AMA’s Digital Lab began life as the Digital Marketing Academy in 2014. Funded through Arts Council England, as part of the AMAculturehive programme.

Digital Lab 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. You can find the legacy of this learning on Digital Lab on AMAculturehive

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.

AMA team member with a DigialLab delegate

Past Participants

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 par

The outcome has been something tangible for my organisation, and a boost in confidence for me.

Steve Woodward, Senior Comms Manager, A New Direction

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 strateg

Danielle McLoughlin, Box Office Sales & Events Manager, Hull Truck Theatre

Organisations who have taken part previously include:  

  • Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre 
  • Black Cultural Archives 
  • South London Gallery 
  • Tomorrow’s Warriors 
  • Rambert 
  • Theatre Royal Stratford East 
  • National Centre for Circus Arts 
  • Artichoke 
  • Bristol Old Vic 
  • StoryHouse 

Hear from previous participants

[Laraine speaks to camera]

I’ve really enjoyed being a member of the Digital Marketing Academy in its first year. And I think when I entered the Academy, I was looking for some advice and guidance on developing a digital strategy for Northern Ballet. And it’s been great to have some advice from a mentor. So that’s definitely taken a step forward.

The Academy itself has been a space to stop and think about the digital practice here at Northern Ballet. And it’s been time to look at some of the data that’s available to us from Google Analytics, and also the analytics behind Facebook. So I’ve got a much better understanding of who our online audiences are, which are very important to us. And it’s been great to have sessions with the experts and I’ve also really enjoyed our action learning sets because it’s great to problem share with like minded people in a safe space, and also to get a perspective from outside your organisation.


[Steve speaks to camera]

My experience of being involved in the CultureHive Digital Marketing Academy has been really positive. Got a lot from connecting with my mentor DK, Carol in the Action Learning sets and just connecting with other fellows really and hearing what other people are doing. My experiments centred around finding new ways to connect schools and teachers with arts and cultural organisations online. And it resulted in the development of a new prototype platform really, for us to test some ideas around that.

It’s gone down really positively and there’s loads of good learning and things that I’m going to take forward new iterations of the site as we go forward within A&D.


[Dawn speaks to camera]

Hi, I’m Dawn from the Tricycle Theatre. I’m a joint CultureHive fellow with Holly Conneely.

For a project with our mentor, Daniel Rowles, we have improved our presence on Google Analytics. And we’ve been using that to help us target the under-26 demographic more online. And we run several experiments. We’ve done an event tracking experiment, we’ve learned how to use Goals. And we’ve also started using Google campaign tracking links in all of our campaigns, which has been really helpful to us because we can see where we’re spending our fairly tight marketing budgets and how effective that is. We’ve also spent a lot of time doing paid social advertising on Facebook and YouTube. And we’ve learned how to use the Facebook Power Editor, which is a tool that allows you to target your audiences more effectively and again, to spend your money better online.



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.

Digital Marketing Day delegate with a VR headset


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
DigiLab delegates during lunch


Trainers have included

Carolyn Royston

Carolyn Royston Headshot

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 Evans

Ron Evans Headshot

Ron is a consumer psychologist and principal consultant at Group of Minds.  

Katie Moffat

Katie Moffat Headshot

Katie is a social media, digital engagement and analytics specialist who has worked in the communications sector for over 17 years. 

Daniel Rowles

Daniel Rowles Headshot

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. 

Tom Beardshaw

Tom Beardshaw Headshot

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 Smith

Devon Smith Headshot

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.