Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Research for the Marketing State in Russian Museums

Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Research for the Marketing State in Russian Museums

Article excerpt

Abstract

The paper presents the results of research on the implementation of the marketing function in museums. The interest in marketing activities in Russian museums is constantly growing. At the same time, there are difficulties associated with the implementation of the marketing function in the organizational activity of museums. The research comprises of semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire survey of directors and heads of departments in museums. The obtained results demonstrate that the marketing function is ineffectively implemented in the activity of museums. Marketing is episodic. Marketing functions are distributed among the employees having no necessary qualification. Marketing tools are limited to certain communicative tools only. Museum officials are aware of the lack of marketing qualification and are interested in enriching marketing awareness of the museum workers. According to museum officials, the main method for increasing the marketing effect in museums is in attracting skilled marketing experts and financial resources for marketing activities. The measures to improve the effectiveness of marketing activities of museums were offered based on the obtained results.

Keywords: museum marketing, marketing researches in museums, functions of marketing, non-commercial marketing, organizing marketing in a museum, museum product, pricing in museums, promoting museum service

1. Introduction

A contemporary museum is a complex multi-stage system combining leisure with selection, restoration, storage, and exhibition of historical and cultural values, scientific and educational activities. International non-governmental professional organization of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) defines a museum as "a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates, and exhibits objects of tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the goals of education, study and enjoyment". Since the 90's of the 20th century, museums have come to recognizing themselves as a part of the entertainment industry (Anderson, 2004). Under these conditions, museums are in a competitive environment, not only with other museums, but also with suppliers of a wide range of entertainment, educational and recreational services (Rentschler & Hede, 2007; Sandell & Janes, 2007; Kotler et al., 2008). Such competition puts museums in tough conditions and affects their funding. Reduced funding of museums is often associated with their economic and informational efficiency. At the same time, museums, as a number of institutions in the field of culture, focus their efforts only on communications among all the diversity of marketing (Sidorchuk & Grineva, 2013). Russian museums started to demonstrate interest in marketing only in the last few years.

2. Literature Review

Marketing in non-profit organizations and museums as their part has its own distinctive features. (Sargeant, 2009) Some researches (Frey, 1998) attempted to explain why a number of museums are engines of the economy of cities, while others just spend public funds. Therefore, in the fight for the financing, the museum officials have to use marketing tools to attract visitors and incorporate marketing into their organizational strategies (Rentschler, 2002). At the same time, the organization of marketing activity hardly finds its place in the daily management activities of the officials of museums. The officials of museums are often sceptical about the usefulness of marketing (Kolb, 2000). The literature and practice provide numerous opportunities in the field of museum products, communications policy, which allows attracting visitors by making a museum an object for personal connections (Hausmann, 2012). Museum marketers could just observe the consumers behaviour within museum for understanding their needs (Wallace, 2010). …

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