Creating a Picture of the Future for the Indianapolis Museum of Art


CHALLENGE: How do you attract new audiences without alienating your core, the art enthusiast? To grow and increase earned revenue, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) knew it had to reexamine the competitive landscape. The goal was to evolve from a museum to an art and nature experience.

APPROACH: The IMA knew that to expand its appeal it needed to evolve the museum experience. To do that, Halverson Group used its Jobs to Be Won approach to consumer segmentation to broaden the lens through which the IMA saw the world. First, we catalogued all of the out-of-home leisure activities in which people in the Indianapolis area engage. Next, we created segments of those activities based on people’s motivations for engaging in any leisure activity to understand the context for which people visit the IMA. Finally, we overlaid people’s attitudes toward the IMA, to reveal those situations in which the IMA’s core constituency was most likely to visit, and those where the IMA had the right to win with new visitors.

FUEL: We created a targeting strategy for the IMA that would allow it to move from a place where people observe passively to one where they play purposefully, opening up a whole range of exhibits and activities (from art-inspired mini-golf to a Spring Blooms exhibit) that aligned with its purpose while expanding its visitor base in a meaningful way. Our work also informed the renaming and complete rebranding of the museum from IMA to Newfields: A Place for Nature & the Arts.

WIN: The results were dramatic for the museum:

  • Spring 2017 attendance increased 72% over the prior year, with an enthusiastic response from members and new guests
  • The audience was younger than typical art museum audience: 54% of adults 18+ were between 18–44. The highest concentration (24%) was 25–34.
  • Attendance was more diverse with African American visitors up nearly 200%, Hispanic or Latino up 500%, and Asian up 45%
  • The museum exceeded admission and revenue goals YTD, with general admission visits +6%
  • Gross retail revenue +4%
  • Beer Garden revenue +26%