Museums are some of the most admired and highly regarded destinations in cities around the world, often using leading technologies to showcase some of the most valuable objects ever created. While they often attract visitors from far and wide, museums frequently have difficulty converting those visitors into members and donors that provide regular streams of revenue. Too many museums lack knowledge of their patrons, cannot consolidate and share information, and find it challenging to coordinate processes across teams. As a result, efforts to achieve KPIs around membership sales and donation growth are uncoordinated.

To develop strategies that will enable you to capitalize on the visitors you attract to your exhibits, you need to understand your patrons’ journey from awareness all the way through to donation and loyalty. Mapping your customer journey will provide this understanding and help you achieve your goals. Here are some of the results you can achieve, and why museums need customer journey mapping.

Increase membership sales by converting one-time-ticket buyers

One of the most important revenue streams for museums is membership sales. Memberships are a higher dollar value than single-ticket sales and indicate a high level of engagement with the exhibits. Typically, museums rely on a portion of single-ticket buyers converting to members; however, these organizations don’t tend to have sophisticated programs to capture single-ticket buyer information and track it throughout their journey. As a result, too many visitors never return and never become members.

Mapping out the touchpoints between the initial ticket purchase and the membership purchase will help you understand where you are missing opportunities to track and upsell single-ticket buyers. Optimizing your activities around these opportunities will enable you to engage these visitors and increase membership sales proactively.

Grow revenue by understanding critical drivers of membership renewals

Most museums monitor membership sales and enhance or revamp exhibits to drive more membership purchases. However, these organizations often leave a glaring hole in their membership sales initiatives – renewals. Many museums cannot predict which patrons are likely to churn, and therefore they cannot allocate resources to nurturing these members and winning the renewal.

Mapping the entire customer journey requires your team to outline the touchpoints beyond the initial membership purchase, which enables you to score members on their likelihood of renewing and analyze opportunities to retain members that have a high risk of churning. Ultimately, understanding where and how you are failing to engage your current members empowers you to optimize your activities and increase revenue.

For example, we have seen that museums with strong membership growth focused on converting single ticket buyers to members but tended to neglect activities that engaged existing members. Mapping the customer journey helped these organizations identify actions that prompted members to visit the museum, which drove renewal rates up and lead to significant revenue growth.

Automate the right interventions with an understanding of the optimal customer journey

Many museums know their patrons’ demographics and have developed sophisticated segments. While this knowledge helps museums develop proper messaging, it doesn’t translate into understanding the optimal path to purchase. Because museums do not know the optimal journey to purchase, they cannot systematize and automate it. As a result, museums tend to run most campaigns and initiatives manually, which requires more resources and higher expense, all for lower results.

To automate marketing activities that drive purchase, you need first to understand and optimize the process that customers go through as they move from awareness, to interest, to conversion. Mapping the customer journey will enable you to understand each interaction, identify activities that are working, and automate these interactions.

Mapping the customer journey often reveals to teams that coupling specific activities together drives purchase. In many cases, the different groups are managing the activities, and these teams would never have found the connection if they had not mapped and tracked the entire journey. For instance, a follow-up survey paired with an email containing personalized recommendations for upcoming exhibits may drive more membership purchases than the email alone. With the knowledge that these interactions should be paired together, marketers can automate these two interactions and drive better results consistently over time.

Develop sophisticated multi-touch strategies by removing customer data silos

When it comes to integrating physical and digital properties, museums are at the forefront of innovation – in their exhibits. However, museums lack this level of sophistication in marketing activities. Visitors and members are engaging with both physical and digital touchpoints, but most museums are not able to connect these activities. The data remains in silos with different departments and systems, and teams are not able to leverage this information to drive KPIs.

Consolidating this data and using it to develop a comprehensive 360-degree view of the entire customer journey is essential for developing strategies that drive multiple KPIs. Museums can use web information to understand which advertising channels brought the visitor to the website and the exhibits they are interested in, they can use physical location data to know whether the customer purchased at the gift shop, and call center data to understand whether the patron donated. Consolidating and analyzing all of this information allows teams across the organization to work together to develop personalized, multi-touch marketing campaigns that drive results in every department.

Mapping the customer journey empowers museums to understand, engage, and activate their visitors, driving more engagement with the exhibits and more revenue for the organization.

Find out more! Here is how we can help get you started with mapping your customer journey.