Museum and Performing Arts Marketing: A Climate of Change
Marketing in museums and performing arts organizations is in a period of major reassessment. I explored the role of marketing in museums and performing arts organizations over the last twenty years through the examination of 128 marketing articles in seven key international journals. Museums and performing arts organizations often experience financial difficulty, and many cultural organizations cannot exist on earned income alone. Corporate and government funders, as well as foundations, are asking for greater accountability for money granted. One way that accountability can be documented is by sound marketing approaches (Laczniak and Murphy 1977).
Peterson (1986) identified six extraorganizational factors that have reinforced the drive toward formal accountability in arts organizations and have increased the need for cultural managers with formal training. They are worth restating here, for they arguably have influenced the recent growth in museum and performing arts marketing. First, the new patrons of the arts (governments, corporations, foundations) are all formally structured and require formal accountability. Second, new patrons are seeking new audiences with greater social diversity than in the past, and grants are often given to stimulate new programming to attract new audiences.
Third, the diversified activities of museums and theaters, started to support the core business, are subject to rational accounting and managerial criteria. For example, an art museum may include a library, restaurant, bookshop, great hall, art school, and public education programs; a ballet may own a building and operate a car park. Fourth, the range of social legislation requires objective analysis and training to interpret decisions fairly, which, fifth, affects an organization's ability to deal with people both within and outside of it and its ability to justify decisions objectively.
And finally, the increased movement of artists and art works has created the need to target audiences methodically and to calculate accurately the break-even utilization for each venue. Peterson (1986) argues that these changes have occurred irrespective of factors internal to the cultural organization, such as size, organizational life cycle, and complexity. The extraorganizational factors have increased the need for cultural managers to have the orientation and skills of marketers. (p. 83, 84)
Journals and articles.
Marketing museums and performing arts organizations in the Foundation period.
Marketing museums and performing arts organizations in the professionalization period.