AMA’s Digital Lab began life as the Digital Marketing Academy in 2014. Funded through Arts Council England, as part of the AMAculturehive programme, it enables digital innovation across the arts, culture and heritage sector. It equipped participants with the knowledge, advice and support to develop digital experiments within their organisations.
Participants devise and test digital marketing experiments on real audiences in real organisations; the results, impact and learning are then shared across the sector.
The name was changed from Digital Marketing Academy to Digital Lab in 2018 to reflect this experimental approach. AMA delivered a separate project, the Digital Heritage Lab, in 2020-2021. This was part of a project funded through National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Digital Skills for Heritage. Find out more about Digital Heritage Lab.
“The outcome has been something tangible for my organisation, and a boost in confidence for me”
Steve Woodward, Senior Comms Manager, A New Direction
Participants were drivers of change working in a senior marketing positions, interested in how digital innovation can increase and engage audiences. Over 150 individuals from 130 organisations took part including:
- Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre
- Black Cultural Archives
- South London Gallery
- Tomorrow’s Warriors
- Theatre Royal Stratford East
- National Centre for Circus Arts
- Bristol Old Vic
Digital Lab took place entirely online, combining webinars with peer learning, practical experiments, mentoring, and the opportunity to attend AMA’s Digital Marketing Day conference.
The range of topics and experiments covered everything from getting started with livestreaming to using tracking pixels, from paid promotion to polling.
Learning from experiments was shared with peers, and also published online. You can read more about the experiments and learning points through the blogs and vlogs participants created on AMAculturehive.
“It has encouraged new conversations between departments about how we might work better digitally and how we may be able to feed this into our organisation’s digital strategy”
Danielle McLoughlin, Box Office Sales & Events Manager, Hull Truck Theatre
Hear from previous participants:
ADA brought a range of trainers and mentors in to help facilitate and support learning. These included:
Carolyn is an independent consultant for cultural sector with a focus on digital strategy and transformation, and former Head of Digital, Imperial War Museum
Ron is a consumer psychologist and principal consultant at Group of Minds.
Katie is a social media, digital engagement and analytics specialist who has worked in the communications sector for over 17 years
CEO at TargetInternet, Daniel has extensive experience working both client side and within the agency environment. He is a Course Director for the CIM, an award winning author and a lecturer at Imperial College and Cranfield School of Management.
Founder of NativeHQ, Tom is a freelancer working in digital marketing, education and coaching. He is a digital strategist and artist with a background in anthropology, social ethics and multiplatform production.
Devon is the co-founder of Measure Creative, a 2-person digital studio based in Portland, Oregon that helps non-profit organisations understand their audiences and become better storytellers.
The learning captured from this programme can be found on AMAculturehive. Previous outcomes of the programme have included:
- the development of a new online platform bringing teachers and arts organisations together
- extensive experiments on audience segmentation
- breakthroughs in the use of Google Analytics
- reimagining the online customer journey
- testing different content on social media
- gamification and its application to loyalty programmes
- a unique 360 video created as a ‘drop in’ experience for visitors.
“I experimented with tuning all audience engagement, outreach and marketing to the artistic objectives. A close analysis of the artistic project led me to amplify certain elements –to reach people in unexpected and delightful ways, while preserving the necessary strangeness of the work. The results were striking.”
Ruth Catlow, Co-founder, Furtherfield