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    Marketing strategy project focusing on the de Young Museum in San Francisco to identify unmet needs and opportunities.
MBA in Design Strategy design team:
Hachem Mahfoud, Laura Smith, Mark Gabriel, Pamela Steiner, Yookyung Bang
Project Description:
The de Young Museum is a marketing strategy project to work with a client to identify unmet needs and opportunities for themselves and their customers. 
Working as a team of five we initiated primary and secondary research, identified key segments crucial to the museum’s future development, created a core meaning strategy and tactics approach that would offer the de Young Museum an opportunity to grow their perceived and inherent value.
The project began by asking the question, “There are many choices for customers looking for a museum or cultural experience in San Francisco; how can the de Young become the preeminent choice?"
Secondary Research:
The de Young Museum is at currently at a great intersection of need and opportunity. With visitor numbers in a downward trend, the de Young needs to make impactful efforts in visitor experience quality. The museum must become relevant with their customers again; through improving the experience in the museum and outside of the museum, and through both online and offline social experiences.
The role of the museum in the 21st century is shifting from the traditional focus of collection-building, to a more outward-facing, public-interaction focus.  If the de Young wants to increase the number of visitors and become the preeminent Bay Area destination choice, it must shift its strategic planning to take on the new role in the community.
Key Findings:
Museums are shifting from a STATIC to an ACTIVE role. Characteristics of an ACTIVE role include:
- Visitor participation and interaction with art 
- Engagement with art - creating “awesome” experience touch points
- Hands-on relationship-building with museums and their communities
- Art as an event to anticipate and look forward to
Currently, the de Young is operating in a “business as usual” state. In order to avoid becoming irrelevant in the future, the de Young must look at providing untapped emotional experiences and becoming a more essential part of people’s lives.
- Traditional static museum environment - Art Institute of Chicago
Primary Research:
After gaining an understanding of the de Young and the landscape of cultural institutions, we initiated  primary research to better understand customer’s feelings towards the de Young and museums in general. 
- Street intercept and in-depth interviews around previous & ideal museum experiences:
- 15 exit intercepts at the de Young
- 6 street intercepts
- 7 In-depth 1:1 Interviews
On-site Observations at the de Young and the Art Institute of Chicago to understand:
- What does the visitor experience look like?
- How do visitors interact with the space?
- Site observations at de Young Museum.
Key Findings:
- Many visitors cited the current high-profile exhibition as their reason for visit 
- Many visitors enjoyed the outdoor landscape
- Visitors getting lost in the museum emerged as a common theme
- Some had doubts about the value of their experience at the de Young for the price that they paid.
- Trying to see all of a museum in one visit can be exhausting.
Can you describe your experience at the deYoung to me? (in one word)
- Wonderful, uplifting, awesome, splendid, joyful, pleasing, entertaining, invigorated, emotional, tiring, overwhelming
How do you feel right now after visiting the museum?
- “It was a physical experience, the brilliance of the works alone almost knock you out.”
- Site observations at de Young Museum.
Experience Design:
As we began to analyze and map our findings we began to create buckets around meanings either experienced or desired by customers. 
Meanings we uncovered:
- Awe, Wonder, Comfort, Community, Inspiration, Discovery, Invigoration, Insignificance, Connection, Oneness
We refined our list to 4 core meanings that were essential to a successful visitor experience.
- Awe
- Wonder
- Comfort
- Community
Key Segments:
Visitors to the de Young seeking Awe, Wonder, Comfort, & Community can be segmented in the following ways, and are differentiated by frequency of visits as well as their expectations around experiences.

Segment 1: Frequent Visitors
Includes museum members, art students, and families, who come to the de Young more than a few times a year.  They are already familiar with the museum layout, & their interests in the museum’s collection extend beyond the blockbuster shows. 
They are: Patrons of Cultural Institutions
- View the de Young as essential and integral part of their cultural life and identity.
- They actively look to the de Young to provide an experience of awe and discovery through art, but to also provide a comforting relationship they return to many times throughout the year.
We believe that the ideal long-term relationship that Frequent Visitors will have with the de Young will begin with an experience of awe and discovery, and be maintained by experiences of comfort and community.

This is a maintain, engage, and growth relationship.
Segment 2: Infrequent Visitors
Includes vacationing tourists, & locals who are interested in seeing specific shows, and a one-time cultural experience.  They are more likely to spend an entire day in the museum or in Golden Gate park, but unlikely to return to the de Young more than twice a year.
They are: Samplers of Cultural Institutions
- View the de Young as one-time-dose of art and culture.
- They plan their visits around seeing high-profile blockbuster shows, or by adding a short visit as part of a larger excursion to Golden Gate Park.
We believe that the brief interaction that Infrequent Visitors have with the de Young should begin with an experience of wonder, ultimately leaving them with a sense of comfort at the end of the day.

This is an attract, inspire, and impress relationship.
Customer Segment Tactics:
These two segments share common experiential desires for comfort, wonder, and awe, but are distinct in their frequency and expectation of community intimacy. 
Because of these distinctions between the two groups, the de Young should provide experiences for both segments in distinct and unique ways based on the frequency and duration of interactions.
An audit of current tactics the de Young is delivering indicate that while there are touchpoints for each segment (high profile shows, mobile application, cafe, advertising, museum grounds...), we believe that the de Young is missing a valuable opportunity to provide their customer segments with experiences of Comfort & Awe.
- Whitespace opportunity mapping of current tactics & desired meanings
  (images referenced from the de Young website)
Positioning Statement:
Moving from strategy to tactics we proposed the following internal positioning statement for de Young to ensure that future internal  marketing is aligned based on the insights & opportunities identified.
Marketing Strategies:
1. Improve way-finding
- Eliminates disorientation and provides visitors with a greater sense of comfort.
- Better wayfinding and signage system
2. Co-Create customized experiences
- Make the visitor experience more personal and relevant, contributing to their experience of comfort.
- iPad app as interactive “tour guides”
- Art Genealogy / 6 degrees of separation
3. Injecting more social aspects
- Increases the sense of comfort and community through connecting to a greater community inside and outside   the museum.
- Portable, Shareable Art
- Free Gallery
4. Deliver value beyond the physical venue Amplifies the intensity of the experience of awe, providing longer lasting value.
- Art on the streets
- Educational ‘Webisodes” & personality