Mastering Economic Performances in Italian Museums: Who Are Masters behind Portraits

Angela Besana, Annamaria Esposito, Maria Cristina Vannini, Chiara Fisichella

Abstract


From 2007 to 2016, Italian museums faced keen competition and crisis of resources. Due to exogenous scarcity of public and private funding, the crisis heavily impacted on performances of museums.

Otherwise, some highlighted entrepreneurs ‘hit high notes on this stage of scarcity’. Among them, Museum Boards (or Masters) who revised their governance with focus on marketing roles and branding to visitors who are paying for tickets and ancillaries like merchandising.

The aim of the paper is the analysis of economic performances of a sample of Italian museums in challenging times and above all, according to 2016’s accounting data. The sample includes museums listed  for their gains, total revenues, own revenues (from ticketing), ancillary revenues (like merchandising), total costs and marketing and branding expense. 2016’s data were considered as concerns their weight on total revenues and total expenses were k-means clustered in order to give evidence to clusters with significant and average performances.

The most crowded cluster includes museums, whose ‘Masters’ are ‘hitting high notes’ of positive performances for gains, revenues, own revenues and ancillary ones. This cluster includes boards who were interviewed as concerns their marketing and branding, so that they confirm that increasing and positive economic performances match with increasing focus on marketing and branding.


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