Here’s a good approach to tackle the task of creating a marketing plan for your Camp. The framework below is meant to trigger ideas and organize your thoughts in order to deliver your story with a punch.
1. Understand your audience
Your target audience is primarily busy moms. Like all consumers, they’re looking for exceptional experience, convenience, savings, fun, and results. To find out how they decide on Camps, ask a few of them:
· What kind of information gets their attention?
· Who do they listen to for advice?
· What do they want in a Camp experience for their kids? (from registration to Camp’s end)
· Where do they research Camps
2. Make your camp stand out
Many Camps offer the same types of benefits: skills and endurance training, character development, good habits, and increased self-confidence. These are great, but they’re expected. Standing out is tougher than ever!
To win, you need to be “differentiated”. It’s a fancy term that means this:
· What makes your Camp different and better?
· How can you deliver excellence in a remarkable way?
If you don’t know the advantages of your Camp, how will your audience know them? Use stories, quotes from satisfied parents or campers, or statistics that show the growth of your camp or another important value you deliver.
3. Toot your own horn—loudly!
The Rule of Seven says that people typically must see a message seven times before it registers! It takes multiple communications from a variety of channels to reach your audience
· Word-of-Mouth: In our 2012 Parent Camp Survey, 60% of parents said they find out about Camps through friends. Ask for referrals, and provide easy ways (and incentives) for your Campers to let their friends know about your Camp.
· Social Media: Today, word-of-mouth happens online, on social media sites. If you’re not proficient, find a mom or kid who can help you find and engage with campers and parents on at least Facebook and Twitter. Extra bonus points if you’re also on Google+, Instagram and Pinterest. (Moms LOVE Pinterest!)
· Leverage your community’s schools. 46% of parents from our Parent Camp Survey said they learn about Camps through school flyers. Note: You’ll have to do something extra special to stand out above the back-to-school noise.
· Place an attractive kiosk and a friendly representative where your target audience visits, such as your facility’s entrance.
· Leverage your online Camp registration provider’s public listings of the Camps that use their service. (e.g. www.ACTIVE.com)
4. Plan for next season
The end of Camp is the perfect time to capitalize on the built-up enthusiasm of your Campers:
· Provide post-Camp surveys that ask kids and parents what they liked, what they didn’t like, and what they’d like to see again. Be sure to ask how Camp changed them (to use in next year’s campaign).
· Offer a discount on next session’s registration fees by registering now. (Of course, that means you have to have many details ready early, but that will only continue to pay off throughout the year.)
· Utilize camp software to gather your data. While your memory is strong and your next project hasn’t started, analyze the data of attendance, financials, what worked, what didn’t.
· Network with other Camp organizers and coaches. Most people need support to stay enthused and build a successful camp. Whether that support is better tools or new ideas from peers or industry leaders, don’t try to do this alone!
You might also like: