competitiveness and special events in cultural tourism: the example of the Barnes Exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe canadien, 46(4), pp.310-324.
Batat, W., 2020. How can art museums develop new business opportunities? Exploring young visitors’ experience. Young Consumers
On the behalf of The Wallace Collection’s Staff, I would like to thank you for gracing us with your presence today for the exhibition on Frans Hals The Laughing Cavalier. The piece is very dear to our hearts and hope you found viewing the art work enjoyable.
At this point, we hope that you will find your way back to The Wallace Collection museums soon. I would like to bring into your attention our highly economical annual membership plan, which allows you access to all the sections of our gallery all year round. Additionally, you get 50% off each exhibition ticket and frequent invitations to our seminars.
The Wallace Collection is proud to possess several pieces of valuable artwork which have been made open to public viewing. We hope you’d visit again and enjoy our artworks.
The Managerial Staff,
The Wallace Collection
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