CRM at the MoMA: A few facts worth sharing from their experience
Ms. Diana Pan is the CTO of the Museum of Modern Art. From the implementation to the daily use of Salesforce, she shared her insights on the museum CRM during Museum Connections
When they decided to implement Salesforce as their CRM platform in 2011, the MoMA was really a pioneer. At that time, there was not a Salesforce-based customized application for Museums, so the MoMA had to do all the hard work on their own. But because the MoMA is … well, the MoMA, they had the means, the team and - lets be honest - the “guts”, to do the whole project on their own. It has been a success for them, and the great news is that all museums can now benefit from their experience.
When the project was initiated, the museum had several criteria around the “must do” of their future CRM platform:
- The solution had to offer the capacity to integrate all data from the 15 channels and POS of the institution
- Reporting was previously done the old way: extracting data from their different platforms and merging them under Excel. The museum's team obviously wanted to get rid of that, and looked for a solution with impressive reporting capabilities and automations
- MoMA was not better than any other museum when they started: they too were previously storing their data in their basement! Because of the logistical constraints, maintenance, and risks related to the - unfortunately still too frequently seen - “basement storage”, the new solution had to be in the cloud
- The team wanted a mobile solution that could follow them in their growth and enable them to work anywhere within the seven facilities of the museum… and so they went with Salesforce
Now, believe it or not, the MoMA has delegated to Salesforce what was previously a huge part of the jobs of several people within the institution. How is that possible? Because Salesforce offers incredible advantages dur to it's automation capabilities.
One of the things we love about Ms. Pan's testimonial is the non-exhaustive list of concrete examples she gave regarding what they can now do:
- Email automation for new members: Salesforce automatically generates and sends a Digital Welcome Kit to all new members, in whatever way the member has subscribed
- Email automation for renewals and expired credit card details: instead of having someone from the museum manually identify who needs to be contacted in order to renew their membership, Salesforce spots them and enables them to renew on their own
- In the same way, automated membership plans allow MoMA to ensure that every single person among their 150,000 members has the right privileges at the right time
- When someone is shopping online, Salesforce is able to track if that person is a member or not, and if so, if that person can benefit from a special discount
- Because Salesforce is in the Cloud, they have built an iPad application that enables vendors to walk the halls of MoMA and directly offer visitors the ability to purchase their tickets from wherever they are vs. having visitors stand in line in front of an admission desk
But it isn’t all about the public. An important benefit of using Salesforce is seen by the museum's employees themselves. Among those mentioned by Ms. Pan were a few that caught our attention.
First is the concrete time saved as employes no longer need to perform many of the (boring) back office activities. Remember that they wanted to simplify their reporting activities? Done! At the end of each month, reports are generated automatically and are sent on schedule to each department, giving them a real time view of the work and life of the museum.
The MoMA has also been able to perform some interesting analyses of their retail shop activities. For example, Salesforce helped them identify the shopping patterns of their members, and even study the differences between the average prices of the on-site and online shopping baskets among the various visitors and members.
The second element which will probably have relevance for every museum is the improvement of communication among the different departments of the Museum. They are now all using the same working tool and have the ability to see other department's activities.
These 45 minutes with Mrs. Pan confirmed that CRM is definitely a rewarding opportunity for museums. Investing in their relationship with their audience doesn’t just present an opportunity in terms of ROI, it is also a way for museums to fulfill their mission to promote their collections and activities to the largest audience.