Audience Development

What it means

Audience development is the strategy, tactics, and process of expanding and deepening the level of engagement with your desired audiences. Together, the activities of audience development move the general public from disengagement to passionate support.* (See also Audience Journey.)

How it’s used

The work is highly strategic and planned for over the course of several years. It’s collaborative in nature, requiring efforts of the entire organization and building relationships through community partnerships and outreach.

Amplifying audience development work employs tools such as customer relationships management systems (e.g., Salesforce) to identify the different touchpoints an audience has with a museum, as well as listening, surveys, and other audience research tools that help center audiences in the museum’s work.

Why it matters

The process of audience development is fundamental to the work, impact, and thriving of the entire museum, and almost all initiatives could or should be oriented around moving people along their audience development journey. It is rooted in building trust with audiences and cultivating a two-way relationship: listening to people at all levels of the journey, meeting their needs, and being responsive.

When developing an audience, it’s important to think about whether the goal is to make the audience bigger or to deepen the engagement.


See also Audience Journey, Awareness, and Audience Engagement

*Source: Psychological Continuum Model

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *