Audience Research in a Web 2.0 world

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Workshop given at New Zealand Digital Forum Conference 28/11/08, Auckland

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  • 1. Doing audience research in a Web 2.0 world Dr Lynda Kelly, Australian Museum

2.

  • What is audience research?
  • How is it done?
  • What has it told us?
  • How do we use it?

Coverage 3. 4.

  • Gilman: 1916
  • Robinson & Melton: 1930-1940s
  • Alt, Shaw, Griggs: 1970-1980s
  • Screven, Hood: 1980-1990s
  • Falk & Dierking: 1990-2004
  • Hein, 1998
  • Museum Learning Collaborative: 2000
  • Web 2.0 & Evaluation: Kelly & Russo, 2007; 2008
  • Website Analytics: Chan, 2008

Development of audience research 5.

  • Purpose of audience research:
    • Who uses audience research
    • What have they done
    • What have they used it for
    • Feedback/questions

Exercise 1 6.

  • It gives us data about:
    • leisure patterns: who , where,why
    • demographics
    • what people want from a visit
    • what they do when they visit
    • prior interests and knowledge
    • satisfaction
    • whatthey learn and takeaway

Why do audience research? 7.

  • Find out visitor mix:
    • locals, tourists (Austn, O/s), age, social grouping
  • Visiting patterns:
    • weekdays, weekends, seasonal
    • helps to plan programs, opening hours, pages
  • Track advertising and marketing

8.

  • For use in:
    • promotion and marketing
    • grant applications
    • grant acquittals
    • decision making
    • programming
    • improvements and change
    • seeking funding (e.g. Councils, Ministry, Federal agencies, others)

9.

  • Before embarking on anything there are a number of questions we need to ask

Doing audience research 10.

  • What information do we already have?
  • What are the gaps in our information?
  • Who will use the information?
  • What will the information be used for?
  • What will be the consequences if we dont get the information?

11.

  • Whodo we need to get the information from?
  • Howcan we get the information?
  • Whatmethods will we use?
  • How muchwill we invest : cost vs. benefit

Then ask 12.

  • What does this mean for your institutions??

Implications 1 13.

  • Methods:
    • What types of audience research are you aware of/used?
    • How are you measuring visitation/online users
    • Feedback/questions

Exercise 2 14.

  • Structuredsurveys, questionnaires
  • Log files, analytics
  • Usually closed questions (e.g. yes/no, rating scales, agree/disagree)
  • Results often presented as percentages, frequency counts
  • Givesstatistical measures :
    • extrapolateto general population
    • trend data : over time and across programs and/or venues

Quantitative research 15.

  • demographics
  • where else they visit/sites used
  • how they find out/how they got there
  • areas visited (physical/online)
  • satisfaction
  • what stood out
  • things theyd tell others
  • messages retained, meanings made

Surveys 16.

  • Focuseson peoples own recounts and meaning sma de
  • Through :
    • in-depth interviews
    • case studies
    • observation/tracking
    • focus groups
    • community consultation
  • Results are interpretations

Qualitative research 17.

  • What research methods might be suitable?
  • How can it be done effectively and efficiently?

Implications 2 18.

  • Visitor Motivation:
    • Why do people visit museums/museum websites?
    • Who visits your institutions - profiles

Exercise 3 19.

  • 77% visit to experience something new
  • 71% visit for entertainment
  • 71% for learning
  • 70% for interests of children/family
  • 64% worthwhile leisure
  • 57% special events I must see or do
  • 56% recommended by others

AM research found 20.

  • How will you factor visitor motivation into programs and services?

Implications 3 21.

  • Visitor needs:
    • What do visitors want when they visit a museum?

Exercise 4 22.

  • People have strong views about what they want from a physical museum visit

Wants 23.

  • Experiencesthat are :
    • hands-on, active
    • sensory
    • memorable, withsomething to take away
  • Learningthat :
    • goes fromfamiliar to unfamiliar concepts
    • is controlled by them
    • cater sfor all levelsand styles
    • isnew

They want 24.

  • Exhibit s :
    • to touch and explore
    • not overloaded with words & information
    • that can get up close to
    • with staff there to answer questions
    • that are realistic
    • relaxing spaces to take it all in
    • that encourage talking/sharing amongst groups

25.

  • AM research has found that visitors have specific interests and information needs about collection items

Collections 26.

  • What is it made of?
  • How is it used?
  • What is it used for?
  • How often is it used?
  • What is the symbolism of it?
  • How old is it?
  • Is it still used today?If not, what is?
  • Who were/are the people and what are their stories?

Anthropology collections 27.

  • What is it?
    • scientific name
    • everyday name/description
  • Where did it come from:
    • and when was it found
    • distribution
  • The museum things:
    • how is it preserved
    • why is it in a museum? what is it used for?
  • What is it related to thats familiar to me?

Natural history collections 28.

  • How will you factor these needs into programming both physical and online?

Implications 4 29.

  • Visitor behaviour:
    • What have you noticed about how visitors behave in your institutions?
    • How are visitors navigating your sites?
    • What data do you have to support this?

Exercise 5 30. 31.

  • Include in planning
  • Involve in data gathering
  • Work through findings
  • Debriefs
  • Use consultants
  • Communication systems

Staff buy-in 32. 33. 34.

  • Imagine:
    • Listening to young children in museum environments
  • Museum 3.0:
    • providing excellent physical and virtual museum experiences for young people

Communicating results 35.

  • Web 2.0:
    • YouTube
    • Facebook
    • Flickr
    • Two-way interaction
    • Equal relationship
  • Visitor voice

Visitor voice 36. 37. 38. 39.

  • To fulfil its complete purpose as a show, a museum must do the needful in both ways. It must arrange it contents so that they can be looked at; but also help its average visitors to know what they mean. It must at once install its contents and see to their interpretation.

Gilman, 1918 40.

  • All audiences want
    • Respect for them as individuals
    • Choice
    • Welcoming atmosphere from trained, aware, friendly, knowledgeable staff:
      • both front & back of house
    • See themselves reflected in programs, exhibitions, collections& staffing:
      • the work of the museum
    • Active & varied learning experiences:
      • group-based & individual
    • Involvement
    • A contemporary experience:
      • in communication & interpretation modes
      • content/issues that are relevant & current

41. http.//www.australianmuseum.net.au/amarc/ http://amarclk.blogspot.com/ 42.