10 - May 2018 Woodall’s Campground Management MODERN MARKETING Evanne Schmarder It’s a recurrent issue for many parks across the country — and a frustrating one at that. For these business owners, customers plug the park’s address into Google or Apple Maps — and wind up on a bumpy road to nowhere. Perhaps your challenge is directing customers to the proper entrance of your establish- ment, perhaps the storage facility versus check-in. And what activity or rec director has not had the experience of missinganeventparticipantonlytolearn that the once-enthusiastic guest could not find the meeting place. Big fail. A cheeky London start-up called what3words, five years in the making, aims to turn the world’s addressing system on its head — and it’s a boon for outdoor hospitality and recreation owners and operators. What is What3words? What3words is a genius system that offers searchable navigation and pin- point accuracy both on- and offline.The company has divided the world — yes, the entire globe — into 57 trillion three- meter squares and has given each square a unique (and randomly se- lected) 3word address. For example, Woodall’s Campground Management’s offices are at below.buyers.crowd.You’ll find Montana’s spectacular Grinnell Glacier Trailhead at amending.valleys. publication. The entrance to Tucson’s Voyager RV Resort is at unwritten. expose.brilliant. Digging deeper, my favorite RV site in Voyager is at jingling.classic.wedges. The platform engineers have cleverly designed the system so that similar what3word addresses are across the globe from one another. They use shorter words in higher density locations and longer words for less populated areas, including the ocean and desert. Additionally, the 3word addresses are fixed.They don’t and won’t change. Finding What3words Using a street address or point of interest, visit the what3words website map.what3words.com and enter your park’s information into the search box. If applicable, the site will present a selection of cities, towns and states related to the address. Click on the correct location and the 3word address will appear at the bottom of the page. You can view the 3word address via map or satellite and both can be zoomed in to find a specific location on or near the original 3words. Once zoomed and after the map pin is unlocked, you can move the map to locate the 3word address of your property’s features. AtVoyager RV Resort, a popular pick- leball court is at renaming.bulldozed. hairdo and after a long day players con- gregate in the palm frond-covered hot tub at octaves.poetry.limitless. The pro shop in front of the 9-hole golf course can be found at lengthen.jaunt.gangs, while weekend softball games take place at singles.gushy.held. Some of these facilities have street addresses, others do not. Change of Address Being able to “drill down” — provid- ing precise map navigation for specific locations on your property — could be a useful tool. On the other hand, some- times the word combinations can be a little off-putting. As noted earlier, the 3word addresses are fixed and cannot be changed. There are a couple ways to work around this. Typically, a park driveway, storage entrance, business office or amenity is larger than 3-meter-by- 3meter (approximately 32 square feet). What3words Addresses the Entire World with Unique Phrases To see neighboring 3word addresses visit theMapworks what3wordsintegra- tion page (developer.mapworks.io/de- velopers/examples/what3words-integr ation), enter the 3word address, click on “Go” and ask to “Show Surrounding Words.” A nifty grid will appear where a (perhaps) more pleasing 3word address can be chosen. Your other option is to zoom in on the satellite image and, with the pin unlocked, move the map around the area (showing a 3-meter-by-3meter grid) until a suitable 3word address is found. If that is not satisfactory, the idea of helping customers navigate to a nearly exact location via custom link shorten- ing might be the answer.While it defeats the memorable, unique 3word address, it still delivers pinpoint accuracy. Bit.ly has been around for a very long time. Using the softball example, singles.gushy.held (which in URL lan- guage reads w3w.co/singles.gushy.held), you could change it to bit.ly/Voyager- Softball, helping promote the amenity/ facility and sending people to the exact location of a game. Using 3words While business owners can identify their business’ 3words via the website, travelers can take advantage of the free app, available for both iOS and Android. Like the website, the app displays both map and satellite imagery. Users can slide the pin to the desired location or use the 3word address to drop a pin. Once the desired location is pinpointed, it’s easy to send the GPS location to Google or Apple Maps (or other partner apps such as Navmii) and proceed accordingly. There’s also a free 3wordPhoto app that lets users add the 3word location of an image to share with friends and on social media. This could be modern marketing gold when it comes to promoting events, café specialties, theme week activities, site decorating contests, bike, boat or other equipment rentals, etc. Uses in the Park Setting The argument for using what3words for driving directions is strong, but there are a number of other important ways that you can put this technology to use in a recreational setting. • Local Guest Guide: Many outdoor hospitality providers offer a local guest guide, sharing the best of what an area has to offer. In addition to a street address and the possible frustration in locating a recommendation, consider suggesting the 3word address. • Activity, event or tour check-in: “Meet me at the shallow end of Frog Pond” might make sense to some, but confuse others. Identify the 3word address and use it as an exact meeting point for the start of an activity. •ScavengerHunt/Geocaching:Want to incorporate technology into an out- door adventure? Consider creating a hunt using 3words to direct players to locations. •TrailGuide: Create a trail guide with points of interest corresponding to 3word addresses. You might direct guests to flora and fauna, outdoor art, activity opportunities, etc. This could also be a terrific exercise to initiate new employees. What Three Words? No one wants to begin an outdoor getaway with a wrong turn. Whether what3words — both the mapping and the photo app — will catch on as first-world solutions to navigational ac- curacy remains to be seen, much like the emergence of any burgeoning digital platform. But one thing is for certain: getting lost is only fun if that’s the plan. Easily finding the way to something special, now that’s worth talking about. Like what you see in Modern Marketing? Stay abreast of the latest digital marketing trends for the outdoor recreation industry by sub- scribing to Schmarder’s bi-weekly trend digest Digital Marketing for the Outdoor Recreation Industry at www.roadabode.com. Ask her about her digital marketing/social media diagnostics and tune-ups, content strategy and marketing plans, and more at [email protected] or 702-460-9863. WCM Manufacturers of Quality Recreation FUNniture www.ParkEquipment.com 1-800-376-7897 2061 Sulphur Springs Rd Morristown, TN 37813