Digital technology has had a huge impact on museums and heritage attractions that have integrated ticketing systems into their websites, as it allows visitors to not only see ‘what’s on’ but book advanced tickets to the exhibitions and events they want to see anytime and anywhere.

Adding CRM then allows the venue to collect important individual data that notifies a museum about their visitors preferences. This allows for a more scientific way to analyse and understand your visitors. Now you can quickly and easily send out mailings by post or by e-mail to both your current customer database as well as any potential new visitors. With sophisticated software, the key target audience can easily be filtered out and automatic mail merge campaigns can be set up within just a few keystrokes. In a similar way, automatic visitor booking confirmations, notices, reminders or event cancellations may be sent.

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I love that we can sell out an event ahead of time and ensure we have everything in place rather than guessing if an event is going to be popular on the day - digital reduces the risk

Zak Mensah, Head of Transformation for Bristol Culture team, Bristol City Council

At Bristol Museums Zak Mensah, Head of Transformation for Bristol Culture team, Bristol City Council, is leading the way on a broad ranging digital programme that has recently implemented and embraced the current options to ticketing and CRM.

“Our aim is to be digital by default for all transactions. Primarily as a response to visitor needs but also this nicely aligns to reducing our ‘cost per transaction’ key performance indicator,” he says. “Buying tickets online is very mature so we’re playing catch-up. Our next concentrated effort will be to bring different channels together regarding visitor information through the CRM. Once we know who is using our service in detail we can start to be proactive in decision making that is more robust and hopefully packed with insight.”

He says we should use computers and the internet to do the heavy lifting as that it was made for – so paper surveys that take months to collate can now be replaced by online forms that require no handing out or collecting and in one place. Marketing can be filtered through the website pages and email shots.

“Using digital will reduce the barrier for the vast majority who want to know what we have on offer and make it as easy as possible to book,” he says. “We know that by making our information available as widely as possible we stand the best chance of reaching as many people as possible who often to the advertising for us such as listings websites. We went from the Industrial Age to the connection economy and digital is fast tracking this. A digital platform is scalable and makes it very cost-effective.”

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