You have questions, we have answers. We took some time this month to speak with Debbie Lee, the director of marketing for Gainesville Health and Fitness in Gainesville, Fla., about how clubs can easily improve marketing departments.
“How do you use staff for marketing this summer?”
DL: Create street teams to guerrilla market the programs or activities you are offering over the summer. We have done this to market our free teen membership program to local churches, sports teams, schools and kid’s organizations.
“How do you easily target the senior market?”
DL: Very simple, have one-day events/activities that include balance testing, orthopedic screenings, doctor workshops (local practitioners), sporting goods stores (how to find right shoe for aging feet). They are comfortable with health fair style events. Serve them food/drinks and have them bring a food or clothing item to donate to a local charity they know (pick one). Give them invitations to share with friends and they will.
“How do you market to stay-at-home parents?”
DL: Participate in mommy blogs, find members who are stay-at-home parents, talk to them about hobbies they have (ie: tennis, charities, mom/kids groups) and give them the marketing piece to share with these groups. Create a Facebook group for this group of like-minded people and they will share with everyone, including their non-member friends. Biggest recommendation — join the conversations that are already going on!
“What will be this year’s best marketing strategy?”
DL: Word of mouth marketing via social media with a focus on video presentation of content. A concentrated effort by the leaders and sales team of the organization to find the talkers, choose compelling topics and the best tools to share the topics, meaning you work on developing it EVERY week. We are following “Word of Mouth Marketing” by Andy Sernovitz. There will be less focus on traditional external advertising. Also included is using social media to group together like-minded members to create great engagement and integration in your business — create the platform for them.
Avoid These Mistakes When Marketing to Potential Members
1) Inconsistent messages that are not branded (public should know it’s your company by the language, colors and overall feel of the ad or communication piece).
2) Using only the price as the offer.
3) Not presenting your company’s differentiators (what do you do that nobody else does?) or not having any differentiators.
4) Boring and clique messages, graphics, music.
5) Not using your members to market for you (do you have a real strategy to execute this?).
Have club questions for an expert? Write us at email@example.com