What we think

Three unusual ways to engage your audience

October 2017


With the rise of digital ubiquity and new technologies, lots of sectors have had to innovate to find new ways to connect with existing audiences – and attract new ones. For example, traditional media like newspapers, radio and TV have been struggling with loss of audience, attention, and subsequently, revenue, for quite some time now. 
But how are arts and culture innovating to engage and build relationships with the present-day public (with their newly adopted behaviour of being active participants and contributors)? How do you get audiences to feel like they’re co-creating instead of having their culture dictated to them?
1.    Encourage them to contribute to your collection

That’s right – you no longer have to be a millionaire to ‘gift a work’. The Museum of Broken Relationships encourages its visitors to send items to their Museum as a means of ‘unburdening the emotional load’ and getting rid of material things that ‘remind you of that painful experience’. The museum was created by Zagreb-based artists Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić in 2003 as a symbol of the ending of their 4-year relationship – a truly universal human experience. 
2.    Let them pay by bitcoin 

Cryptocurrencies are fast becoming accepted as payment in art markets across the world. Dadiani Fine Art is the first fine art gallery in the UK to trade and accept Bitcoin as a way of broadening the market and attracting ‘a new type of buyer to art and luxury’. Investors who previously could not afford multimillion dollar works of art are now able to buy shares of their works – innovative stuff.
3.    Ask for their input

As museums are increasingly acting like entrepreneurs, they’re also recognising that failure is an essential and valuable part of successful product design. Valuing failure means putting the end user at the heart of experience. Thus the Minneapolis Institute of Arts are creating an agile work environment where visitors provide direct feedback on a new digital storytelling. Empowering audiences to critique and provide feedback means they are starting to take ownership of the outcomes. 
At the end of the day it is about understanding and segmenting audiences, prioritising which one is the most important, and creating a product that matches their persona. Once that’s done, choices are endless and it’s up to you if you’re about bitcoins or broken hearts.