We often have discussions with facilities who talk about the marketing they would like to do, and it usually involves expensive advertising or CRM solutions. In many instances, when we delve a little deeper into understanding why the facilities are focused on those areas, it’s just because that’s what they think they should do.
With a little further discussion, we usually find that there are a few basic tools that your business can put in place first, to get their marketing efforts working more effectively and see some faster results.
- Email marketing. Are you collecting a database of visitors and regularly sending them news and information about what’s on at your venue? Only send information that is newsworthy, otherwise your unsubscribe rate will increase. A monthly communication is a great start.
- Website. You need a website that is easy to navigate and easy to read. Ensure that it’s easy for you to update news, events and other information for the articles in your email marketing to click through to. Articles in a newsletter should be short and sharp with the main detail on your website. Be sure to have Google Analytics installed for reporting and understanding how your customers interact with your site.
- Local marketing. Statistically, most of your potential new customers or members are going to come from your local area. Make sure they know what is happening at your venue. Don’t underestimate roadside signage, letterbox drops, council newsletters and other local options such as school / sporting club newsletters for getting your messages out.
- Satisfied members. Your members and regular visitors are the best marketing tools you have! Do you regularly keep your members up to date with what’s happening at your venue? Do you track their satisfaction with surveys? DO you provide them an easy feedback channel and respond to information you receive via this? Satisfied and loyal members should be encouraged to refer friends through member referral programs.
- Great staff. Do your stall smile and welcome every visitor and make sure customers feel their custom is appreciated? A great customer experience encourages return visitations. Negative experiences make a great Facebook post that is quickly shared. Make sure staff are informed. A great marketing campaign is lost if staff don’t know about it.
You might question why social media is not in the list above. Poorly managed social media is worse than none at all. If you don’t have the resources to dedicate to doing it regularly and well, then don’t do it. And once you get the above mastered, social media makes a great number 6!