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18th February 2020 Jacqueline Haxton

Staying true to yourself and vision

Four delegates who attended the AMA’s 2019 Digital Marketing Day — Beyond Digital — at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh share their key takeaways from the day.

I was inspired to hear several speakers talk about the engaged and loyal online communities that have emerged on their sites and social media channels and how they can shape their marketing and services. The majority of the speakers reinforced my belief that people-focused stories are most engaging to an audience.

The majority of the speakers reinforced my belief that people-focused stories are most engaging to an audience.

The honesty of Brand Scotland and tackling difficult issues on Scotland instead of hiding from them is something I will remember along with Russell Dornan’s (V&A Dundee) points about letting people’s opinions in but not necessarily needing to agree, and staying true to yourself and vision.

I would like to bring what I learned about website accessibility to any future organisation I work for and I now have tools to review, improve and benchmark sites. I will aim to use digital as a way to enhance visitor experience and knowledge and have seen the benefit of using different platforms and multiple creative engagement methods. All staff interaction with customers acts as marketing. As I have been part of a museum redevelopment project, I was particularly interested in Russell’s varied approaches to keeping content interesting in a museum that had not yet opened.

I met some lovely people at the event and I look forward to visiting some of them and to making use of resources I discovered.

Ellie Brennan, Creative Learning Assistant (Volunteer & Freelance), Paisley Museum Reimagined

The final keynote speaker really left a lasting impression. He spoke so eloquently about the industry and how to make effective change. I took away from the talk the importance of ensuring transformation and technology briefs are clear. Digital is everchanging and is no longer just something businesses do as an add on — it is all encompassing and should be at the forefront of businesses. This is not the case always and being able to clearly explain why we are making changes and the reasons for the changes needs to clear so that everyone can understand the benefits. It also ensures the understanding that innovation and change are not just happening for the sake of it. This needs to happen internally and externally by looking at digital literacy and implementing that into what we do so our customers and audiences can understand better.

Jude Duncan, Digital Marketing Officer, Scottish Ballet

The Beyond Digital marketing day was an interesting and informative day. The event was held in the beautiful surroundings of Dynamic Earth, where the staff were very welcoming and helpful in getting the most out of our day. The talks gave interesting points of view on how digital marketing is always important when targeting audiences.

Gavin Bell’s session on advertising has helped me to strip back our own advertising to the point where simple content has increased interest. We’ve gained more clients and sales just from creating notoriety within the content — be it a bass player wanting to increase memberships or a dancer wanting to increase sales in their classes. It sparked an idea to look into creating mini clips of dance styles and interviews with teachers about their chosen dance style to erase the common question of: “do you think I am right for this style of dance?”.

The day provided a wealth of knowledge and great networking opportunities for us.

The Website Accessibility talk from SuperCool highlighted areas where we felt that our own organisation could benefit from and tools that we could use to make sure our website was accessible to all who engage with it. We value inclusion as an important part of the ethos of our organisation. The day provided a wealth of knowledge and great networking opportunities for us. I would highly recommend this event for any organisation in the arts wanting to improve their digital marketing strategies.

Lyn Conroy, Marketing and Communications Officer, Dance Base: National Centre of Dance

Honestly, the Digital Marketing Day exceeded my expectations — all the sessions I attended had relevance for my work. A key takeaway was the importance and the value of maintaining relationships with my peers in similar positions, particularly those within visual art organisations in Scotland. I was reminded that, though funding regimes feel like they encourage competition, we often have common goals and face similar challenges, as well as limited time and resources. Working together can encourage more cooperative thinking, and the sharing of resources and creative solutions.

Rowan Lear, Communications Officer, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow


All contributors to this blog post attended AMA’s 2019 Digital Marketing Day — Beyond Digital — with an AMA or AMAculturehive bursary.


AMA’s Digital Bootcamp

Want to engage more online audiences with the work, events, services of your arts, culture or heritage organisation? The AMA’s Digital Bootcamp on 30 March at Rich Mix in London is aimed at people who are already working to reach and engage audiences online, and want to develop a deeper understanding to do that more effectively. The day will cover PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, email, conversion and content.

Video highlights

10 minute video highlights from AMA’s Digital Marketing Day — Beyond Digital —are now available to view in the AMA’s Members’ Area. You will need your member’s login to access.

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