Curious about what audiences think and how organisations work, I see the role of audience research to provide audience understanding and insight that is acted upon so to deliver outcomes for visitors. This might call for some organisational change.
I believe that diversity not only adds richness to the world but that a diverse audience and an inclusive culture are essential for organisations’ long-term sustainability.
InsightUnlocked builds on these opportunities to develop audiences:
- Turning audience insight into action
A wealth of audience research exists in the sector and in cultural organisations, but it is often under-used. This can be due to a fear of audience focus (“will audiences tell us what to do?”) or that audience research is often not easy to understand (long reports, complex charts) or not turned into real insight. The key to successful audience development is being audience focused and vision led.
- Approaching audience development as a multi-functional effort
Audiences are often not considered at the core of the organisation – programme and audience strands often work separately. Yet audience development is only successful and sustainable if it is a joint effort by all functions – it can’t be delivered only by one area (such as Marketing or Learning).
- Developing audiences consistently
There is an array of projects in the sector that develop audiences and diversity, yet often they are short-lived. For audience development to be sustainable, audiences need to be considered consistently rather than in one-off projects. A clear audience strategy and a clear picture of what success means in relation to audiences (beyond just numbers) understood by the whole organisation is essential to enable that.
- Increasing diversity and inclusion for long-term sustainability
Organisations today need to grow audience numbers, income and diversity. They need to be relevant to larger parts of the more and more diverse population for legal, moral and creative reasons, as well as for financially sustainability. This is particularly true for public institutions, but private funders are increasingly considering diversity, too.
Unlocking insight – unlocking change – unlocking audiences