Sonja Martin Poole
Beyond the White Cube:
Attracting More Museum Visitors with Inclusive, Equitable, and Just Marketing Strategies
The United States has perhaps the most diverse marketplaces in the world. The multicultural population is rapidly growing and will soon be the majority. This suggests that if organizations want to survive, understanding the needs and wants of consumers across diverse spectrums matters. At the same time, racism has moved once again to the center of national consciousness, an unavoidable reality amplified by two once-in-a-century events – the COVID-19 pandemic and the popular uprisings of the Black Lives Matter movement in response to recent police killings of unarmed Black people.
The increases in anti-racism consciousness suggests enormous opportunity within the domain of museum services – for growth and for justice. Successful organizations will be those that tackle issues of systemic racism and make meaningful progress on diversity and inclusion.
In this keynote, Sonja Martin Poole, Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of San Francisco, one of the most diverse universities in the country, will break down the systemic issues that museums face when it comes to discussing and addressing racism, both externally to consumers and internally among museum leadership and personnel. Dr. Poole will also share strategies that work to build inclusive anti-racist marketing into the fabric of a museum brand-building effort."
Sonja Martin Poole specializes in examining the dynamic relationship between race and markets and the challenges of diversity marketing, particularly in the contexts of non-profit and public-sector services. With a particular emphasis on the social impact of marketing, Sonja lectures on transformative and multicultural marketing strategy and marketing education. She has appeared at numerous international conferences including the American Marketing Association, Race in the Marketplace Forum, IAJBS Annual World Forum, National Association of African American Studies, and the Society of Marketing Advances. She has over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit and public sectors and has published numerous articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings. Sonja earned her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley and is now an Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of San Francisco.