Royal Armouries

Creating a road map for a strong digital future.


Royal Armouries boasts an impressive 75,000 items in its national collection of arms and armour as well as a history dating back to the middle ages. The collection is housed across three sites; Royal Armouries in Leeds, Fort Nelson in Portsmouth and The White Tower in the Tower of London.

Prior to working with us, the museum was failing to make the most of their collection by taking full advantage of the opportunities available to them online. 

One problem they had was knowing what digital work to commission. Who should new digital initiatives be aimed at? How should they promote them? How should they measure the impact? Royal Armouries were unsure how to transform themselves into digital leaders within the heritage sector. They needed an expert hand to point them in the right direction.

Numiko got to work using their pre-defined audience segments so all our thinking on the digital strategy connected to the wider Public Engagement Strategy and was very much a fundamental part of it, not just a ‘bolt on’ or afterthought. 

Our digital strategy and implementation guide not only provides a roadmap for major developments over the next five years (with research and evidence to back them up) but also a series of tools that embed a ‘needs-based’ approach into the organisation going forward. 

For example, each digital project commissioned will now go through a commissioning checklist, which (without us) assesses the organisational value, user need and how these map to overall audience development priorities. This has provided a structured, consistent manner to evaluating, greenlighting and funding digital projects which makes each a strategically focussed investment.

As part of our work, we considered: 

  • The organisational basis
  • Data analysis and social media analysis 
  • Existing web presence and peer review
  • The opinion of staff and visitors
  • Commercial licensing opportunities
  • How the digital experience can support the physical 
  • Gallery interpretations
  • CRM integration
In order to create a clear set of outcomes that Royal Armouries could work from, our approach went through the following stages:
  1. Defining their aspiration
  2. Rationalising it against what exists currently (both in tools and staff)
  3. Benchmarking against peers
  4. Recommending actions and project roadmaps
  5. Mapping that action to time and indicating effort
  6. Putting in place measurements that are linked to KPIs of the organisation

The output is not only a new digital strategy, but also a clear evidenced roadmap of tangible actions, pinned to a timeframe, with indicative budgets. We made it our job to make all this fit harmoniously into their wider audience analysis and upcoming public engagement strategy. Royal Armouries are now in the position to make informed decisions on how to move forward with their digital output in a cohesive way.

It’s the start of an exciting journey for the museum and we thoroughly look forward to everyone’s hard work paying off with a revitalised digital presence helping drive higher visitor numbers and a better experience in the future.