‘Tis the season to cozy up with a cup of cocoa and dive into market research to help cultural organizations thrive in 2019 and beyond.
We’ll begin to roll out a fresh batch of Fast Fact Videos For Cultural Executives in 2019! They include new data and analysis on the biggest obstacles and opportunities for cultural organizations such as museums, botanic gardens, historic sites, and performing arts entities. In 2019, the topics will range from the monetary value of a visitor vs. a member, a data update on how much people trust cultural organizations, and the types of personal interactions that increase visitor satisfaction the most.
But did you know that we already have 60 videos for you to peruse?
We first started making Fast Fact videos in 2015 at the request of several cultural executives who were seeking ways to share KYOB “foundational findings” with leaders, boards, and at all-staff meetings. Today’s human attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish and, well… even condensed KYOB articles can be too long to keep some peoples’ attention. KYOB Fast Fact videos are created to combat this, and to help leaders more easily share and take in critical findings at meetings and in board rooms… or even in their living rooms! It’s time to grab a blanket, curl up with a hot beverage, and get down and nerdy with some data.
Here are the ten most viewed videos to date.
10) Being good at your mission is good business
Though this was one of the first videos that KYOB produced in 2015, the trend stands strong today. Simply, we consistently find that organizations that highlight their missions financially outperform those marketing primarily as attractions. It’s cool to be kind today! And it’s not just about warm fuzzies: How well an organization is perceived to be executing its stated mission plays a big role in its reputation; contributes to favorability in overall satisfaction and established trust; and is a major component of membership. Running a financially healthy cultural organization is not at odds with mission work. Instead, it is two sides of the same coin for the most successful entities.
9) The cost of cutting marketing budgets
Think cutting marketing department budgets is a safe way to save money? Think again. Data suggest that this cut may be the most costly of all, and among the hardest to overcome after it’s done. It’s time to bust the myth that this cut is a safe or smart move during tough times. Here’s the data. (Heads up: This is an important eye-opener regardless of department or leadership role.)
8) Why those with interest still do not visit cultural organizations
Feeling like more and more people are forgoing leaving the house to watch Sabrina or Stranger Things? You’re not imaging it. One of your organization’s biggest competitors is the couch.
This video also very briefly introduces the top barriers to visitation for those who are interested in visiting cultural organizations in the US, but don’t actually go. Here’s that data cut for millennials and non-millennials. If you want to learn more, my colleague, Jim, and I also conduct workshops wherein we dive into the top barriers to visitation to specific organization types in specific regions!
7) The worst thing about a visit to a cultural organization
What’s the worst thing about visiting an exhibit-based organization such as a museum, zoo, aquarium, or botanic garden? As it turns out, it’s the same “worst thing” about visiting a performance-based organization such as a theater, symphony, orchestra, or ballet. The good news is it’s something we can fix.
6) Do expansion projects increase long-term attendance?
Sometimes it feels like nearly every cultural organization is carrying out a major expansion project. But do these projects truly sustain visitation in the long term? This video uncovers the attendance results of 11 cultural organizations that underwent major expansion projects. The results may surprise you.
5) Admission pricing is a science, not an art
Do you know the science behind your organization’s pricing strategy? Unintentional collusion is still a big problem that stops cultural organizations from maximizing their revenue. It takes place when we “guess” what pricing should be instead of carrying out a study to determine an organization’s data-informed optimal admission price. Once an organization “guesses” its price point and other organizations hop on board to copy it, it’s difficult to break out and correct the problem – or simply adjust for inflation over time! (This is a particularly interesting economic inefficiency among art museums in New York City right now.)
As a reminder while we’re at it: Admission price is not an affordable access program. That is an entirely different, targeted strategy.
This is the first KYOB Fast Facts video that we ever made, and I’m surprised and glad that this video is on the list.
4) How onsite social media use impacts visitor satisfaction
Social media helps communicate with visitors offsite, but what role do social media channels play onsite? A pretty big one, it turns out. Check out this video before you roll your eyes at the folks snapping photos or looking at their phones during their visit.
3) The best way to increase visitor satisfaction
What’s the most impactful and reliable way to increase visitor satisfaction, according to research? Here’s the answer. This is also one of the first videos we made, and this is one of my favorite topics to share information about in presentations and workshops!
We have more data coming your way in 2019 on the power of personalized experiences, including a video on the types of personal facilitated experiences (PFEs) that increase visitor satisfaction the most. There are fascinating trends in this area taking place in this arena and it’s an important one that we are actively tracking.
2) Fads vs. trends (and how to tell the difference)
Understanding the difference between fads and trends is critical for cultural organizations. When we confuse the two, we often leave executives and board members confused, frustrated, and – worst of all – afraid of innovation. Here’s how both fads and trends can help your organization thrive, but why trends are of particular importance.
And the number one most-watched Fast Facts video is:
1) What is the most important role of nonprofit board members?
What is the most important role of nonprofit board members? Is it the time that they dedicate in service of the organization, their talent or skillset, or their treasure by way of monetary donations? We wanted to know, so we asked board members and staff leaders at 49 difference cultural organizations. What did we find? A big disconnect.
Want more? I like the way to you think. Please check out Know Your Own Bone on YouTube for more trends, analysis, and fast facts in video format. If you’d rather peruse them alongside deeper, written analysis, then here’s your go-to resource.
Next Wednesday, we’ll be counting down the top ten most read articles of 2018 on Know Your Own Bone. Until then, may your gift shops be booming with holiday cheer!