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How to Target Your Leisure Campaign and Which Tools to Use

With a wide range of marketing methods available it can be difficult to choose which method is best to get your message across to the correct audience in a cost effective way. It is important to ensure that the sole focus is not always on new members and to have a strategy that communicates with current customers and any that you have lost along the way.

Carefully planning out your activity, dependent on the type of consumer can help create a consistently branded campaign across multiple levels to give an all-round marketing campaign. This requires you to create bespoke activity to your various consumers groups including:

  • Existing
  • New member prospects
  • Lapsed members

New Members / Prospects

Design and branding - Eye catching artwork that drives people with a strong call to action is important for any sales based campaign, don't give too much information away and encourage people to call you, visit your website or interact via social media. Keep the message consistent and on brand across all channels.

Demographics - analyse your data to ensure you are targeting the correct demographics for both traditional and digital methods.

Distributions - carefully plan out any leaflet based distributions to ensure you are targeting the correct audience, and if you are inserting into a publication again ensure this publication matches the demographic profile you are aiming to attract to your specific offer.

Websiteyou have sparked an interest in your offer so one of the first places people will look is your website, this is your chance to really give people the detail they want, and if you have a promotion on make sure it is clearly visible.  Also the website is a perfect place to gather prospects through contact submission forms and competitions.  The majority of people now view websites on a phone or tablet so if your site is not mobile enabled it will be important to consider this in the future.

Facebook advertising - targeted pay per click (PPC) advertising via Facebook for example can help you reach a new audience that is not already engaging with your social media channels. This can be specifically targeted to geographic areas, age ranges, gender and personal interests to ensure your spend is used wisely.

Search engine advertising - advertise to people when they are at an intent stage in the customer journey by directly advertising using PPC. Utilising demographic information and specific key words to attract new interest and also stay ahead of the competition. Supplement your PPC with a check on the performance of your websites organic search engine results via an SEO review and plan.

Social media channels - Focus on the benefits of the experience that you offer rather than directly trying to sell. The engagement and content needs to be of interest and provide good social share options.  This could be via infographics and memes to the channels.  Don't fall down by not engaging with your audience and if someone leaves a message or a question get back to them quickly with a positive response.  Make sure there is somewhere for people to leave their details so you can capture any prospects details.

e-marketing and SMS - while mainly used for current members,  retention and referral purposes using e-marketing and SMS can also be effective to contact ex members for new member drives. Using the data that you capture from your website, social media channels, on site and via the phone you can directly target these people with your offer to ensure they receive a personal message from you.

Direct mail - if the audience is correct then why not send a bespoke piece of marketing to your prospects list with a special offer, again this method is often used for current members and ex members but if you have a niche target and a select list of hot prospects a cost effective digital print run and postage will give the prospect a personalised message straight to the doormat.

External advertising  - plan in advance, again by reviewing your core areas you can then research the best options such as billboards, bus shelters, or even try and secure a space for your own banners in a busy area!  For a longer term investment why not consider securing your very own trailer for high impact banner advertising that can be moved to make the most of various different times and events!

Internal advertising - once you have gone to the effort of exposing your brand externally, don't forget to carry this through internally as first impressions really do count, carrying on the strong message will strengthen your efforts and will also aid with referral from existing members.

Radio and newspaper - do they still work?. Traditional newspaper and radio advertising still has its place in the mix if you choose the correct approach. With the emergence of digital methods the newspapers and publications are more likely to offer special rates to get you advertising with them, where possible ensure that the publication also gives you some editorial to go alongside your advert.

Promotions - running a promotion with the newspapers, local publications and radio stations will also help to generate exposure and enable opportunities for data capture that can then be used for e-marketing or SMS purposes. These can also be promoted via your social media channels in order to cross reference your marketing methods. These are often all free to include if you are offering a worthwhile prize such as a free membership.

Important Audiences Never to be Missed as Part of Any Sales Campaign

Ex members

Whilst some members who leave are not likely to return there are others who have fallen by the wayside who are still hot leads that need to be included in any full marketing campaign. The tools to engage with this group are often cost effective and act as an extra boost from the awareness that has already been created for the new sales campaign.

E-campaigns - target your ex members with your latest offer and remind them what they are missing out on by highlighting not only the benefits of joining your centre but also of the benefits to them personally. If you run specific ex member campaigns then ensure the offer is shown strongly as a unique selling point (USP) but also an obvious call to action.

SMS - follow up the e-campaign with an SMS campaign to anyone who hasn't read or opened the email to make sure your offer / message has been received.

Direct mail - give the ex-members the personal touch and show you still care about them by sending them a personalised piece of direct mail with a specific offer, whilst the artwork will be mainly generic you can personalise this to the individual.

Social Media - just because they are not members anymore doesn't mean they will not follow your social media feeds, so ensure that you are posting engaging content that generates interest, it might just help to motivate the ex-member to come back and re-join.

Current members can form part of your sales team!

Most centres will have a clear communication pathway for existing members to support retention levels. It is important that you keep these members happy and also informed. This will help to motivate them but also make them more likely to refer your offering to friends and family. Everyone likes an offer!  Incentivise existing members with a strong referral programme.

Outside of the retention programme and points of contact that the members already receive there are still some marketing opportunities that can be targeted to current members as part of a new sales campaign. Your offer will have been seen externally and also internally and if there is a special offer it could leave existing members feeling they are missing out. Offering an incentive through a referral scheme will not only help to keep the existing member happy but also potentially boost your new membership sales. This referral offer also needs to be given to new members as soon as they join to carry on the momentum.

Internal marketing - your existing members will be used to seeing your standard materials and will be accustomed to it so the offer needs to stand out to them. Whilst keeping in-line with the campaign design make some subtle changes with strong messages aimed directly at existing users through a variety of ideas.  Try pop up displays in the gym / class areas and potentially leave messages in the lockers, the back of toilet doors and above urinals is always a winner too as it quite literally is a captive audience.

e-marketing - add to the existing member communication with the referral offer or add it to existing information such as the monthly member's newsletter.

SMS - send the offer to any members who have not opened the e-campaign.

Direct mail - sending the members something that they can physically give to a friend or loved one should generate a good response, Campaigns such as 12 days of Christmas have been around forever but still work.  This can also be used in the form of a short free trial or bring a friend for free with a strong conversion offer, but ensure that the person giving the referral is also incentivised.

Social media - your existing members are likely to be engaging with you the most on a daily basis so don't want to see sales messages all the time, keep the content engaging and motivating so that they keep checking and also increase the possibility of social sharing

Casual users

If you are open to non- members (more often known as casual or pay as you go users) they will also see your external and internal marketing. Some are happy to come along and continue to pay as they go and not commit to a membership. However you can still target these users with tailored messages that might make them take the leap to becoming a fully-fledged member.

Internal marketing - Tease the casuals users with thought provoking messages that makes them question whether they would be financially better off as a member. This can be via posters, pop up displays and any other point of sale items used within the centre.

e-marketing - Interrogate your database to see how often the casual users are coming, if you have a group that would benefit from becoming a member then send that group a unique message explaining the various benefits that they would receive by being a member.

SMS - again in the same way as the other groups send SMS messages to those who do not open the e-campaign.

Social media - use motivational messages on memes and infographics and highlight the importance of regular exercise and the benefits that this can be bring.

To Summarise:

  • Keep the branding consistent
  • Use your data to analyse your users and target your spend wisely using your demographic information
  • Send the correct messages to the correct audiences
  • Don't be afraid to push the boundaries and try new methods
  • Plan your activity carefully within an agreed budget
  • Set targets for the outcome of the promotion
  • Analyse the effectiveness of each method
  • And don't forget? ensure your enquiry handling system is in place to capitalise on all inquiries

These tips are ideas on how to market to your target audience for not only a sales campaign but also your marketing strategy in general. If you would like more information on marketing and project management services we provide at Big Wave Media and how we can support you contact [email protected]

Our team of account managers, marketing consultants and project managers can support with your every requirement and work alongside you to create striking and effective marketing campaigns.


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