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Coleman Art Museum

In: Business and Management

Submitted By caucella
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Running Head Coleman Art Museum 1

Case study, Coleman Art Museum
Bellevue University

MBA652: Marketing Strategy
Dr Doug Davis

Running Head Coleman Art Museum 2

Case Recap

To start off , the museum has shown a loss for the previous three years, so Mercer and Smith

were give the monumental task of finding why and turn it in the right direction. The museum has a

good location and convenient parking, and even though the new facility was relatively close to its

previous location the move may have changed the demographics plus the museum seems to have not

changed their marketing approach. The museum is also faced with a hindrance, they can not display all

their collections at the same time and they might want to rethink this process based on the

demographics of the immediate areas. Giving more time to the certain displays taking in account

everything from age to the ethnic background of the populous of the surrounding area. The bottom line

in this entire case is that you have to address the important issues and exhibits that are most important

to the community.

Problem Identification

First off that it took three years to identify there was a problem, makes the task of Ashley

Mercer and Donald Smith that much harder. Although the move took place several years earlier it

appears to be part of the problem, because six blocks in a large city can change the demographics more

the the museum was willing to admit. Another part of the problem can be seen in the space limitations

at the current location but the need for adequate parking orchestrated the move in the first place. This

gets down to the fact that maybe the move was not well thought out and complicated by the lack in not

addressing the make up of the new demographics.

Running Head Coleman Art Museum 3

Root Cause

By offering art and history they can only adequately do justice to one or the other and this is

a challenge for even the best run facilities. The museum director Randall Brent III, said that having

both art and history is both an opportunity and a challenge. In reading through this case study it seems

to be more of a challenge, that seems to be getting away from the museum and with this it also takes

the opportunity with it. The museum has to work on improving their image in the city before any of

their problems can be solved, like their misconception that increased visitation leads to high

membership and increased revenue. Getting people to take a higher interest in the museum has to

become the number one focus going forward.



In a large populated area

Dedicated leadership in dealing with current situation

A close relationship with the local media


Museum image

Limited space for exhibits

Mixed theme of art and history

Running Head Coleman Art Museum 4


Increase public awareness

Increase their current drive to solicit new members(85% of visitors are non-members)

Increase involvement in local schools to increase community involvement.

Get more special exhibits that tie into the community


Grant amounts have been consistently dropping over the last couple of years

Charging a nominal fee can raise revenue, but can discourage the casual visitor

Not being to get board approval for needed changes.

Membership renewal on every level is very poor


The number one alternative action is obvious in nature, change the impression of the museum

in the community. This can be accomplished by using all means of media outlets including social

media. One example might be like us on face book and save on membership or upgrade to next level at

a reduced cost. Renewal of current members is somewhere between 20-25 % so offering intensives

and benefits to renew is the way to go, like maybe open a hour early for these members or a discounted

item from the proposed give shop. Rethink the way they do their mailing for membership keep doing

Running Head Coleman Art Museum 5

snail mail for customers that prefer this, but also change with the times by using email and text

reminders would be a great way to keep up with today’s public always on the go. The architects of this

process Ashley Mercer and Donald Smith need to establish with the board of directors a list of things

that can be done without going back and forth to the board for every little thing the need to implement.

The bottom line is that Mercer and Smith can not operate under a microscope or nothing can be

accomplished in moving the museum forward.

Best course of action

Number one establish a set of ground rules between the board and museum staff in a clear and

concise document the allows the museum to function day to day without much difficulty. Take

advantage of all the free media outlets such as all forms of social media such as Facebook,Twitter,

Foursquare, Etc. Get more aggressive in membership renewals, never underestimate the public’s

perception of value and show them where there money goes. Improve the museums image by going out

to the community in the way of online surveys in ways they feel that the museum can improve.

Next possibly implementing the good ideas they receive and giving credit to the community for their

input creating the perception that this museum is a valuable part of the community. In the final analysis

marketing is painting a picture in the way want the the public to view you product or service so if the

museum puts out a positive image the community will better receive this and except it as a viable part

of the community.

Running Head Coleman Art Museum 6


Kerin, R. A., Peterson, R. A. (2013). Strategic marketing problems cases and comments (13th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall

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