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Reopening Marketing Toolkit


Museums and galleries will be able to reopen in Phase 3, on the 15th July. We know that not all museums and galleries will be able to open this year. For those of you who are planning to reopen, we want help you with your marketing and to maximise this opportunity as much as we can.

You may have started thinking about your own marketing plans around reopening. With that in mind, we have developed a Marketing Toolkit, pulling together key resources in the one place for you to access.

We are coordinating marketing activity on behalf of the sector between July – September. This will help make the public aware of those museums and galleries that are open, so your own activities will be able to benefit from the increased advocacy of the sector at that time. Find out more about how you can get involved by visiting our campaign page.

Get in touch if you have any questions that have not been addressed in this toolkit.

Top Tips For A 'No Budget' Campaign

We know that some of you will not have any budget for marketing. By using existing resources and planning ahead it is entirely possible to run a small marketing campaign with little or no budget. We have a separate guide with some top tips on how to run a "no budget" campaign. 

Read our top tips for a no budget campaign

Know Your Audience

The key to effective marketing is knowing your audience.

  • Who are they?
  • Where are they from?
  • What are their motivations to visit?
  • How can you reach them?

By phase 3 people will be able to travel further and meet with more than one household indoors. Based on this, we would recommend targeting Scotland residents, pre-families (under 35), parents with young children, and empty nesters (55+), who may want to visit your museum with family and friends, locally, as part of a day trip, as well as overnight stay or short break as tourism accommodation starts to reopen.

Consider what might be the barriers to visiting at this time and ensure your messaging addresses this. Visitors are looking for reassurance on social distancing measures as well as hygiene and cleanliness. Also be aware that your target audience’s motivations to visit will need to be constantly reviewed as consumer confidence continues to change. Keep up a dialogue with your audience, learn from them, and make sure you are in a position to address any of their issues through your messaging. 

Digital Pathways has more information on identifying audience, including a free tool to help you gather audience insights.

Also refer to the Scottish Tourism Index reports produced by 56 Degrees Insight, which monitors the views of Scots about holidays and leisure during the COVID-19 pandemic. July’s report is due soon and will include information on day trips.


Marketing Planning

A marketing strategy is your overall game plan for reaching prospective customers/visitors and your marketing plan is how you are going to get there. In the current climate, when planning both around your reopening, it’s worth asking yourself a few questions: What are the restrictions, or barriers to visiting your museum, or any indoor attraction at the moment? Could these challenges in fact be opportunities? It’s worth creating a SWOT analysis to help you brainstorm your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, by yourself or as a team. It will help you to reflect and build on what you do well, to address what you're lacking, to minimise risks, and to take the greatest possible advantage of chances for success.

It’s also worth revisiting your marketing objectives. Do these need to change at all? Consider your visitors; have their motivations changed? Look at your competition, what are they doing? Can we look to our English counterparts? What seems to be working?

You can then create your marketing goals, and from that your action plan (the fun stuff), that will help you achieve your objectives. Do you need to look at new communication channels to reach your audience, or do you just need to change the messaging slightly? Maybe you’ll need to do both. (Also refer to our ‘Top tips for a no budget campaign’).

Where And How To Market

There are a number of different ways (or channels) you can use to communicate with your audience. In this current climate we would recommend online channels. People are at home, using the internet, and dreaming about places they’d like to visit when it’s safe to do so. It’s cost effective and it achieves a high level of engagement.

We would also advise looking at where you might be able to piggy back onto existing campaigns or initiatives, with DMOs as well as our own Reopening marketing campaign.

Here is our overview of the main channels.

Here is information on working with others

Marketing Assets

As part of the Reopening Campaign we've created a video highlighting that #MuseumsAreGo and welcoming visitors back to their sites. A social media friendly version is available for museums to download and use in your own online activity. You can download a copy from our marketing assets on Dropbox. If your workplace restricts access to Dropbox for security reasons please email and we will email a copy to you.

Download #MuseumsAreGo Marketing Assets

Other Resources

MGS Knowledge Exchange online sessions we are planning a series of useful Reopening online sessions open to the sector, so make sure you regularly check our website for details.

VisitScotland has a programme of recorded ‘Moment for Change’ webinars, that cover a range of coronavirus (COVID-19) specific information and research, as well as online training from digital skills to customer service.

VisitScotland provide weekly marketing intelligence reports which highlight travel news, consumer intent and marketing insight from around the globe.

56 Degrees Insight is a Scotland-based research company who have been monitoring the Views of Scots about Holidays and Leisure during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Since May they have produced monthly Tourism Index Reports detailing the results.

We're Good to Go –  to provide visitors with confidence, VisitScotland has worked with VisitEngland, VisitWales and Tourism Northern Ireland to create a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark, which you can obtain for free by completing a self-assessment online.  You’ll be given the We’re Good to Go mark that can be used across your marketing channels and signage, plus a downloadable certificate for display on the premises.

ALVA Commissioned Visitor Sentiment Research – Wave 3 Results:
The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) has published the results of Wave 3 of its Attractions Recovery Tracker, with some key insights into how people are feeling about returning to attractions.