What it means

Awareness is a key marketing success metric used as one way to evaluate a brand’s health. Awareness measures the target audience’s familiarity and associations with a particular brand, its features, products, and benefits. Awareness can be measured and categorized as “aided” or “unaided,” which describes how quickly knowledge of the museum or its offers comes to mind with and without help.

How it’s used

Awareness is often the first step in the sales funnel or purchase process (see also Audience Journey) and the first priority for a marketing effort because visitors must first be aware of an offering before taking any additional actions.

If your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room, then growing awareness and making sure audiences know who you are (and can talk about you at all) is an essential goal of any marketing strategy. Advertising, public relations, ambassador programs, exterior signage, partnerships, loyalty marketing, and social media are all ways that brands grow recognition and familiarity.

Awareness can be tracked via population surveys, website traffic, and social engagement.

Why it matters

People choose brands they know and trust. Audiences need to know who you are and what you stand for before they can choose to visit your museum. Growing awareness is essential to attracting new visitors, while staying visible and relevant is essential to remaining top-of-mind.


Awareness is sometimes tracked in an Awareness, Attitudes, and Usage (AAU) study for insights into brand health and to track trends in sentiment and behavior.


Familiarity begets positivity. We make decisions with our more primitive brain and it is not naturally attracted to the unfamiliar. Intellectual curiosity is a function of our homo sapien brain and in the context of decision-making, it is not the decider but rather the part of our brain that works to rationalize our decisions. As such, it is critical to cultivate familiarity, as this is the foundation for all other engagements. See: Brain Science and Marketing

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