Royal Academy doubles ad sales using Really Simple Systems

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Customer Relationship Management

Independent fine arts institution The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) has doubled ad revenue in its official magazine thanks to Really Simple Systems’ Cloud CRM solution. Founded in 1768, the RA is completely autonomous and supports contemporary artists and promotes interest in the arts through a comprehensive and ambitious exhibition programme, including a Summer Exhibition of contemporary art held every year since 1769 which attracts up to 800,000 visitors. The Academy’s Friends organisation is the third largest in the world and numbers more than 100,000 members while the Royal Academy of Arts Magazine carries advertising from art galleries and art related companies around the world and is published quarterly.

In recent years as the circulation and advertising of the magazine grew, the RA had collected reams of data on advertisers that was rapidly becoming unmanageable. The advertising sales team consequently needed a better way to keep track of all the advertisers. Paulo Russo from the RA commented: “We needed to see quickly a complete history of each advertiser, when they advertised and what they paid. And we needed to be able to access that information at the office, home or anywhere. But we didn’t have an unlimited budget for a complicated CRM system.”

Following an appraisal of its needs the RA decided it needed a CRM system that was web-based, for easy and flexible access, that it could implement and manage internally, as opposed to purchasing a system that needed expensive services to implement, or building a custom system. They chose Really Simple Systems Cloud CRM and having provided a detailed brief the wheels were set in motion for a seamless progression from an old-style paper-based system to a modern cloud based CRM.

“Implementation was very quick,” said Russo. “Once they were up to speed on our requirements, Really Simple Systems offered loads of fantastic suggestions. They transferred the data, did a parallel run, and everything went really smoothly. It was a very positive experience without any of the glitches or frustrations you might associate with this type of operation. Today we have easy access to all our data from wherever we need to access it – be it from work or home. We have all our client records at our fingertips and can also get an overview of progress being made by any given salesperson in the organisation with any given client.

“It has solved all the issues we had and in the process has made us more productive and efficient.” continues Paulo. “We can do sales forecasting, see sales to date and no longer have to wait for all that crucial information.”

Once the RA had implemented the CRM itself, it started signing up other magazines as customers, using the same CRM system to double the total amount of advertising sold. The team now manages magazine advertising for 10 other magazines, including Asian Art, the British Museum, C20, Disegno, Eye Magazine, the London Library, the MCC, Midcentury Society, Oh Comely and Pallant House.

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