Case Study

The Folger Shakespeare Library Engagement Analysis Platform

Project Summary

Engagement Platform & Engagement Strategy Partnership

Like many organizations, as the Folger Shakespeare Library’s activities steadily shift into the digital world, it must measure and evaluate its success in connecting, inspiring, and engaging its audience, and ensure digital resources are deployed effectively. 

ParsonsTKO worked with The Folger to conduct a series of strategic workshops, create dashboards for deeper organizational insight, and provide recommendations to unlock the value of their digital tools. Together, these activities will help The Folger achieve its goals of increasing annual donations, discovering and serving audience expectations, enforcing system and mission alignment, and promoting brand awareness not just today, but well into the future.

The Challenge

In the digital world, how do you measure and evaluate your success in connecting with, inspiring, and engaging your audience, and ensure that digital resources are deployed effectively?  For the Folger that meant:

Increasing Annual Giving

The new engagement strategy needs to support the Folger capital campaign and increase annual giving. 

Discovering Unknown Audience Expectations

Conducting effective outreach to target different audience groups, comprising on-site visitors, researchers, instructors and students, Shakespeare enthusiasts, and staff, at the national and international levels will help the Folger tap into their unknown target market.

Aligning Systems to Mission

Increasing the understanding of how the diverse set of Folger products, services, and public events all holistically support the Folger’s core mission.

Our Approach

We worked, both at the department level and the organizational level, with the Folger to define what content and engagement triggers each audience responds to, and what success for each audience looks like. We used these goals to develop a shared understanding of what kinds of content the Folger should be creating and how we’ll measure the effectiveness and success of each piece of content, by updating and adding functionality to their Engagement Analysis Platform (EAP). The EAP includes simple reports and dashboards that will provide real time business intelligence that will allow the Folger to be nimble and iterative in the implementation of this strategy.

This effort also included staff training to ensure that the Folger can effectively use their data strategy and the capabilities offered by the Engagement Analysis Platform.  This training also included teaching them how to modify existing analytics dashboards and how to create entirely new dashboards internally.

Our Process

Define the Engagement Strategy

Conduct workshops with staff and influential stakeholders to ensure their voices are represented in the plan and definition of goals. 

At the beginning of this project, we conducted senior staff interviews to explore how each department defines their audiences, goals, and outreach. We asked them about major challenges their team faces to achieve these goals. We facilitated seven workshops with 19 content practitioners within 7 departments. We used this data to define their audience and develop a theory of engagement. 

Create Data Collection Extensions

Construct data collection tools that can capture new kinds of information, unique to the Folger, making reports more relevant, understandable, and easier to act upon.

Conduct Strategic Analysis of Content

The Engagement Analysis Platform was integrated with strategic content analysis. We leveraged the concurrent aspects of this project to enhance the relevance of analytics deliverables. We also integrated content analysis artifacts such as the editorial style guide into the engagement analysis platform design templates.

Update the Engagement Analysis Platform 

Update the Engagement Analysis Platform components so that the templates and dashboards can streamline ongoing analytics reporting and analysis.

Provide Recommendations

Our recommendations document for email campaign link-tagging helped to show the impact of email marketing on website traffic by validating the relationship between email-driven web traffic and email system analytics. 

Implement Training

Our extensive training taught their team how to create and use each of the analytics templates or dashboards created under the design portion of the project.  It also taught them how to incorporate link-tagging governance into marketing process, and create and use segments to track the Folger’s unique audience needs.

The Solution

In this engagement with the Folger Shakespeare Library, ParsonsTKO interviewed six members of senior staff and facilitated seven workshops with 19 additional core content practitioners across the institution.

We sought to identify key audience members and goals those audiences wish to perform on the website. We worked with teams across Folger departments to map the customer journeys and experiences of their audiences.  By doing so step-by-step, we were able to identify areas of improvement and tracking opportunities to inform their analytics dashboards.

The improved analytics and reporting of the Engagement Analysis Platform helped the Folger Library optimize their audience engagement while evaluating tactics and approaches that increased the size and quality of their audiences, all measured off of objective measurable outcomes. This includes guidance on search engine optimization and the creation of engaging content. At the end of the project the Folger Library obtained a well defined and instrumented strategy for engaging with their users in the digital world.


Unlocking the Value

Identifying and segmenting the interests of audiences across an organization to engage with them, creates a smoother more contextualized engagement experience through things like links to related materials.

Coordinating Customer Relationship Management

Customer Relationship Management requirements and updates should be identified and addressed across an organization to establish a consistent and reliable user experience.

Structure Your Website Management Process

The recommendation of a website governance model defines the content production process, including the system and audience relationships as defined in a content inventory.

Connect Content

We recommended organizations pull together and logically connect content, providing context, and juxtapose content from different parts of your institution in one place by implementing an integrated, federated search strategy that is informed by taxonomy, user pathways, and defined content types.