#GuestPost #Curator #HeritageTransportMuseum #MCMExclusive
Marketing is a young phenomenon in museums especially in the Indian context. The museums have come a long way, as their role has evolved from just custodial to customer oriented, the new age museums are more promising in terms of their focus on customer needs, also, the recent terminology used by museums for ‘visitors’ is ‘customers’.
Moreover, museums these days are coming out of their formal settings and becoming popular as socializing points. Nowadays it has become imperative for museums to adopt innovative marketing strategies to increase visitor footfalls.
Marketing has become the tool for museums to bridge the communication gap between the visitors and the custodians of museums. Different marketing techniques help to put across to various interest groups what is unique and valuable about the museum.
“Come, See, Experience” with this intriguing tagline Heritage Transport Museum endeavors to be one of the most visitor/customer friendly museums. The museum opened its doors to public on December 7th 2013, located amidst the upcoming suburban industrial belt, it focuses on telling the stories about the transport and travelling. The museum is outcome of the passion and efforts of Mr. Tarun Thakral, who is the founder and Managing Trustee.
The subject has been converted into the source of admiration through its visitor-oriented design and display techniques. The key highlights of the of the Heritage Transport Museum (HTM) are the architecture of the building, the collection, public programmes, design & display and the excellent customer service and support systems.
The architecture of the museum is very aptly complementing the collection and the ambiance created within. The collection also represents the industrial heritage of the country, which is laid out in the form of a period setting.
The museum espouses various channels of marketing and promotion, since its commencement the museum has received major footfall through the word of mouth publicity.
Active use of social media channels
The social media accounts in the form of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter create an interesting content to make people aware of the events and programmes of the museum.
The informative content about the collection reveals different stories associated with the objects. Besides, the users of these social media accounts tag their friends, through these social media tools museum reaches out to multiple audiences.
Being a major visitor attraction, the museum receives various segments of audiences in the form of school groups, weekend family groups, architecture students, photographers, foreign tourists, automobile enthusiasts, corporate groups. The museum has come up with special packages to cater to each of these segments.
The brochures, pamphlets and museum ticket equally play an important promotional role in the forms of major branding tools, the travelers especially the foreign tourists love to pick up the material in printed form.
A number of visitors appreciate the unique design of tickets which serves as a collectible item for them.
Besides, the museum merchandise with logo, adds on, to generate more publicity. The attractive posters communicating the information about events generate the curiosity amongst people.
The tourism marketing has a dynamic role to play in the promotion of the museum. In collaborative effort with various tour operators like SITA, Creative Travels, Earthern Tours, PanAm Holidays etc. The museum offers exotic packages to the national as well as international tourists. All these initiatives have led to the museum being voted as a TOP 10 museum destination in India in 2018.
Museums all over the world are considered to be the guardians and custodians of heritage. Heritage Transport Museum takes pride in preserving the industrial heritage of the country, and at the same time disseminates the knowledge and information about the growth of transport in India.
The concept of ‘Heritage Tourism’ is also boosting the growth of tourism industry. The students, heritologists, photographers, architects, museologists, researchers, bloggers, and other interest groups are always in the hunt of new and fascinating locations to produce the fresh content. Heritage Transport Museum provides a comprehensive palette of experiential learning and immersive experience for different audiences. Over time it has become a popular hub for conferences, meetings, parties and events.We often get requests for wedding photography, calendar shoots etc.
The museum is also featuring on the Google Cultural Institutes as part of the project ‘Google Art and Culture’. Museum has created an online content narrating the stories with images and videos of various exhibits.
In the recent projects launched by Google, the stories of the restoration of rail engines and tram have been uploaded. Step by step documentation process of restoration is narrated through content, images and street views. This has been an effective way of communicating and involving the audiences in the pre-installation processes.
The museum’s events and programmes have been extensively covered by our media partners both print and broadcast media e.g. local, national & international newspapers, travel and academic magazines, and news channels. Multiple documentaries and various stories have featured about the museum and building of its collection & concept by Mr. Thakral.
A big leap occurred in the number of visitor footfall with the support of our media partners. Moreover, Indian Postal Department has also released the postage stamps pertaining to the objects of the museum, in the year 2017.
The museum ‘identity’ as a ‘brand’ in itself is serving a major tool for marketing and promotion, which attracts various interest groups. Museum’s brand identity is the overall experience offered in terms of architecture, evocative design, display and interpretation where various audiences connects themselves with the objects, the experience becomes full of fun and joy when it is related to something of one’s liking, customer services and facilities, e.g café’, restrooms, gift shop, parking and resting area.
The excellent customer support and hospitality adds icing to the cake. Concluding this it can be put forth that in order to thrive and survive it is essential for museums to break the barriers and invite more and more visitor participation.
Ragini Bhat. Curator. Heritage Transport Museum