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Strategic Marketing Case Study - Art Museum

Client Brief: Total Museum Marketing — A Centennial Challenge


Not every organization reaches the ultimate milestone of celebrating its centennial — a perfect opportunity to increase business, build membership and develop stature among other art museums. This museum had everything going for it — a proud and successful history, wonderful and aggressive list of exhibits, plans for a three day centennial celebration event, centennial ball, education programs and other centennial-related projects. Everything, that is, except for marketing, which was floundering in the absence of a department leader.


  • A chaotic marketing environment where staff was diligently trying to support centennial — each following their own agenda
  • No teamwork, no integration — each member working individually with various members of senior staff
  • Plans and initiatives in peoples' minds but not on paper
  • No formal marketing plan documents
  • A significant research report in place at considerable cost — recommendations not being considered

Solutions developed by Maestro Strategic Marketing:

  • Provide leadership for the marketing department and re-structure the department into cohesive units: Graphic Design, Event Planning, Administrative, Communications, and Public Relations; mandate staff accountability to director
  • Hire a public relations manager
  • Develop marketing plans for each and every centennial initiative — ensure that they are comprehensive and strategies are integrated to attract the largest possible audiences for programs; include relevant research recommendations
  • Ensure that marketing objectives and strategies are executed and results tracked
  • Build a solid and aggressive public relations strategy to ensure broad exposure for all exhibits and programs
By all accounts the solutions proposed and executed led to an extraordinarily successful year. The ball attracted more revelers than ever before. The centennial weekend numbers impressed even the most doubtful. Membership increased. Attendance at events was outstanding, culminating in over 80,000 visitors to its blockbuster exhibition. Articles and interviews appeared in major US publications as well as in newspapers in England, France, Italy and Greece. Stories about the final exhibition were also covered on national television. Several creative excellence awards were earned as a result graphic design for the blockbuster event.