IMPLEMENTATION & EVALUATION –
The implementation of the MP should not be problematic to the extent that the plan has been designed carefully and that conditions remain relatively stable. Remember the importance of setting specific, measurable, and time-bound objectives. In effect, well-defined goals are very important because they allow the evaluation of their implementation through a choice of appropriate measurements and standards.
Such measurements can be quantitative (e.g. numbers of audiences reached or of tickets sold, increase in visitor attendance and income generated, extent of media coverage, new products/services developed, etc.) or qualitative (e.g. quality of visiting experience, levels of audience satisfaction, degree of changes in attitudes, etc.). In the cultural sector, both are equally important.
However, qualitative evaluation is more challenging, resource- and time-consuming, as it requires demanding qualitative methods and the long-term observation of visitors (to establish, for example, the impact on their psyche, intellectual or aesthetic development).
Standards that can be used for evaluation purposes are comparable historic standards, benchmarking standards, or standards set by regulatory bodies.
Specific milestones for evaluation measurements must be included in the MP at regular intervals, so as to provide feedback on the efficiency of the plan and allow its timely revision in case results do not meet expectations.
Finally, since an organisation functions in a rapidly changing, often unforeseen, environment, Contigency Planning has to be also taken up, offering alternative ways of action.
We hope you have enjoyed this module! Ideally, by now you should have an overview of what Marketing is and how it is applied to the cultural sphere. Feel free to complete the following activities to test your acquired knowledge and get practical exercise on some marketing aspects. Also, a great guide and toolkit to help you start on designing a marketing plan for your cultural initiative or organisation is the British Council’s Audience Development Toolkit. Have fun!