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16th January 2019 Jemma Green

Harriet Burke — my favourite session

Harriet Burke | Head of Digital Marketing | London Transport Museum

Definitely one of the most inspiring talks during the day was Lucy Sinclair the Director of Audiences and Media at Royal Opera House (ROH). Firstly, it was fascinating to hear how the ROH has restructured and made internal changes in order for their output to be more focused. From three direct reports sitting under Lucy to there now being seven, this was great to hear how creating these new distinct specialist areas of the team it has meant individuals are clearer as to where their focus should be, but also a greater internal understanding as to what different people within the team do!

It was refreshing for Lucy to say that they have completely stripped back their audience aims, ie what they want them to do. This was broken down to two clear aims: 1) Book a ticket 2) Visit Us.

How refreshing for an organisation as huge in the culture sector as ROH to publically create two, just two, aims that all members of staff can get behind and really understand. As Lucy herself said “We are guilty in our sector of trying to do everything” and I for one can hold my hands up here and say I have worked across numerous teams who are so passionate and want to achieve so much, but at the same time this constant want to say “yes” to everything can hamper the overall businesses output.

I also liked the fact that Lucy mentioned that versus trying to market all productions across the year, they have changed their budgetary split as to what where their marketing spend is now being allocated. Before, ROH used to spend approximately 43% of marketing spend on promoting productions and individual shows. Now this has reduced to approximately 33%. More money is now allocated towards branding, promoting visits to ROH and the business more generally, as well as marketing technology, putting data and analytics at the heart of what marketing the team is doing and where there are proven returns on investment.

The main learnings I am taking away from Lucy’s talk are the changes to make ROH marketing more user and data centric. Having a new analytics and audience data team has meant the team have become smarter identifying what marketing spend is working and investing more money in channels that are delivering. Demonstrating good ROI cannot be underestimated and is an ambition I, and I’m sure many Marketing teams, aspire to have.

Finally, I liked Lucy’s belief in sharing and promoting the team’s achievements internally. Each week, they share weekly sprint notes about what they are working on. I think this is fantastic, as I for one am really self-deprecating about my achievements. Making colleagues aware about what the current focus is for the team, where money is being and what the outcomes are likely to be can only be a good thing!

My 3 top benefits of attending Digital Marketing Day 2018 were:

  1. The variety of digital topics discussed. From hearing about how technology can help people with disabilities to understanding which free tools to use to track and utilise digital data, there is a HUGE amount to learn about throughout the day. However, while this means it’s great to hear about this huge range of digital topics, at the same time this means it’s really hard to choose which talks you are going to attend!
  2. Confidence to go back to internal stakeholders and make recommendations as to what digital investment and changes are needed to make big business breakthroughs.
  3. The high standard of speakers. Anne Lise Kjaer kicked off the day with an inspiring talk explaining how “we march backwards into the future”. My favourite quote from Anne Lise was “You don’t need a budget to be creative”. Sometimes it feels amongst the numerous strategy documents, budget proposals and day-to-day data collection, we can lose sight on being creative. Marketing is a fun profession so let’s not forget it!

Also, huge congratulations to the team behind the scenes who helped bring this day together. It’s no mean feat to get live feeds from Glasgow and London to work(!) and its seemed from an audience perspective that everything went ahead without a glitch!