Topic 3 Place

“Place” contains all the physical but also digital channels and networks, where the cultural product can be purchased and/or experienced. The benefits and constraints of Place must be managed. Therefore, in designing a Marketing Mix, the following aspects of “Place” need to be considered:

  • The physical infrastructure of the cultural organisation: The safety, comfort, cleanliness, accessibility, functionality, even aesthetics, of the organisation’s internal and external spaces are important to the visitors. Special care must be given to sufficient hygienic services, functioning elevators and air-conditioning, and to the accessibility of people with disabilities, the elderly as well as children. Moreover, people attempt to cover many different needs in little time, and a cultural organisation needs to cater to them as possible. Café or restaurant services, WCs, cloakrooms, baby changing rooms, in-house shops, educational and social spaces, wi-fi, even babysitting services are very supportive and enticing to visitors.

A special exterior set-up or interior decoration linked to a presented cultural product, enhances the visiting experience by creating a special ambience for the audiences.

  • The location of the cultural venue is quite important, as a central and accessible location can be well exploited. Alternatively, in the case an organisation is located in a distant or unsafe area, access barriers must be addressed, for example by using buses to bring people to the organisation, by offering discounts to commuting services, by creating a safe and well-lit environment, etc.
  • Place also contains the points of distribution of the cultural product. This includes selling tickets and an organisation needs to offer various possibilities to its visitors to purchase tickets easily, quickly, and safely. The traditional box office has been largely replaced by personalised online ticketing, supported by various additional services to help the visitor organise their day around the visit to the cultural organisation.

Source: Colonial Williamsburg, USA https://media.colonialwilliamsburg.org/media/documents/fall-mapguide2.pdf (Colonial Williamsburg: https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.org/visit/know-before-you-go/?from=navvisit)

  • Networks for distributing the Product are also an aspect of “Place”, which is quite important for cultural organisations in light of their social mission. Outreach programmes to various non-participant groups include educational or artistic programmes to open spaces, schools, business locations, even prisons and hospitals. Moreover, cultural organisations enter into co-operations with other institutions (cultural or not), accessing more diversified audiences. In these cases, the benefits but also limitations of alternative venues must be considered and managed.
  • IT technologies add a new dimension to “Place”; namely, virtual/web spaces. Most people today get informed over the internet. The website of a cultural organisation is perhaps the first impression of “place” a prospective visitor gets. Therefore, more than having a running and updated website, organisations need to communicate the sense, the ambience, and the promise of the venue through their virtual space. Offering an online tour to the venue is a possibility worth considering.

Source: Deutsches Historisches Museum, Google Arts & Culture Project

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/deutsches-historisches-museum