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Denver Museum of Nature & Science

In: Business and Management

Submitted By lalalou
Words 1836
Pages 8
Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Executive Summary
Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a museum in Colorado that like so many others around the world that is fighting a decline in business. In this age of technology, people all over the world, especially in America, are looking for quicker on the go consumption and 24/7 connectivity. Physical experiences such as reading a newspaper, going to the movies, or going to the museum are struggling to stay relevant in society today. The Problem Denver Museum of Nature and Science faces is declining business due to social trends mainly the transition into a digital age. Denver Museum of Nature and Science must decide if they want to maintain the current physical experience of going to the museum for as long as they can, transition to a digital experience with online exhibits and shows, or a combination of both. We recommend that they go with the combination of the two. This would incorporate preserving the historic experience of a museum, while integrating today’s technology through an interactive map mobile application and a revamped web site.
Problem Statement
In the current technology era, museum visits continue to decline and many museums all around the world are struggling to make ends meet. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is facing that same scenario and the management team must make a decision to reverse the declining museum business. Coughlin has brought the point to her organization that digital is the new standard for consumption and that the museum needs to adapt to get the attention of the technology driven consumers. People on her staff have been questioning this decision and trying to decide what the best approach will be for the company in the future. Do we continue to let the technology era escape the classic experience of attending a museum or do we adjust to the needs of the digital world in a last chance effort to keep the business going. Part of the experience of attending a museum is walking around reading or admiring the artwork, history, or performance on display. If you add tons of digital media and online viewing opportunities for this type of setting, will it help to bring in new consumers or will it turn people away from the historic and spiritual experience of attending a museum. Choosing to side with digital media or to preserve the historic experience of museums is a difficult decision to make, with the developing entertainment industry and high demand for the digital experience, our staff will have an exciting opportunity to develop our Museum and make the decision that will provide us with a sustainable business model.
Situational Analysis
In the last 10 years technology has taken over the world. People all over the world, especially Americans, have transitioned into the digital age. In the digital age instead of picking up a New York Times or Wall Street Journal on the way to work people are reading articles on their twitter feeds. Instead of watching the news every night they are watching clips on their cell phones and getting breaking news alerts through mobile apps. It is a time when faster is better and everyone is on the go and plugged in at all times. This has led to across the board declines in traditional businesses like Newspapers, Book Stores, Museums, Art Galleries and Movie Theaters. All of these industries are struggling to adapt to the digital age, they are either successfully integrating or transitioning to digital media, pivoting their business model, or trying to put off going out of business. Denver Museum of Nature and Science is no exception to this. They will need to be able to do one of the above mentioned options in order to try and maintain or even start to increase the number of visitors.

Evaluation of Alternatives
One of the alternative solutions that we developed was to maintain the spirituality and history of the current museum setup. Although many people are looking for more digital media there is still a significant crowd of visitors who are attending the museum for historic and spiritual reasons. While we would be making minimal changes to actual product of the museum we could focus marketing efforts on sharing the idea that you need to be present to live the experience of the museum. Providing a feeling of exclusivity to the people who have been into the museum to witness first-hand the art, science, and nature that make the up the product, is essential to success of the museum.
Another alternative is to go full digital museum by providing the website experience which will allow our customers to view exhibits and video shows online. We will also use our website as the virtual meeting space and information exchange for people who love science. In addition, we will create a reward section for our loyal customers. Even though this option sounds like a good idea, but it is not a viable option to go full blown digital. We have limited budget and are worried that there are many people out there who still want the actual physical museum experience as opposed to not having one available at all. This would take away the historic experience the parents or grandparents of theirs used to have as a child when their parents used to take them during school break.
The last alternative would be the combination of the two. This would incorporate preserving the historic experience of a museum, while integrating today’s technology through an interactive map mobile application and a revamped web site. By providing the experience of the physical site visit and digital technology, our customers would have the best of both world. Not only they have an option to visit the physical site, but they also have an access to digital content online through personal computer or smartphones.
Decision Criteria
Bridget Coughlin and her staff have decisions to make whether they want to maintain the current physical experience of the museum goers, transition to a digital with exhibits and shows, or a combination of both. Our team use three key decision factors to determine which alternative is a more viable option. Based on the table below, the combination of the current physical experience and integration of digital is a winner. For all of the alternatives, we want our customers to have fun and have a great time visiting our museum whether through our physical site or online. We believe that by providing the digital and physical experience as a package, this will give our customers the most unforgettable experience and make them want to return whether through the actual physical site visit or online, and as a result this will increase our profit.

Alternatives | Profitability | Returning Customers | Experience | Total | Current physical experience | 2 | 1 | 2 | 5 | Digital with exhibits & shows | 1 | 2 | 2 | 5 | Combination of both | 3 | 2 | 3 | 7 |

Recommendation
Facing such a complicated situation, it will be very difficult for Bridget Coughlin to make a wise decision. However, based on the three alternatives analyzed above, we recommend for her to consider the last alternative, which is to go digital and also maintain the physical space of the current museum. In order to solve the problems of digital content and cost, we suggest Bridget charge their digital content and enrich their digital content at the same time. They could provide a 3D view of their exhibits and invite different experts of natural science to form discussion groups that may attract students and visitors to join. They could also develop their own APP with the function of purchasing tickets and viewing upcoming event or information on activities. Considering the cost of digital space, we suggest that she should pursue advertisements from a specific industries that align with natural science, getting them to post about the museum on their websites and establishing a sponsorship contract. Another thing that she could do is increase the membership fee by 20% (Exhibit 1) and enrich the content of membership. For example, members can use their online source or digital content for free, allowing them to get exclusive privileges that only members have access to. Bridget can also recruit more technical students or professionals as volunteers to help broaden the staff and bring in innovators who are willing to work with the developing technology trends.
Another problem that is a concern for Bridget is how she can increase the attendance at the museum, especially during slow seasons. We suggest that they reduce the price in September and provide free admittance on Monday mornings. Based on the research from Kathleen Tinsworth, director of Visitor Research & Program Evaluation, besides explorers, facilitators’, professional, experience seekers and rechargers those five different segments, the remaining 14% is very powerful. We rank those remaining 14% as non-objective visitors (Exhibit 2). Therefore, we suggest Bridget hold seasonal exhibitions and add entertainment factors into their activities to attract this market of consumers.
Considering the profit and investments, we would plan to partner with local companies and offer discounts to their employees and their families as part of their benefit. With the development of Denver, more and more companies are choosing to develop their business in this growing city. With the increase in business in the area it provides more opportunities for the museum to develop the partnership and grow the consumer base in the future. In addition, the DMNS admission packages price is much lower than the actual price, Bridget should suggest an increase of 20% for the visitors’ package price (Exhibit 3). Finally, getting local community support and organizing activities relevant with museum themes will allow us to keep the customers loyalty, in turn providing an opportunity to increase membership retention rates.
Exhibits
Exhibit 1: DMNS Admission Price Ticket Type | Museum | IMAX | Planetarium | Special Exhibitions | Member | Adult | Free | $ 7.00 | $ 5.00 | $ 8.00 | | Junior( 3-18) | Free | $ 6.00 | $ 4.00 | $ 5.00 | | Senior (65+) | Free | $ 6.00 | $ 4.00 | $ 5.00 | Visitor | Adult | $ 13.00 | $ 10.00 | $ 18.00 | $22.00 | | Junior( 3-18) | $ 8.00 | $ 8.00 | $ 12.00 | $ 13.00 | | Senior (65+) | $ 10.00 | $ 8.00 | $ 14.00 | $ 17.00 |

Exhibit 2: Five Different Segments of Museum Visitors Type | Explorers | Facilitators | Professional/Hobbyists | Experience Seekers | Rechargers | Non-object Visitors | Number | 20% | 36% | 11% | 15% | 4% | 14% |

Exhibit 3: Admission Packages Comparison Ticket Type | Museum + IMAXSells Price/Actual Price | Museum + Planetarium Sells Price/Actual Price | Museum + IMAX + PlanetariumSells Price/Actual Price | Member | Adult | $ 7.00 / $ 7.00 | $ 5.00 / $ 5.00 | $ 12.00 / $ 12.00 | | Junior( 3-18) | $ 6.00 / $ 6.00 | $ 4.00 / $ 4.00 | $ 10.00 / $ 10.00 | | Senior (65+) | $ 6.00 / $ 6.00 | $ 4.00 / $ 4.00 | $ 10.00 / $ 10.00 | Visitor | Adult | $ 20.00 / $ 23.00 | $ 18.00 / $31.00 | $ 25.00 / $ 41.00 | | Junior( 3-18) | $ 14.00 / $ 16.00 | $ 12.00 / $ 20.00 | $ 18.00/ $ 28.00 | | Senior (65+) | $ 16.00 / $ 18.00 | $ 14.00 / $ 24.00 | $ 20.00 / $32.00 |

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