LEISURE MARKETING ONLINE STUDY
During this course you will learn to develop strategies to market
recreation facilities or services. The course shows you how to do
things such as: Develop marketing and promotions to maintain or increase
business; Manage the delivery of a service to ensure customer
satisfaction; Monitor a membership database to ensure return business
and Manage complaints.
- Public relations, Promotions and Advertising
- Getting the word to potential customer, clients and the general public
and how people go about making decisions such joining a gym, enrolling
in a recreation program, taking up a new hobby or supporting a sporting
- How to keep clients happy and maximise the chance of return sales.
There are 10 lessons in this course:
Introduction to Marketing
Managing Membership Levels
Sponsorship & Fundraising
Managing Promotional Activities
Market sensitive recreation services.
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
Provide a basis for developing specific marketing related skills which will be developed throughout this course.
Develop marketing strategies.
Develop skills in dealing with the media to promote an organisation or service.
Coordinate the production of different promotional materials.
Coordinate the distribution of promotional materials.
Deal with client complaints in a recreation enterprise.
Monitor membership base to ensure retention of membership.
Initiate and manage relationships with sponsors.
Explain alternative methods of raising funds for a recreation event or service.
Manage special events.
Coordinate activities designed to increase public awareness of an organisation.
Deliver approval for different promotional activities.
Manage delivery of a service by a recreation, sport or fitness organisation.
Marketing is More than Just Getting People to See You
Encouraging people to visit your website or notice you in an advertisement is only part of the job of marketing. The other half of the job is getting them to actually connect with you. Without that connection, you may have raised awareness of your business, but you have lost an opportunity for that connection to realize its full potential i.e. convert into a sale.
In any marketing system, it is important to determine the pathway that will be followed through the marketing process.
This starts with making the customer aware of your existence, then enlightening them about your product or service. This is then followed by convincing them to buy something, establishing a contract of sale, delivering the product or service and then providing any necessary after sales service. When you establish a marketing program using the internet; you need to consider all of these components in the overall marketing process.
Awareness of Your Existence
This is achieved by being visible. Consider who you are selling to. Consider what they look at and where they see things; whether in social media, websites, or somewhere else. Do they mostly use a desk top computer, reader, lap top or mobile phone? Are they likely to take more notice of what they see on a website than social media, or vice versa?
Enlightening the Customer
Getting them to know you exist is very different to getting them interested enough to ask questions and seek more information. The way you capture their attention (e.g. as discussed earlier with enquiry forms, free trial offers, etc.) can make a big difference.
Convincing People to Buy
Once you have the buyer’s interest, you need to engage with them. There are many different ways of doing this, for example:
Establishing a Contract of Sale
- Getting them to visit your retail store.
- Getting them to give you a phone number and then calling them.
- Getting them to send you an email.
When you sell something in a face to face situation, a legal contract can be verbal. For example: someone hands you some cash, and you give them a coffee.
If you are selling over the internet, without meeting face to face; there is a lot of potential for misunderstandings to arise in a contract of sale. When you trade at a distance, it can become critical that you have every detail of the contract thought through, and every contingency accounted for, in writing, and in a clearly visible place. There can be no room for misleading a customer; both ethically and legally, the onus for any dispute is likely to rest with the business person rather than the customer.
Delivering the Product or Service
Things that are marketed on the internet may be delivered in person, or remotely. Not all services or goods can be delivered online or via a courier service; even if they may be able to be promoted and sold online.
Providing any Necessary After Sales Service.
After selling anything, there is usually an onus on the business person to provide some level of after sales service. This may include provision of advice or help if a problem arises; or perhaps servicing or maintenance at some specified point (e.g. after selling a car, the first service may be free). After providing a consultation service, the client may be entitled to contact the service provider for further advice, over a specified period.
- Many businesses today will provide email addresses or phone numbers for help after sales.
- Product manufacturers may publish service manuals on line.
When someone finds you on the net and you need to prompt a connection you can do this in one of the following ways:
- Encourage people to join a mailing list (capture their email addresses).
- Obtain information from potential customers (have them fill in a questionnaire, a survey, or fill in their contact details in response to a discount or promotional offer you have made).
- Encourage participation in a competition or offer free samples (they must fill in a form in order to participate).
- Enter into a dialogue with them – such as an information service (e.g. a site selling gardening products may offer garden advice). This may involve the potential customer filling in an online form with the question they have and their details. You respond to their question and also provide a space on the form that they can tick in order to receive for example more information as it comes to hand, offers, special discounts and so on. This obviously opens up further possibilities for sales whilst at the same time legitimately extracting contact information such as an email address. This must be a transparent and legitimate process though – bombarding people with unsolicited emails is not a good way to expand business.
- When they actually purchase something (you capture their details and send them a thank you email).
- When they apply for something (you can capture their details).
The most difficult thing in marketing is to convert a potential customer into an actual customer - in other words turning interest into a sale. Social media is a good example of this – your business may have many ‘friends’ or fans but how often do you get an actual sale from a ‘friend’?
Cross channel marketing is one common practice to try and capture sales i.e. linking social media pages with websites (such as an online store) and using these to collect email addresses, and mobile phone numbers from potential customers (that fill in online forms or subscriptions). Messages or texts or emails are then sent to these potential customers to inform them of new offers, specials and so on. Customers sometimes also pass offers on to their friends and family – this expands the potential customer base without you doing all the hard work.
These are just some tactics used to capture people’s email addresses (email is still proving to be the most successful tool for converting interest into a sale) mainly because it is considered a more personal approach). It does, however, take effort and know-how to use the correct tools that enable you make contact with prospective customers. With the right tools the opportunities to capture sales from ‘friends’ or ‘hits’ are boundless.
Your website may be optimised with great keywords, it may direct customers to where you want them to go (via landing pages and microsites and links), it may be optimised to collect personal customer data; given all this the opportunities to capture sales from ‘friends’ or ‘hits’ should be boundless. However, the biggest trick is to convert all of this activity and all these potential customers into paying customers!