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20th December 2016 Rebecca Moore

Bring it on! #DMA

Helga Brandt, Pavilion Dance South West shares her involvement as a Digital Marketing Academy (DMA) Fellow.

I’m a bit at a loss what to write for my last #DMA3 blog. I would have loved to present clear outcomes of my experiment with a well-developed strategy how to implement them into our ongoing audience development.

But, as we say in Germany: “Erstens kommt es anders, und zweitens als man denkt” – things never turn out the way you expect. Not surprisingly maybe, I didn’t finish the three(!) experiments I set myself. In all honesty, I didn’t even finish the first one. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing as I did a lot of learning along the way. And as for the implementation – well, that’s a longer-term project anyway.

So, what are the key outcomes from my #DMA3 experience?

  • Less is More: Yes, I should have concentrated on one experiment rather than allowing myself getting pulled in too many directions. But I think I felt just concentrating on creating more engaging content on Twitter wasn’t really weighty enough for a “proper” experiment. Turns out I was wrong – it still keeps me occupied! I also learned a lot from other Fellows, who concentrated on one “smaller” experiment, but were then able to drill down deeper into the analytics and gain valuable insights.
  • Don’t be scared to make mistakes: for a perfectionist like me the sheer thought of allowing myself to fail rather than planning everything meticulously in advance has little appeal. It was therefore interesting to learn about the “agile” project management approach and thinking about where I could use it in my work at Pavilion Dance South West.
  • The most important lessons I take away about Social Media use: It’s called world wide web for a reason – be international, not UK-centred. Be more human. Be interested in what other people have to say and engage with their content. Don’t make it all about Us, Us, Us, i.e. constantly pushing content about our shows, our classes, our projects… I haven’t done this consistently enough to see some permanent change but we’ve recently seen our engagement rate and profile visits on Twitter go up slightly, and I believe that this trend will continue if we keep being more engaging.


And what next?

Well, I definitely want to explore more of our Social Media use. Ultimately, I would like to achieve an organisational shift – I would like all staff to embrace the fact that Social Media is not (just) a marketing tool but a tool to engage people on a personal level rather than pushing out sales messages to them all the time – and they are certainly not a firefighting tool for when a show doesn’t sell.

I will continue to explore Tumblr and its suitability as a tool for content creation and internal communication. One of my aims for the future is to engage and encourage more staff members outside the marketing team to contribute to our digital communications. If it works, it will make it easier for everyone to contribute to our monthly newsletter and for us to produce it, as we will all leave and take content at and from a central source. I have to confess that I am still trying to figure out how this could work, but I’m determined to give it some more time.

I am also planning a review of our website – it’s three years after we re-launched it – and I would like to use an agile approach.

And I will certainly re-visit the notes from my mentoring meetings, as they are so full of interesting ideas and tangents.


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