Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32need? The same rings true for digital marketing. Study results revealed that overhalfofrespondents(56%)outsource a portion of their digital marketing pro- grams, with 60% of those outsourcing spending $4,800 or less annually. The outsourcedprojectsrangefromthemost obvious — website work and video — to email, social media posting, online ad creationandmore.Smartmarketershire help in the areas they most need, often at a very manageable cost that has the potential to pay for itself in results. Depending on what you’d like to out- sourceinconjunctionwithyourbudget, you can choose how involved in planning, content creation and meas- urement a program partner will be. From a digital marketing manager who isresponsibleforoverseeingyourentire program to a content strategist concen- trating on developing your message to a social media specialist who is dedi- cated to social media promotion and engagement,thereisanopportunityfor you to expand your marketing reach. Begin the process on your own with seriousgoalsetting,budgetingandthedi- rectionyou’dlikeyourmarketingpartners totakethatcanbeclearlycommunicated. Thank goodness, gone are the days when wild talk of a business owners’ fill-in-the-blank (grandson, nephew, a neighborhood kid, or daughter of a seasonal) could be a marketing asset because they “really knew how to use the interwebs.” Never forget that your online presence is a direct reflection of you and your business. Treat it with the respect it deserves — and remember that nothing ever disappears from the Internet,itjustgetsburiedtopotentially resurface at a later date. Making a smart hiring/partnering de- cision is paramount and a judicious con- tentapproval/trackingsystemisessential. Once you have a clear picture of what you want the program to look like and whatconstitutessuccess,it’stimetolook for a digital marketing partner. Be it a manager, strategist, specialist, or an as- sistant,hereareafewpointstoconsider: • Experience level/results: How long has the candidate been working with digital marketing? Are they comfort- able/familiarwiththeplatformsyouare currently utilizing or would like to use? Do they have a track record, either personal or professional, that would lead you to believe they can be success- ful for your operation? • Match/business fit: Do you like them? Do you trust them? Can you see yourself working with this individual or team? Do they understand your busi- ness? Bonus points if they are campers or outdoor enthusiasts. •Commongoals:Cantheygetbehind your goals? Do they see the end results the same way you do? Will they freely share their point of view in a construc- tive and value-adding manner regard- inghowtomoveyourprogramforward? • Necessary skillset: Does the candi- date meet your needs? How are their grammarandwritingskills?What’stheir interpretation of a timely response? Do theyunderstandthedifferencebetween a Facebook profile, page and group? If MODERN MARKETING Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial summer-season kickoff, is less than eight weeks away. Chances are you’re spring cleaning your bathhouses with a keen eye to the day-to-daycleaningproceduresthatyou will implement in high-season, giving your maintenance equipment a good going-over with the intention of sched- uling routine maintenance duties, and sizing up your incoming seasonal staff with operational needs in mind. Evanne Schmarder As a savvy outdoor hospitality busi- ness owner, you know that this pre- planning is critical to your guests’ satisfaction and your business’ success. Each of these practices is tangible. If a floor isn’t mopped, you know it; if the grassisn’tmowed,it’sobvious;ifyouput a staff member in the wrong position, your guests will make that abundantly clear.Butwhataboutless-visibleactions thatplayalargepartindrivingbusiness? For this discussion, I’m talking about digital marketing. The Long Haul Measurable digital marketing results, bothsuccessfulandthosethatmisstheir mark, take time to develop. Successful programsrequiregoalsetting,planning, skillful implementation — and a rigor- ous measurement system. As I reviewed, tallied, and parsed survey responses to the recently re- leased Digital Marketing Benchmark Study for Outdoor Hospitality, a pat- tern emerged. Respondents have a digital marketing presence — some more robust than others — and they see potential in the platforms. The disconnect, however, is in program design and implementation. Digital marketing “overwhelm” is common in many small-to-medium- sized operations. There are only so many hours in a day and only so much bandwidth that even the most talented entrepreneur can muster. As a park owner/operator you must choose where your time and talents will have the most impact. I’m guessing it isn’t at the computer, probing Facebook or creating a lovely little email template. Get Some Good Help Sure, you could muddle through a plumbing mishap or an electrical issue —butisn’titmorecost-effectivetobring someone in that has the expertise you Barreling down a mountainside like a runaway freight train, one of the most promising camping seasons in many years will be upon us in no time at all. Key Attributes to Look for in a Digital Marketing Partner 8 - April 2017 Woodall’s Campground Management Modern Marketing – continued on page 32