Audiences NI recently attended the DigitalDNA conference in Belfast’s George’s Market. We were on a mission to discover all that is new in the world of digital and bring back some nuggets of information, advice, and interesting developments.

Here are some of the trends that we think are going to be key for those working in the the arts, culture, and heritage sector.

Service Experience

Several speakers emphasised the idea of service experience versus product experience. This means that organisations consider how their customer or visitor interacts with them as a whole. Instead of thinking just about what a product does, or how to market it, the entire customer experience is taken into account.

This could include how a customer finds information on your website, how easy it is for them to book a ticket, how they are greeted at a venue, and any interactions they have with your organisation via email or phone.

Research, Research, Research…

Many of the marketing speakers emphasised the importance of knowing your customer and your audience.

Before you can cater to your customer, you must know your customer. Sounds simple, but many big businesses assume they know who their customer is, without actually having any hard evidence for this.

We were delighted to see one of our board members, Damian Cranney, share his insight in this area and emphasise the importance of researching and tracking your audience. Sometimes the amount of research you could do on your audiences or visitors can feel overwhelming, but as Damian pointed out – any customer research is better than none. You never know what you might find out.

Here at Audiences NI we run free Audience Appointments each month – these can be a great starting point to get thinking more about who your audience are. You can use these appointments any way you like. Ask us to critique copy, review audience development plans, identify target audiences, help plan campaigns, recommend research methods, or just chip in.

A man in a white shirt presenting on a stage with a mic.

New Data Protection Regulations

Microsoft gave a useful run-down on how the forthcoming GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will impact business. The GDPR will come into force on the 25th of May next year.

Jamie Brighton of Adobe also referenced data protection as a practical way to let your customers and other businesses know that you are trustworthy and that it can improve the customer or visitor experience.

Understanding GDPR is crucial for any organisation that deals with personal data – be it through ticket sales, mailing lists, or visitor surveys.

If you would like to know more about how the GDPR will affect arts, culture and heritage organisations specifically, you can register for our free lunchtime Save the Data event taking place Monday 19th June.

Save the Data. Free GDPR info session. Monday 19th June 1 to 2 PM. Audiences N.I. To reserve your place:

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