The Artists Network (A-N) are the UK’s largest artists membership organisation, with some 22,400 members across the country. A-N represents their members to a number of organisations, such as Arts England, the UK Government and the devolved parliaments, local authorities and a variety of regional bodies. A-N also provides its members with a host of benefits ranging from insurance to access to their unique archive of materials to connections with each other.
A-N’s Senior team had already undertaken a great deal of work on their Strategy, plan and the digital strategy for the 2018-2021 period, but felt there was a need to broaden their knowledge, scope and options by consulting with After Digital (AD) to push the boundaries of their ambition and to see what other digital options were possible.
AD’s team were given a fairly narrow brief, mainly focused on developing member communications, monetising the A-N archive further and enhancing the already robust digital strategy where possible.
KEY workshop sessions
Discovery: Qualitative Research
Kicking off the project, our strategists welcomed the senior team to our offices in Glasgow in order to undertake a day of workshops, with topics targeted at uncovering key aspects of the A-N membership offer, their access to and use of the archive and the possibilities of further commercialising their offer. Across the day we covered brand, competitors, revenue opportunities, possible new membership types, value-add member services and investigated key challenges that the A-N team faced that digital could help to overcome.
“This project for A-N was one of the most focused we have undertaken. Unlike much of our broader organisation wide work, we have had the chance to deep dive into a few key areas that required enhancements. A-N already had a robust considered three-year strategy and digital plan. Our job was to add our knowledge and thinking to the mix to support their vision and to drive their ambition further. It’s been a challenging and ultimately rewarding task.”
Steve Plummer, Head of Strategic Consulting at AD
Discovery: Desk Research
In-depth research was conducted into A-N and its marketplace, with key outputs including a detailed technical website audit, and a competitive social media audit.
As A-N’s retained agency we had already begun work on user experience research and concepts as they move towards a new information, architecture and design. Our strategists took this work into account and applied much of their findings into this work to further enhance and develop the UX and User Journeys
A-N have a relatively small digital infrastructure, with much of their activity underpinned with a specific CRM platform. Much of our consideration centred around this platform’s ability to scale and support A-N over time, and the key strategic decision on whether to retain or replace it. Our strategists also reviewed their websites overall architecture recommending a move to a more decoupled scenario, whilst adding their insights into the work the design team had already undertaken to refocus the user experience and key journeys across the site. Finally, we investigated and recommended a digital asset management (DAM) platform that would enable the team to, more easily, monetise their expansive archive and connect more deeply with their Higher Education market.
Our business case was written to support the existing business strategy with the aim of supporting the investments required with costs and returns on these new aspects.
The project culminated in a digital roadmap report, which outlined key opportunities and actions, against a detailed timeline and with the indicative investment required. This report covered everything from new systems and integrations to the required internal skill sets and support structure needed to establish A-N as the pre-eminent artist's members organisation, with compelling offers to the HE and FE sector. At the heart of this roadmap are practicality and actionable insights, ensuring the next steps are clear, succinct and focused.
We are continuing to work with A-N to deliver this roadmap, alongside the development of their newly designed website and integrations into a variety of other platforms such as the DAM, the CRM and the payment gateway.