The Parent Trap: Marketing to the Big Kids

Camp directors know that managing the “big kids,” the parents, is just as important as managing the little ones. Parents are demanding and short on time, so it’s important that as camp directors you are grabbing their attention.

In a recent article featured on the American Camp Associations site, Camarin Wanamaker, a Senior Account Manager here at the ACTIVE Network, outlined 3 important marketing elements for camp directors to incorporate into their marketing campaigns to ensure they’re targeting the “big kids.”

Here’s a quick recap of the marketing elements:

Do Your Homework! – put yourself in the shoes of the parents and start thinking like a parent

What gets their attention?

Who do they listen to for advice?

What is their ideal camp experience for their kids (from registration to the wave goodbye)?

Where do they look for camps?

Be Unexpected – attract new campers and keep the ones you have coming back by differentiating yourself. As a camp director, ask yourself these questions: 

What’s important to your campers and parents?

What’s unique to your programs?

What do you provide that is top notch, best in business?

What can you can defend (i.e. a statement that can be proven through a stat, quote, or real life story)

Be Really Good Where it Matters – doing your homework and understanding your customers is the bedrock of your marketing message. Now start to focus on conveying these important qualities to your customers:

Experiences – make your camp experience a memorable one, from registration all the way to the wave goodbye

Convenience – no parent has time to fill out paper forms, move your registration forms online and link to them from your website

Savings – parents are looking for a good deal to maximize their family budget. Offer special discounts and early bird registration rates to parents who plan in advanced

Fun -this is the second highest criteria for camp selection. Having fun is essential, when kids are happy, parents are happy.

Results – think of your camp like a business, your camp produces results. Those results are manifested by the skills the kids learn and successes they achieve at your camp.

To read more in depth about these marketing elements visit the American Camp Associations webpage. Click here to visit the site.