Lessons From the MoMA for The Car Industry


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If you’ve been to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, when you go in you pick up an audio device that allows you to key in the number of the painting you’re looking at.  You then stand back and listen to world class curators explain the Monet or Renoir or Pollock you’re admiring.  This is not unique to the MoMA but they’ve taken it several steps further.

It engages you in the museum in a way that I have not seen elsewhere.  And it provides a lesson for a truly enhanced customer experience.

The device tracks you through the museum and when you get home, the email link sent to you gives this message:

Thank you for visiting The Museum of Modern Art. We hope your visit was an inspiring one, and that you enjoyed using our new MoMA Audio+ mobile guide. Here is the link to your saved personal path, which allows you to continue your experience by revisiting and sharing your favorite artworks and content. 

After hitting the link the visitor is presented with a dashboard providing information on:

  • How long you spent at the museum (we spent 3 hours and 31 minutes)
  • The number of curator narratives you listened to (34)
  • What % that represents of the total collection (3.3%)
  • The number of unique artists you looked at (24)
  • Your most viewed artist (Monet)
  • The number of years explored (82)
  • Your most explored year (1926)
  • The number of photos you took (45)
  • It then provides a detailed timeline of all the works of art you looked at complete with the pictures and the very same audio commentary you listened to when you stood in front of the painting

What an amazing way to immerse a visitor in the museum experience.

In the auto industry, perhaps it’s not too far a stretch to imagine something like this happening when customers enter the showroom.  They’re given a similar device that explains everything about the car they’re looking at and everything about the dealership they need to know.  You want to hear about the engine?  Key in channel 7.   The suspension?  Channel 4?  How it compares to other cars in its class?  Channel 9.  

As the customer is about to leave, the salesperson collects the device, asks for the customer’s email address (thereby facilitating an effective follow-up contact), and promptly sends off the link so the customer has a complete record of their visit, what they looked at, who they spoke with, why it was a good buy, and on and on.  I think you get the idea.

Does it have legs?  Let me know what you think.

Until next time.


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Chris Travell
Chris Travell is VP, Strategic Consulting for the Automotive Group of Maritz Research. He is responsible for working with Maritz' Insight Teams to further the understanding and application of the firm's automotive research. He has appeared on numerous television programs and is often quoted in Automotive News, Time, USA Today, Edmunds, Detroit Free Press, The Globe and Mail and various other publications in regard to issues related to the North American automotive industry. He is the principal contributor to The Ride Blog, Maritz Research's automotive blog.


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