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CMO Insights with Erin Levzow, CMO, Museum of Ice Cream

Experiential destinations have exploded in popularity, offering immersive adventures that stimulate the senses and create share-worthy moments. At the forefront of this phenomenon is the Museum of Ice Cream, a whimsical attraction that has drawn millions of visitors worldwide with its vibrant, Instagram-worthy exhibits celebrating everyone's favorite frozen treat.

Leading the marketing charge is Erin Levzow, CMO of the Museum of Ice Cream. In this interview, Levzow shares insights into crafting strategies that break through the noise, leveraging user-generated content and influencer collaborations, tailoring messaging across demographics, and driving repeat visitation through ever-evolving exhibits and flavors.

As an expert in the experiential space, Levzow offers a unique perspective on measuring success, rapidly ideating new concepts, and balancing brand consistency as the museum expands globally. Her advice is invaluable for CMOs looking to create immersive brand experiences that spark imagination, connection, and delight in the digital age.

Experiential destinations like the Museum of Ice Cream have exploded in popularity in recent years. How do you craft marketing strategies that break through the noise and keep the experience feeling fresh and exclusive?

Levzow: At Museum of Ice Cream we exist to unite and inspire through imagination and connection. We truly believe that connecting as humans is the most powerful thing we can do and we do this through the universal love of ice cream. One of our core values is to show not tell and we believe that when we think about marketing and really showing how you will feel and how connected we can be together.

You’ve expanded museum locations globally. How do you balance maintaining brand consistency with customizing activations and marketing efforts locally?

Levzow:  Each of our Museums has a Local Sales Manager who works in Marketing and is focused on the local level as well as supporting our national initiatives.

User-generated content and influencer marketing can make or break experiential brands today. How are you leveraging social media and collaborations with influencers, photographers, etc to drive discovery?

Levzow: We are blessed that we are the most tiktok’d Museum globally and while we see a lot of UGC we don’t actually build our spaces for this. We build our experiences for human connection and when you connect and play together you build memories and when you create joyful memories you want to capture that leading to a lot of UGC from our guests.

The Museum of Ice Cream markets across demographics, from families to millennial/ Gen Z foodies. How are you segmenting your audience targeting and personalizing marketing messaging to resonate with these core segments?

Levzow:  It’s not so much the specific audience type but more the psychographics. How someone engages, what content resonates with them and how we optimize it. Luckily with AI and auto optimizing we can start to see what performs for different audiences and of course we are never done testing.

Interactive exhibits and new flavors/features seem crucial to driving repeat local visitation. What internal processes do you have to rapidly brainstorm, experiment with, and launch new attractions?

Levzow: We are an equal opportunity company when it comes to ice cream, well and all things :) We are constantly bringing in new flavors and trying new cocktails at the bar. For instance in February we partnered in Chicago with Ida’s Artisanal Ice Cream and Pop Tarts to create an ice cream that was unbelievable and served in our location all month long.

How do you measure marketing success for an experiential brand - what key metrics and analytics stand out compared to traditional retail? How much emphasis do you put on driving specific actions like ticket purchases?

Levzow:  The good news is all our tickets are sold above store, meaning you can only get tickets online. This allows for tracking of all sales back to where the marketing campaign originated and with multi-attribution, we can look into how all media is performing.

Last words: Any other exciting marketing campaigns on the horizon? What advice do you have for CMOs in the consumer space?

Levzow:  We are always scooping up something new and exciting! For other CMO’s I would say to be yourself, and bring your creativity to the table. People will see you for you or they aren’t the right people for you. I’m a big believer that whatever brand I have worked on I will be the biggest cheerleader for that brand and always will be. We will continue to sprinkle kindness everywhere we go!

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