Cynthia Round - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Topic Marketing for the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Date May 29, 2017
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Marketing for the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Cynthia Round

Cynthia Round was the senior Vice President for Marketing, External relations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where she led marketing for NYC’s most visited tourist attraction—and United Way Worldwide—the largest privately-funded nonprofit in the world. Prior to that,  she helped build global brands at P&G and Ogilvy & Mather and now advises cultural and nonprofit organisations.

On the 29th of May 2017, Cynthia Round hosted a 30 minute live Q&A session on Goodwall. The session was attended by students from over 25 different countries around the world.

"You can make a career in many aspects of the arts. Go for it!"

What are the steps you think one should follow during strategic marketing? —Prince

That is a complex question! The most important start is to look at research and analyse what is known and needs to be known. Start with the facts.

What do you think are the biggest obstacles when studying Marketing, and what do you believe it's the hardest one while putting it in practice? —Juan

I didn’t study marketing in school, my experience at P&G was my training.  Marketing and branding are about understanding people and how to motivate behaviour.  There are many paths to a good career in marketing.


I'm looking for applying for the marketing career in NYC. Any recommendation? —Juan

There certainly are lots of opportunities in NYC for marketing, from business to nonprofit to cultural.  You should be looking at the sites listing jobs, like Glass Door, and you will see many opportunities.

Why did you choose this career? —Mosammat

I was interested in the persuasive power of communication and found so many fascinating ways to apply that in many different categories of consumer marketing.

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I really admire your career, I wish I can get that far myself! I've got 2 questions, firstly what do you think is the key to succeeding in the marketing field? Secondly, how does marketing a business concerning culture differ from other types of companies such as P&G?- —Antigoni

Thanks for the compliment.  I have had a wonderful, fulfilling career.  There is not so much difference marketing a consumer product  or a cause or idea.  In building brands, we are usually trying to inspire behaviour change and loyalty…whether for a product, service,  museum, or a cause.

I was wondering what are the steps to marketing a new product to achieve an effective result. —Loretta

In launching a new product, you need to first be sure there is a market demand for it.  Even for something new that has never been offered before, it must solve a problem in some way.  And it is very important to target your new product tightly to the right audience.  You cannot be all things to all people…so be sure you study and understand the needs and motivations of your primary target audience.

I would be interested in knowing what you studied at university and whether your studies influenced the choice for marketing. Also, are you interested in arts? —Emma

I studied communications in college.  I think it gave me a lot of good skills and experience.  But mostly I learned marketing on the job. I usually say “I got my MBA at P&G” because they are such a great teaching company. I am VERY interested in the arts and made the move to that category because art is my primary avocation.  


What would you say is the most exciting aspect of working for the Metropolitan Museum of Art? —Samuel

The most exciting aspect for me was to help open the new, third museum  The Met Breuer, in March of 2016.  One thing I loved about my work at The Met overall was the opportunity to walk through the galleries and have 5000 years of art all to myself!

Have you found it challenging to market the Met to a younger generation? —Bruno

That is an excellent question.  We brought 250,000 K-12 students to the museum each year so they could discover the wonders of art. We created Teens Take the Met and two times a year turned over the museum at night to several thousand New York City teens.  Of the 7 million visitors to The Met now, 37% are between 18-34 years of age, which we worked to achieve.

Why were you so interested to work in a museum? —Pinky

I simply LOVE art.  I had the wonderfully good fortune to work for P&G in Rome, which I consider a living museum.  It was early in my career and I fell in love with all forms of art there.  When my family and I go on vacations, we spend a lot of time in art museums.  So it was the opportunity to combine my marketing vocation with my art avocation that made me jump at the chance to work at The Met.  

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I was wondering how do you market your museum to people who are not able to visit New York? —Jessica

The Met has 7 million visitors a year to the museum but 30 million visitors to the metmuseum website. There is a fabulous timeline of art history and many digital features you can enjoy from afar. It is very important to open the museum to people all over the world. Check out the site!

What are the challenges of working in a museum as a female? I know how difficult it is being a female in a male world so I just wanted to know how you cope with it, no offence intended —Vanessa

There are many women in museums.  Though you raise an excellent point: there are still not enough women as directors of major museums.   Like so many categories,  women still need to break through to the biggest jobs.  A lot of my marketing staff was female, also the education and development groups, as well as curators.  I think there is a lot of opportunity in all aspects of museum for women.

Topic Marketing for the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Date May 29, 2017
Tags, ,