How do you successfully launch a unique visitor attraction in just six weeks?
The charity MathsWorldUK approached me in the summer of 2021, six weeks before the planned launch of their unique maths activity centre, MathsCity.
With an ambitious timeline and nothing but a website, they needed an outsourced marketing manager who could quickly raise awareness, build support, establish on online presence across multiple platforms, and deliver a successful launch. This was no small task and the clock was ticking, but I was all in!
I immediately bought into MathsCity’s concept of making maths accessible for people of all ages, backgrounds, genders, and abilities, giving them the opportunity to experience the real-life world of maths with interactive exhibits like a giant bubble to climb inside (nothing like the maths we know from school!). Their mission is to change perceptions about maths and boost confidence and joy in exploring a key subject that plays a big part in everyday life.
Their goal was two-fold: to sell tickets to families and schools looking for an educational and fun place to visit in Leeds; to raise funds that will enable them to open the UK’s first national mathematics discovery centre.
As a new venture and a totally unique visitor attraction with an impending launch date, the marketing requirements were varied and urgent:
Define a social media strategy, set-up pages, and attract followers
Source suppliers and create marketing materials
Gain media coverage that would reach visitors and donors
Build relationships with supporters and develop ambassadors
Reach schools and drive term-time group bookings
Research and book targeted advertising
Create regular email campaigns
A benefit of being a freelancer and a mum is being pretty good at spinning plates and getting sh*t done!
In just a few short weeks, we had professional photography, hundreds of engaged social media followers, fab leaflets, press coverage (including radio interviews and an ITV news feature), and loads of ambassadors helping to spread the word.
An ambassador guide was created to make it as easy as possible for supporters to understand how they could best support MathsCity, including tone of voice and style notes.
Defined content pillars focusing on entertainment, community and education meant there was the right variety of social media posts and email content to regularly reinforce what MathsCity is all about. Sums and numbers were outlawed in favour of exciting, visual puzzles and playful language.
A programme of special workshops were launched for school holidays to increase ticket sales during peak times and a targeted mail campaign to schools across Yorkshire promoted large group bookings throughout terms.
Being located inside the busy shopping centre of Trinity Leeds opened up promotional opportunities such as puzzle leaflets for the food court and public engagement activities within the mall, and a successful Google grant application secured funding for pay-per-click ads to increase awareness and bookings.
Targets exceeded - MathsCity is on the map!
Over 22,000 people have visited MathsCity since it opened, significantly exceeding targets and providing the charity with vital income to support their future goal of opening a national discovery centre.
There is a busy schedule of regular group visits from schools (over 2,800 school children have enjoyed class trips so far) and funding enabled MathsCity to provide 400 free visits for schools with high levels of Pupil Premium Funding.
Donations have also increased, including a single donation of £100,000, and new grants have been awarded to develop further exhibits.
Their website averages 4,500 visitors every month and MathsCity now has over 4,000 social media followers, 692 email subscribers, and more than 50 five-star Google reviews.
Acting as the outsourced marketing manager for MathsCity has been an absolute pleasure!
Not all clients have big budgets, but that doesn’t mean marketing has to be limited. A strategic, joined-up approach means every penny spent really does count.
If you need affordable help with marketing a business, get in touch and let me show you the possibilities!