We interviewed Luis Pereiro, responsible for the activities of MVIVA in Argentina.
How was MVIVA born?
MVIVA was born from the need to use culture as a form of marketing mainly for museums, but also for theaters, foundations, territories, and private companies. It all started with the need to involve the general public in the cultural structures that we managed: it seemed an impossible mission until we came up with the idea of creating as many personalized collateral events as segments of the public we wanted to involve.
The success was immediate because people were involved, experientially and emotionally, in something they enjoyed and felt.
After this, the step from involvement to loyalty was short. It was precisely these results that led us to believe that we could also successfully repeat this modality by applying them to other structures. In 2003, we also began to implement these strategies, with different modalities, in private companies and territories. Since 2004, we constantly experiment with unconventional marketing (experiential, emotional and relational marketing). Since 2011, we have been working with neuroscience and neuro-aesthetics and, starting the following year, we began to study and propose neuromarketing in collaboration with CNR – National Research Council of Pisa. In 2013, MVIVA – Culture inside marketing was born, whose main objective is the governance of cultural structures and the study of strategic plans on measurable objectives linked to culture. Since then, we have been lucky enough to work in many countries around the world, meet many people and have the opportunity to meet clients who have praised our professional specificity, but above all our passion.
What needs exist in the field of culture that can be improved through marketing? At the same time, what does culture contribute to marketing?
Cultural marketing is essential to make the structures of museums and theaters efficient and effective, to work with always new strategies on specific objectives, to increase the reputation of a foundation, to improve the identity of a territory.
Cultural marketing allows controlling and making better use of the available budget for a museum, effectively involving each segment of the public, making access to any cultural structure in the three main markets of reference: people’s free time, companies and the public sector.
Cultural marketing makes it possible to measure the results of each work plan (and eventually modify it if it is not suitable for the desired objective) and to bring the cultural structure closer to its point of equilibrium. Cultural marketing guarantees life, dynamism, and openness of culture to people, at a time when public economies can no longer fully finance the needs of museums and theaters.
Traditional marketing is in full crisis: the social and economic change of recent years has changed the rules of any strategy. Now it is no longer enough to convince people to make or buy something, but increasingly the ideas and actions aimed at generating their experiential participation and involving them emotionally.
Culture is not only a resource in terms of uniqueness and unpredictability, but it is also perfect for shaping audiences and ideal for creating platforms of emotional and relational experiences in particular through the performing arts (theater, music, singing, interdisciplinary artistic performances, etc.) To count an exhibition, a territory or a company through an interdisciplinary narrative is an excellent form of current marketing.
In which countries does MVIVA work? How does Argentina differ in terms of expectations, needs, and prior knowledge?
MVIVA has four official venues: Lucca, the main office (within a contemporary art museum), Buenos Aires, São Paulo, and Seoul. In the last 5 years, these countries have collaborated with 25 other countries (in the regions of Latin America, North America, Asia, and Europe). Confronting ourselves with different cultures, lifestyles and habits allow us to grow, open our minds and look at the world with different optics. Each country has its own peculiarities that must be known and respected. I am responsible for the activities of MVIVA in Argentina and together with Guillermo Pablo Oetken, our Marketing Manager, we are working to create a network of internal work with international projection, in parallel to the follow-up of the specific works that are entrusted to the office. The last one was the exhibition “Pasquale Galbusera – A spiritual trip” that took place in La Abadía – Center of Arts and Latin American Studies, for which Mviva has been responsible for the curatorship, marketing, and communication. Argentina is unique because it is very strongly predisposed to culture. The Argentine is very demanding and if he does not perceive quality, professionalism and does not have fun, he does not become loyal to the proposal. It is a great commitment to working in Buenos Aires and at the same time a beautiful challenge. Our goal would be to make culture work also to create economic value for the country, but we must respect the times.
How do you find yourself working with specialists from the art world? Do you find it difficult
I am an architect and I come from the theater world: personally, I have not had any problem in interacting with an interdisciplinary team where everyone contributes their knowledge. I approached the visual arts contributing to the assemblies and trying to understand the secrets to produce exciting events and conveners. With MVIVA I made professional contact with cultural marketing, which helped me to understand that cultural structures, however interesting they may be, if they do not have the numbers in order and are not frequented and loved, they have no reason to exist.
The construction of relationships and networks, fundamental in the era of globalization, does not depend on the sector of belonging, but on individuals individually.
Argentina and Italy are open and predisposed to relations and the creation of cultural networks. The important thing is to have them work with projects related to the interests of all the participants in the network. The rest is done by individuals, putting their credibility and competence at stake.
In the case of the Italian city of Lucca, what was it like working with the museum? What qualitative and quantitative improvements have you experienced?
The museum in Lucca is almost 10 years old and MVIVA has been managing it for 5 years. Managing a museum is never easy, but being able to do it by applying our knowledge and innovative strategies have allowed us to measure the effectiveness of our work. In practice, the Lu.C.C.A. – Lucca Center of Contemporary Art, has become the space for the demonstration of our ideas based on considering the museum as a private company, through careful but enterprising management. The challenge of competing in a territory of great historical importance has been important: Lucca is the birthplace of Puccini, the walls of the 15th century and the 100 churches. We have learned to adapt to the public’s expectations, to listen to their wishes and to try to involve them in many different ways. We have managed to increase attendance (about 50 thousand each year), we have introduced a restaurant that in less than two years has obtained the Michelin Star (with the consequent exponential growth of customers) and improved playful and educational planning, but above all we have involved private companies that, as partners, have contributed to the financing of the museum through cultural projects transformed into marketing plans for their own companies.
What challenges do you see in the local and international art market?
We would like to export our experience in the management of museums and culture, the forms of unconventional marketing and neuromarketing to many countries of the world. We would like to convey the importance of a strategic guide to make a museum less and less expensive for Public Administration and make it clear that culture, in the hands of specialists in the sector, can create economic value for a city, a company or a territory. We would like artists to have more opportunities, more internationalization, and comparison, but above all, that the most promising young people have the opportunity to make their work known.
The local market must go hand in hand with the international: after all, an Argentine artist, when invited to make an exhibition in a museum or gallery of the world, becomes an ambassador of his country. A good excuse to promote its internationalization.