Arts Innovation Day Recap: Marketing for Dummies

Arts Innovation Day Recap
The Greater Hartford Arts Council’s “Arts Innovation Day” workshop held at Aetna on June 3, 2016

By Jenny Haskins, New Britain Museum of American Art

Similar to many other art museum professionals, my educational background is not in Marketing so much as Art History/Fine Arts. However, like any institution with a consumer base, marketing is a must! As the Copywriter at the New Britain Museum of American Art for just under a year, clever writing comes easy—most of the time. Nevertheless, Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Arts Innovation Day was highly beneficial in allowing me to better understand the marketing side of my position and tap into the Museum’s web-based audience.

With guest speakers at each session, marketing staff of insurance corporation The Hartford delivered an enlightening presentation on Digital Marketing, led by Rob Harlow, Assistant Vice Principal of Digital Marketing, to eager ears of the local arts community. Backed by several fascinating statistics and facts, panelists broke the session down into categories of Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Marketing, and more.

Content Marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating distributed value, which more or less underlined the remainder of the presentation. Great content is original, relatable, and findable, and will grow your consumer base through email, social, and other types of web-based marketing. The first panelist Diana Reihl (Director of Digital Marketing) discussed the topic of E-mail Marketing. Did you know that 205 billion emails were sent in 2015 and that email marketing is 40x more effective than Facebook and Twitter in acquiring customers? I didn’t. Upon announcing Facebook’s new Messenger app in 2010, founder Mark Zuckerberg hailed the death of email claiming that a modern messaging system is not going to be email. Apparently, even famous tech-geniuses aren’t always right.

Patrick Parker, Assistant Director of Social Media Engagement, Enterprise Marketing, represented the portion about Social Marketing—an essential part of my position at the NBMAA. Connecticut’s Facebook users amount to approximately 2.1 MILLION; what potential! Boosting a post with Facebook’s Ad Manager lets you control your reach via age, location, interest, and more, and helps the post become more prominent in user feeds. Due to Facebook’s algorithm, even a small amount of money (start as low as $5!) backing a post can aid in populating more newsfeeds.

Surrounded by colleagues of the greater Hartford arts community, Arts Innovation Day was a profound opportunity to network with other arts professionals and develop myself in my career, for free no less! Each session acted as a crash course in unique subjects, relatable to any growing industry. I would go back for seconds, just sayin’.

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