Reflection on Learning Goals for Marketing, Media, and Communication I
I had four learning goals when I began this class at the end of September. The first was to “increase proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite software.” I was first introduced to this software one year ago, in Advanced Information Design class. While I have used Adobe Illustrator a couple of times since, my skill level in the Suite’s programs has basically remained stagnant in the last year. For my final project in this class, “The New Engagement Paradigm,” I did use InDesign more extensively than I had previously for last year’s Graphic Standards project. I especially learned about layouts for magazines through articles and video tutorials, and applied some of these design tips to my final project. I feel much more comfortable with InDesign now, although there are still many more features of the program that I would like to learn. I did not use Illustrator or Photoshop much this term, so I would also like to further strengthen my skill set in those particular programs.
My second learning goal was to rebrand Cultural Forum. Because the assignment structure of this class changed for me early on in the term, and because my final project was different than that of the rest of the class, I did not rebrand Cultural Forum. I did create a new logo for the organization though, and I am pleased with how it turned out. Instead, I looked at social media and technology usage in arts organizations for both marketing and programming. I learned a great deal completing this project. Previously, I had shied away from interrogating what I thought was over-reliance on technology and social media within arts organization. In fact, I selected my final project thesis in order to force myself to deeply consider what the positive effects may be of technology on arts delivery and consumption. I think I made a strong case for technology and the arts through my project, and as a result, I came around to a less curmudgeonly perspective.
I also wanted to learn how to conduct market segmentation in this class, with the hopes of actually applying it at Cultural Forum. While I will not have the chance to test out the methods that we learned in class, as I no longer work with Cultural Forum, I do believe I understand segmentation more fully now than I did when I began this class. The phrase that most helped me understand the concept of target marketing (aka segmentation), is this: “The right media, at the right time, with the right product, at the right price.” I learned that segmentation of patrons/prospective patrons can be conducted by working with different types of criteria: demographic, psychographic, behavioral, and benefits. I also ascertained specific questions that an organization can ask to identify their customers’ needs, as well as methods for data collection, such as using CRM databases, point-of-purchase questions, and focus groups. I do hope I get to design a market segmentation plan at some point in my future career, because I enjoyed learning about these methodologies.
Finally, I wanted to learn how to leverage social media for marketing purposes. I stated in this final learning objective: “Although I use social media, I have an inherent distrust of it, and I hope to get over that in this class–and fully embrace its incredible potential for marketing within the arts nonprofit realm.” I certainly accomplished this objective through my final project, which I described a bit above. I did some research, mostly by looking at Pew Internet Research reports, and found that social media is being used robustly by organizations, and is a cheap (often free) way, especially for small- to mid-sized organizations, to efficiently reach a lot of people at once. It has been a bit of a lifesaver for these nonprofits. Social media also has great potential for crowdsourcing ideas for programming, as well as creating actual programmatic content, and I think this is really exciting.