Triton Museum of Art II

Fall-Winter 2019
Project Type
Full team
Project Focus
Market Analysis,
Marketing & Communications
Organization Type
Arts & Culture


Founded in 1965, the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara promotes a broad range of contemporary California Art. The museum brings together culturally diverse artists and populations to foster a better understanding of art and its role in building a strong community. In its most recent year, 52,000 people viewed 18 exhibitions in its four gallery spaces.


Like many small arts organizations with limited budgets, Triton faces challenges in reaching its audience. Marketing efforts are currently stretched across inexpensive or free programs via email, social media, utility bill inserts, traditional media, etc. Over the past few years, Triton has seen growth in individuals following the museum online, but this has not led to an increase in attendance, recognition or support. At the same time, traditional free marketing in the form of newspaper calendar listings and exhibition reviews are largely defunct.

Project Objectives

Triton wanted the Stanford ACT team to help them build their attendance and thus their relevance to the community.

Project Overview

The ACT team executed the project in four phases.

In phase one, all secondary research was reviewed. This phase consisted of evaluating information from articles on other museums, all industry-wide marketing research done, databases compiled by industry organizations, etc.

In phase two, the team conducted a series of interviews of key organizations across the Bay Area and of key stakeholders.

In phase three, a client-survey was conducted using Triton’s membership database.

In phase four, a digital marketing expert provided by the Stanford ACT Expertise-on-Demand was consulted.

All of this information was discussed in length by the team and distilled into two deliverables - a strategic/marketing plan and a customer survey results presentation.

Key Recommendations

The ACT team provided a series of recommendations so that Triton could improve its marketing. These recommendations ranged from confirming what was working (e.g. email) to building their mailing lists to leveraging partner resources. Recommendations were provided on how Triton could leverage free resources and volunteers to execute marketing projects into an overall approach that integrated digital marketing with traditional approaches.

The ACT team also recommended other more broad-based changes to programs and initiatives beyond marketing, in order to make a major improvement in attendance. Far more of a community-focus was required.

The ACT team provided strategic frameworks to Triton so they could revise plans for themselves in the future. These frameworks integrated the various dimensions of marketing (using the marketing funnel) into an overall strategic framework (using the business model canvas). 

Key Conclusions

  • Museums like Triton will continue to face challenges because of social and technological changes.
  • Improving marketing will help. Both traditional and digital marketing is required.
  • For a significant audience increase more broad-based changes are required with a strong community focus.

Final Report Outline

  • Project Plan Review
  • Strategic Review
  • Marketing/Resources
  • Next Steps
  • Customer Survey Results