Marketing: Implementation

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Eleanor Macnair: Every time you read about the National Portrait Gallery in the newspaper, in a magazine, if you see us on the television, or the radio, it’s probably all done by us in the press office. Strategically around our six major exhibitions a year. We’d launch them to the press about six months in advance, give them a sneak preview of what’s going to be in there, release a couple of images, and then all the way through we’ll be feeding more information, more images back to the press in time for the opening exhibition, we make sure a review is in there.
Sabina Rahman: I think ads in newspapers, which is the more marketing side of things, that is us putting it out here, that is us saying this is brilliant, go to it, whereas when critics and journalists write about what we do, it convinces people more, which really helps. So to have both sides working on the brand identity, so you keep seeing it everywhere and keep thinking, I’ve seen that poster and I’ve seen that bit about it in the newspaper, all those things work together to see a really strong campaign to get that message out there.
Eleanor Macnair: We strategically think how to release and when to release different stories. We work very closely with other organisations, so we have a chart, so we know when they’re releasing their news stories.
Sabina Rahman: We’ll be quite powerful in the timing of when our messages come out, so the timing of our press campaign will come out when an exhibition opens, or just before or just as the exhibition is opening, and there’ll be a mass of interest there, and within that time there’ll be an outdoor campaign, which will keep the message going.
Denise Ellitson: What you actually find at the beginning of the exhibition is a lot of press coverage, because journalists review, but as the exhibition goes on you get less press, so we have to time our campaign, so in the middle of our exhibition we’re still getting the message out, towards the end, it’s really important to say, these are the final weeks, this is your last chance to see, because a lot of people leave it to the last few weeks, so no, we have to plan a campaign that lasts the whole length of the exhibition.
Jo Clarke: There’s always so much going on here, we always have so many stories to tell, so we do send out a number of press releases, and we also contribute to a number of publications that the Plymouth City Council produce, and from the Southwest Museums Hub, and they’ve been really useful for us, we have quite a sustained presence on the local press and the local radio, which we really didn’t have before.
Eleanor Macnair: We’re lucky enough to here, because there’s such a scope and diversity about what’s on show, and the different stories, that somebody’s always going to be interested, so we don’t have to take people out for champagne, you just have to talk to people about the work and it’s usually certainly within their interest and excites them.
Esta Mion-Jones: Certainly the retail side of it is quite important, so I have to find out what exhibitions are coming up, what artists are going to be in the show so we can make sure we’ve got catalogues about the artist, postcards about the artist, books about the artist or books about different periods in art history, so things that are going to be relevant to the audience.
Hanal Patel: I think new media helps expand the exhibition outside of the gallery for visitors who might not be able to come and physically see it, for young people who are not interested in seeing portraits, but who are interested in the subject and want to see animations or audio content or video content.
Ian Gardner: We get involved in online design, whether it’s web banners for marketing purposes, and then with the website we help out and make sure everything looks as it should. I mean, we don’t get involved in the day to day running of the website if there’s something on like an exhibition we’ll design the the logo thingy and give it to the people who know what they’re doing.
Jo Clarke: We’ll do a lot for our own website, we submit an awful lot of information to other websites. In recent years, we’ve developed Flickr and Facebook pages to develop online activities. We’re also beginning to add to, and expand, an electronic mailing list. We have a suite of newsletters and e-reminders which go out to the contacts on the list, some of which are generic and some of which are tailored to specific sections of that list, to keep them up to date with what we’re doing here.
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Too many people spend too much time trying to perfect something before they actually do it. Instead of waiting for perfection, run with what you’ve got, and fix it as you go.

Paul Arden, Advertising Guru

When it comes to implementing a marketing strategy, you will need to call upon your project management skills. Ensure everyone involved knows what they need to do, and by when, will be key to the success of your campaign.

What activities need to happen before the launch?

  • Have you clearly defined roles and responsibilities within your team? Who is chasing deadlines?
  • How are you using media organisations to spread your message? How much notice do they need?

Who is their key contact?

  • What different formats do you need to provide information? (press release, photographs, interviews, launch event)

Who is writing or arranging these?

  • How will you distribute print media? (posters, flyers) How long in advance should these be ready?
  • How can you use online media to create a buzz?
  • Are you targeting key individuals? Do you need to create personal invitations?

How will you sustain interest in the campaign over the course of the project?

  • Who are you in contact with, by what means, and how frequently?
  • Do you need to ‘relaunch’ or have sub-campaigns to keep momentum?
  • What events have you planned?

How will you monitor the campaign?

  • How will you know if you have reached your target audience?
  • Does anyone in your team have responsibility for monitoring and collecting media coverage? (on air, online, press cuttings)
  • How are you recording interest (e.g. audience engagement online, numbers of visitors, event bookings)
  • Have you thought about feedback on the campaign itself? (visitor surveys)

How will you end the campaign?

  • Will you save any budget on a final push (‘Last chance to see’)?