Creating an audience-focussed marketing and audience development plan.

My work with the Grundy came at a time of great cultural groundswell in Blackpool. The work of LeftCoast (Creative People and Places Blackpool and Wyre) was underway and the Blackpool Museum project was beginning its development phase in advance of a stage 2 application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Grundy Art Gallery was very much part of this cultural call to arms on the Fylde Coast – with a new curator fresh from the Hayward Gallery of London’s Southbank, a passionate and experienced gallery team working alongside him, and a National Portfolio Organisation application approved in July 2014 by Arts Council England for another three years.

But – due to pressures on staff time – there had been no real direction for marketing and audience development.

I worked closely with the team to create a plan which used up-to-date audience intelligence to inform a defined 6-step strategy. A working, active document was produced which was designed to meet the changing needs of its audience between 2014 and 2017.

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Image: taken in Heather Phillipson’s exhibition ‘Yes, surprising is existence in the post-vegetal cosmorama – ‘ 

‘I could not recommend Marge Ainsley enough – her energy, dedication and real care have shone through at every moment. Marge combines a deep understanding of audiences and the arts sector with an ability to connect with individuals and teams. Marge has a skill for not only drawing out information from people and organisations, but also rigorously applying analysis to that, in a way that is sensitive to where that organisation is at, and where it wants to go.’

Richard Parry, The Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool