Increasingly, youth activity and event organizers ask us to help them market their activities, programs and camps. So, we recently surveyed more than 1,400 parents nationwide to better understand their motivations and tactics when faced with the need to search, find and register their kids for activities. Upon analyzing the resulting data, our top learning was that that organizers will better reach and engage parents who are eager to simplify the activity search-and-register process by shifting dollars away from print-based marketing tactics and instead investing them in digital and community marketing activities.
Of the survey participants, the most active ages for camps, classes and activities are tweens and teens (ages 11 to 18), with 51% of respondents enrolling their child in more than two activities per year. When asked, less than 20% said they learn about camps and activities from print ads, billboards or direct mail, yet the vast majority of youth activity organizers still spend most of their marketing dollars on print campaigns. Over half of the parents surveyed said they turn to friends, family, community organizations and schools for recommendations. More than 54% stated they turn to social media and online searches.
An overwhelming majority of parents WANT to find activities for their children online, with 84% of parents saying that user-generated content influences their buying decisions and 90% admitting they read peer reviews before registering for a camp or activity. Once the program is in session, parents like to stay connected, with 69% of parents saying they want program updates and news from the organizer.
Our data shows that 70 percent of parents register their kids two weeks to four months before camp starts, so now is the time for organizers to market their remaining fall and upcoming winter programs. Tools like ACTIVE’s Camp & Class Manager and ACTIVENet offer organizers an all-in-one online registration, participant management and marketing software solution.
Consider comScore’s report that social networking now accounts for 1 of every 5 hours spent online (thanks to the increase in mobile internet consumption). It is no surprise that today’s parents are going online to find activities for their kids and register them, too!