With so many recreation activities for the public to choose from, it’s important for your community organization to get creative to increase participation. Get started by taking a closer look at your customer data. You can uncover trends and identify ways to increase registrations. After that, take that information and use it to create targeted marketing campaigns and offers.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Build a meaningful database
By capturing relevant information about everyone who visits your recreation center, you are building a database that can significantly impact the growth of your organization.
‘Ok, what Information should I capture?’
Go beyond the basic stuff like contact details, birth dates, and demographics. Capture key interests, past sign-ups, and reasons why residents selected your rec center instead of going to a neighboring one. This type of information can give you some great insight: why customers leave, how the experience can be improved, and what keeps them coming back. Leverage this data to create targeted, effective marketing campaigns.
‘Sounds good, but how do I capture that information?’
To capture the data, consider giving something of value away in exchange for feedback and information. This could be complimentary tickets to an upcoming event, a free fitness class or discount. Provide survey forms to every customer, ask questions on registration forms, call your customers, or simply send them an email. No matter how you go about gathering the information, try several different methods to ensure you’re connecting with as many customers as possible.
‘When should I capture this information?’
Every time you interact with a customer is an opportunity to gather useful information. Right now you record contact information when new customers and families register for programs, memberships, and new sessions. Consider capturing information during front desk transactions and from everyone that attends a special event like a workshop. By adding this important customer data to your database, you will be able to target the right customer groups with the right information. This will keep customers happy and can save time and money on broad-based marketing efforts.
2. Analyze data and uncover trends
Once you’ve collected all of your customer data, generate reports and analyze your findings to start making informed business decisions. Through these reports you may uncover trends on the age groups of participants in certain activities, how families are hearing about your classes, and when your facility has the most sign-ups. This valuable data will reveal new revenue opportunities, improve business oversight, and equip your staff with the knowledge necessary to connect with customers in a more personalized and timely way.
3. Garner attention
Once you have the data, understand what it means, and decide how you can use it to generate more revenue, tell your customers and prospects about your services in a multi-touch yet targeted way.
‘What are the best tools for this?’
There are many ways to generate interest in your community but consider the following three to get started:
Your website – With the data you’ve collected, update your website with relevant messages that appeal to your customers and prospects. Parks and recreation organizations should develop sites that include pictures and images, class openings and sign-ups, new events and services, as well as a customer account log-in page. Once you have a website, it’s important to promote it. Mention your website address in your voicemail greetings, in staff email signatures, on membership cards, on receipts and invoices, in ads and marketing collateral, on business cards, and on social networks.
Email marketing – Emails are one of the most cost-effective and time-efficient methods to market your message to a large audience. Use automated list building tools in your parks and recreation software to segment your list by demographic, interests, sign-up history and send customized emails. Keep members updated on your schedules, promotions, and offerings via an electronic newsletter. Of course, make sure that you are sending emails to only those who have opted-in to receiving such emails.
Direct mail – Share news and announcements with customers through brochures, flyers and postcards sent directly to their mailboxes. From new class schedules, event announcements to special offers and thank you cards, stay in touch with customers and create awareness for prospects through ongoing, targeted and personalized direct mail campaigns.
There are many ways to market your recreation center, but with the right parks and recreation software, a hefty database, and a bit of creativity, you’ll be able to use the data you’ve collected to market more effectively than ever before. That means one thing: more participation from your community!