Culture Segments TagTool

Develop your audience by understanding it

Morris Hargreaves McIntyre (MHM) is the largest cultural strategy and research agency in the UK. Based in Manchester, and with offices in New Zealand and Australia, MHM is renowned for using market insight to make a real difference to many of the world’s leading museums, galleries, theatres and arts centres as well as heritage bodies and charities including; British Museum, Barbican Centre, National Theatre, Chester Zoo, Eden Project, National Trust, Sydney Opera House, Shakespeare's Globe, Royal Albert Hall, the Lincoln Center, Southbank Centre, Tate, National Gallery, the RNLI, Action Aid, and the British Council.

The brief

“Culture Segments is the international standard segmentation system for arts, culture and heritage organisations. It's more powerful than other systems because it’s sector-specific and because it’s based on people’s deep-seated cultural values and their beliefs about the role that culture plays in their lives. It gets to the heart of what motivates them.”
Morris Hargreaves McIntyre

For ticketed venues, Culture Segments TagTool would allow the customers’ details in the CRM to be tagged with their Culture Segment as they answered a few simple questions during the online checkout process or in response to a well-crafted email.

The MHM team started out with a manual process which was not only laborious, but meant venues had to wait before acting on the insights. Culture Segments itself is a game changer as it uses true psychographic segmentation enabling clients to get a real understanding of what motivates their audiences.

What we did

Initially, Human tested the concept by creating a small set of bespoke installations with key venues. Supporting the local technology team for each venue was a winning investment of time and attention as it allowed everyone to see the proof of the new approach.

MHM trusted the Human team to work directly with their own clients, a testament to the strength of our partnership.

After the first clients found success, MHM commissioned Human to improve the workflow further with the development of a client login. This meant clients could review their own dashboard and update certain settings independently, reducing admin overhead whilst improving customer experience.

The whole system runs on a scalable cloud infrastructure which is vital given the unpredictable spikes in demand which can result from clusters of venues in entirely different parts of the world running email campaigns or ticket sales simultaneously. For instance when a big show goes on sale at a populr venue, the resulting traffic can be huge.

As a patron, you answer a few questions after buying your tickets. That sounds simple enough - but in the background the service runs the Culture Segments algorithm, takes an anonymised sample of the data for product improvement and directly updates the venue’s own CRM. So the venue has a deeper understanding of the audience and the segmentation algorithm itself has the chance for continuous improvement.

Variety is the spice of life

Each venue’s setup of their chosen CRM platform varies considerably from the next - which was not anticipated when Culture Segments TagTool was first conceived. So a key challenge has been the amount of support needed by each organisation as they go through the setup process. There are always ways to improve - and MHM shares our belief in automating where possible to ensure even more attention can be directed to giving clients the best experience possible.


Some of the world’s leading cultural organisations are busy developing their audience based on the deeper understanding they are able to achieve thanks to Culture Segments TagTool. The list includes: 92y (New York), Opera Australia, The Old Vic theatre, The Place and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse.

Workflow automation and systems integration has allowed not just for reduced overheads - those people can now go back to doing more creative work - but it has also improved the experience for client organisations. They can make use of their segmented audience data in real-time, knowing that their lists are always tagged and up-to-date within their own CRM.

Using Culture Segments TagTool has been seen to double response rates to client marketing.

What’s next?

Learning from the first four years, plans are afoot for a radically improved version of Culture Segments TagTool which will hand power to venues’ own developers. By releasing a straightforward developer toolkit and API for Culture Segments, MHM will remove any remaining impediments to every cultural organisation from using the system to achieve deeper audience understanding.

Are you looking to transform an area of your business using technology? We’d love to hear your story...