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Reopening Marketing Toolkit


With current lockdown restrictions set to ease from the end of April, you may have started thinking about your own marketing plans around reopening.  With that in mind, we have developed a Marketing Toolkit, pulling together key resources in the one place for you to access. We will be adding more resources over the next few weeks. 

We are planning coordinated marketing activity on behalf of the sector, to help make the public aware of those museums and galleries that are open, so your own activities will be able to benefit from the increased advocacy of the sector at that time. 

Get in touch or book a 1-2-1 marketing support surgery with Louise and Rosie from the MGS Comms team if you have any questions that have not been addressed in this toolkit.

Top Tips For A 'No Budget' Campaign

We know that some of you will not have any budget for marketing. By using existing resources and planning ahead it is entirely possible to run a small marketing campaign with little or no budget. We have a separate guide with some top tips on how to run a "no budget" campaign. 

Read our top tips for a no budget campaign

Know Your Audience

The key to effective marketing is knowing your audience.

  • Who are they?
  • Where are they from?
  • What are their motivations to visit?
  • How can you reach them?

Consider what might be the barriers to your target audience(s) visiting at this time and ensure your messaging addresses this. Visitors are looking for reassurance on social distancing measures as well as hygiene and cleanliness. Also be aware that your target audience’s motivations to visit will need to be constantly reviewed as consumer confidence continues to change. Keep up a dialogue with your audience, learn from them, and make sure you are in a position to address any of their issues through your messaging. 

When the restrictions are lifted, and museums can open, we are not expecting visitor numbers to return to normal for some time, particularly with continued restrictions on international travel. We will be depending on Scotland residents as well as visitors from the rest of the UK to visit and support our museums and galleries, as part of a day trip, an overnight stay, or staycation as the tourism industry begins to open up.  Whilst your marketing efforts might be initially focused on a UK-wide audience, it's important to keep in touch with your wider audience, sharing virtual experiences and updates, helping them to dream and plan, so that they are ready to visit when the time is right. 

For more information on knowing your audience:

Visit our advice guide on 'Knowing your audience' 

Digital Pathways has more information on identifying audience, including a free tool to help you gather audience insights.

Also refer to the Scottish Tourism Index reports produced by 56 Degrees Insight, which monitors the views of Scots about holidays and leisure during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest March report is now available.

VisitScotland - Impact of COVID-19 on UK and Ireland Markets: Includes 'UK and Scotland Consumer Sentiment Tracker' and 'UK Segments During the COVID-19 pandemic'.

VisitBritain - Inbound COVID-19 sentiment tracker  and  Tourism forecast for 2021

Marketing Planning

A marketing strategy is your overall game plan for reaching prospective customers/visitors and your marketing plan is how you are going to get there. In the current climate, when planning both around your reopening, it’s worth asking yourself a few questions: What are the restrictions, or barriers to visiting your museum, or any indoor attraction at the moment? Could these challenges in fact be opportunities? It’s worth creating a SWOT analysis to help you brainstorm your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, by yourself or as a team. It will help you to reflect and build on what you do well, to address what you're lacking, to minimise risks, and to take the greatest possible advantage of chances for success.

It’s also worth revisiting your marketing objectives. Do these need to change at all? Consider your visitors; have their motivations changed? Look at other museums, what are they doing?  What seems to be working?

You can then create your marketing goals, and from that your action plan (the fun stuff), that will help you achieve your objectives. Do you need to look at new communication channels to reach your audience, or do you just need to change the messaging slightly? Maybe you’ll need to do both.

Also refer to our 'Marketing Planning - where to start' advice guide, which goes into more detail around the planning stage, with some examples of templates for marketing plans that you can use. 

Where And How To Market

There are a number of different ways (or channels) you can use to communicate with your audience. In this current climate we would recommend online channels. People are at home, using the internet, and dreaming about places they’d like to visit when it’s safe, or they feel confident, to do so. It’s cost effective and it achieves a high level of engagement.

We would also advise looking at where you might be able to piggy back onto existing campaigns or initiatives, with fellow museums in your area, or  with your Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO), as well as our own Reopening marketing campaign.

You can find out more about where and how to market through our advice guide, which also highlights the key marketing channels. 

To find out how to partner with other museums, including information on Geographic Museum Forums, visit our Working Together advice guide. 

Campaign Assets and Video

As part of the reopening campaign we've created a new promotional video to support activity around #MuseumsAreGo. The video is available for museums to use in their own promotion via Dropbox. 

The video is available in wide screen and square format to ensure compatibility with different social media channels. 

Download now

Other Resources

We're Good to Go –  to provide visitors with confidence, VisitScotland has worked with VisitEngland, VisitWales and Tourism Northern Ireland to create a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark, which you can obtain for free by completing a self-assessment online. You’ll be given the 'We’re Good to Go' mark that can be used across your marketing channels and signage, plus a downloadable certificate for display on the premises.

VisitScotland has a programme of recorded ‘Moment for Change’ webinars, that cover a range of coronavirus (COVID-19) specific information and research, as well as online training from digital skills, including enhancing your social media and making your website works for you, to customer service.

VisitScotland provide access to the UK Consumer Sentiment Tracker – Latest research into the UK and Ireland markets and how COVID-19 is impacting plans to visit Scotland. You can find the latest report here.

56 Degrees Insight is a Scotland-based research company who have been monitoring the Views of Scots about Holidays and Leisure during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Read the latest wave of findings Tourism Index Reports 

Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG) - Webinar sharing the results from the recent STERG industry survey.

ALVA Commissioned Visitor Sentiment Research – Wave 7 Results:
The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) has published the results of Wave 7 of its Attractions Recovery Tracker, with key insights into how people are feeling about returning to attractions post pandemic.

VisitBritain - Inbound COVID-19 sentiment tracker  and  Tourism forecast for 2021