Developing an integrated marketing communication framework for selected museums in South Africa
Mudzanani, Takalani Eric
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Responding to the need to fill the research gap in the area of museum integrated marketing communication, the study investigated the planned, unplanned, product and service messages of selected museums in South Africa. These selected museums were the Ditsong and Iziko clusters of museums in the Gauteng Province and the Western Cape Province respectively. The clusters were selected because they are the biggest clusters of museums in the country. In an attempt to fill the research gap, the goal of the study was to develop and present an integrated marketing communication framework for the selected museums. In order to realise the goal of the study, four objectives were set. Consistent with the first objective chapter 2 analysed the South African cultural tourism sector. In this regard, the literature review revealed that South Africa’s cultural product offering is multifaceted with arts, cultural villages, literature, battlefields, museums, heritage sites nd religion comprising the main tourist attractions. Moreover, the literature review revealed that the two clusters of museums offer diversified product portfolios. The second objective was achieved in chapter 3 by analysing integrated marketing communication by means of a literature review. The literature review revealed that IMC is a logical structure of developing communication strategies. An organisation should control (planned) or influence messages (unplanned, product, service) messages to ensure message consistency and maximum communication impact. In simple terms, an organisation should strive to match its brand promise made through planned messages with actual performance as reflected in its product, service, and unplanned messages. The third objective was to analyse empirically the planned, unplanned, product and service messages of the Ditsong and Iziko clusters of museums. The results of the empirical phase of the study were presented in chapter 4. Following a mixed methods research approach, the first component of the empirical phase involved in- depth interviews with the marketing managers of the museum clusters while the second component involved a survey of visitors to the clusters. The qualitative data was analysed by establishing themes which had emerged from the interviews with the marketing managers. The quantitative data was analysed using the SPSS programme. In order to establish the relationships between the variables, a factor analysis was conducted. In addition, T-tests and ANOVAs were also conducted. The factor analysis produced three factors namely, factor 1: Above-the-line media, factor 2: Internal and external marketing and factor 3: Marketing public relations. The t-test and ANOVAs revealed that the respondents across age, province of residence, visitor retention and educational level rate service messages the most highly of all the IMC messages. On the whole, the empirical study revealed that both the participants and the respondents share the same views on what should be done in terms of the planned, unplanned, service and product messages of museums to ensure message consistency and maximum communication impact. The structural equation modelling indicated the interrelatedness of the various messages as well as their influence on one another. The fourth objective was to develop and present an integrated marketing communication framework for the Ditsong and Iziko museum clusters. This objective was realised in chapter five. The framework was informed by both the literature review and the empirical study. As regards the literature review the framework differs from some other works on IMC in that an attempt was made to align the framework to IMC message typology in its entirety. With regard to the empirical study, the IMC programme phase of the framework incorporates the recommendations of the respondents. It is hoped that the framework will empower the museums both to ensure message consistency and to maximise communication impact in spite of the divergent message needs of their multiple stakeholders.