With more than ten million visitors last year, a 25% increase from 2017, why would the Louvre need a marketing strategy?
For the past 18 years, the world’s most visited museum has been getting a hand with marketing projects from Accenture Interactive and the Accenture Foundation.
I recently asked Claude Chaffiotte, managing director for Accenture Interactive in France and Benelux, to illuminate some of the work that’s being done.
Paul Talbot: Where does marketing fit into the strategic plan you’ve been working on for The Louvre?
Claude Chaffiotte: The Louvre aims to create meaningful experiences for visitors before, during, and after their visit.
To meet this goal, Accenture Interactive is helping the museum to better understand its visitors, including the scientists and researcher community, in order to offer a more qualitive experience and create relevant digital services.
As a key sponsor of the digital transformation, the CMO of the Louvre plays a pivotal role, leading many initiatives such as brand positioning tailored to the different channels, graphism design chart, and internal and external communications.
Talbot: One of the objectives is ‘(to) enrich the visitor experience before, during and after their visit to the Louvre.’ Could you provide a few examples of how digital resources might be used to achieve this?
Chaffiotte: In 2015, we enriched the visitor experience of the ‘Petite Galerie,’ a permanent exhibition space in the heart of the museum, by developing a website and mobile app using augmented reality.
For instance, the deteriorated ‘Dancers of Delphi’ sculpture was ‘restored’ using augmented reality, enabling visitors to see this masterpiece in its original state.
In 2019, we are initiating the revamp of the Louvre website and adding AI-based ‘conversational functionalities’ to help visitors prepare ahead of their visits. This will allow Louvre agents to free up their time to focus on added-value services.
We also implemented a digital tool for the agents that allows them to track daily incidents and solve them in real-time.
Talbot: How much physical capacity does the Louvre have for visitor growth and how can digital innovations address some of these challenges?
Chaffiotte: The Louvre had more than 10 million visitors last year, a historical record, despite being located among the protests of the yellow vest movement. The trend for 2019 seems to point to another record year, specifically with the long-awaited Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition to celebrate the 500th anniversary of his death.
With record visits in 2018 and anticipated in 2019, the Louvre had to rethink how to best direct the flow of visitors.
Digital innovations will help solve these issues by improving yield management, optimizing visitor traffic, and providing online access to exhibitions. New innovations will also enable an improved experience for the Louvre agents, allowing them to provide enhanced services to visitors.
Talbot: What innovations do you foresee taking place with the marketing of museums over the next few years?
Chaffiotte: Innovations to attract new visitors and to increase the loyalty of existing ones, using digital to:
- Facilitate the access to all art collections of the Louvre, including art pieces that are not exhibited in the museum.
- Better target specific visitors (e.g. people under 35, regular visitors, people who never visited the museum, etc.).
- Innovations to better amplify the art collections, particularly art pieces that are not exhibited, and art knowledge. The Louvre owns around 620,000 art pieces, but only 35,000 are exhibited. The digitization of art pieces will allow the general public, academics, scientists, and researchers to access the entirety of the museum’s collection.
Talbot: Any other insights you’d like to share?
Chaffiotte: Working together for 18 years now, we share the same vision: art is innovation and innovation is art. We also share the same goal of revamping the museum to place the visitors, employees, professionals, and researchers at the center of this strategic initiative and to make the experience for each visitor as unique as the museum itself.