Dimensions, July/August 2005—Mission Based, Market Savvy

Dimensions coverIN THIS ISSUE
July/August 2005

When we market science centers, what are we selling? A fun day for the family? Startling and weird phenomena? Meaningful encounters with principles that affect people’s lives? An introduction to the scientific method itself? For nonprofit museums, marketing is more complex than the classic “four P’s” of product, place (i.e. distribution), promotion, and price. We look to develop long-term relationships with current and potential audiences and funders, and that means addressing the expectations and needs of widely varying groups.

Today’s museum marketing professionals, in tandem with evaluators, have increasingly sophisticated tools to do just that. Yet in how many institutions is their knowledge shared consistently, and early on, with planners? At a recent AAM conference, a show of hands at a session on “hot topics in exhibit development” revealed many designers and builders, program staff, and administrators, but no one from marketing. That may have been due to a competing session down the hall, but it was also indicative of a cultural gap. If science centers are to remain successful, both planners and promoters must be aware of, and take into account, each other’s primary duties, concerns, and challenges. In this issue, we learn how some institutions are bridging that gap.

Beyond the Battlefield: Finding Common Ground for Developers and Marketers, by Jane Eastwood
• Better Than Anyone: Taking a Chance on In-House Marketing, by Elizabeth Romanaux
• The Science of Marketing and the Marketing of Science, by Kathleen McLean
• Marketing’s Ally: Measuring the Impact of Public Relations, by Shanon Michael Larimer
• Marketing and Exhibits: Working Together to Understand our Audiences, by Steven S. Yalowitz
• What Works for Us: Marketing Pointers from the Field, contributed by participants in the ASTC RAP
• Resources for Marketing
• How Far Do They Travel: Implications of Zip Code Attendance, by Charlie Trautmann

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