b'MODERN MARKETINGThe Current Crisis is No Time to Cut Back on Marketing EffortsThere are myriad marketing avenues Alignyourselfwithbusinessesto that benefit both businesses, the com-you can and should be using. Identify take advantage of economies of scale. munity, and the industry.andunderstandyourtargetmarket Take time away from the operation toEvannethen work to reach them from several brainstorm businesses that benefit your Deliver Valueangles. The goal is not only to be om- customer base. If you belong to a cham- WhatarethetopconsiderationsSchmarder nipresent but to be understood. ber of commerce or similar association, when a potential guest chooses a get- Local chamber, visitor center, and look to them to help you identify possi- away? Certainly, location and activitiesstate association: Build strong relation- ble partners and contacts. If you are ac- but at its essence, its very likely twoships with those that have mutual in- tiveintheorganization,youmay salient points: finances and meaningfulThe real question here is can your terests.Thesecustomer-forward alreadyhaveacatalogtopullfrom. experiences. You must strive to providebusiness afford not to market your of- organizations can help you reach new Once youve developed a list, contact incredible value for your guests hard-ferings? In economic slumps marketing markets via brochure distribution, re- them, making sure you reach the deci- earned dollars.budgets tend to be near the top of the ferral programs, links, print ads, fea- sion-makers and present a proposal. Positionyourselfasavalue-richcut list. That kind of thinking may get turedvideosontheirwebsite,and Someobviouspartnersarelocal service provider.you into trouble. Rather than severely more. restaurants and attractions, RV service Become a place guests are eager tocurtailing your marketing budget, wait-Email program: Still a valuable mar- providers, fuel/propane stations, gro- visit and can afford to return to againing for good times to return, you must keting outlet, email is cost-effective and ceryandmealdeliveryservices,ice and again. Whether your campgroundmarket smarter, market to a more tar- driven by you, your messaging and your creamshops,petservicesincluding is a major destination with activities,geted group, and market in new and objectives. This relationship-building grooming, food, and vets, mailbox serv- amenities, and a full-fledged resort at-imaginative ways to sustain demand tool should be well planned out. De- ices, computer service providers, bicy- mosphere or a clean, convenient stopand drive long-term success. velop a quarterly email-marketing plan cle rentals and repair, etc. along the way, first impressions assignBetween pent-up demand and the complete with delivery days, focused Considerthelessobviousbut value. At the very least, value equalsaffordability an RV/camping vacation messagesandmeasurablegoals.It equally as viable. Business partnerships sparkling clean restrooms, a neat andoffers,long-timeguestsandnew shouldconsistofacombinationof might include service training for stafftidy park, friendly staff, and easy to ma-prospects are looking at your park. The quickemailblastsandnewsye- you provide an off-site facility and your neuver campsites. But what else canfutureevenwiththesetbackof newsletters. Repurpose this content on staff participates in the classes, market- you offer that is not costly but mattersCOVID-19is bright. Yet this is no rea- your website and social media chan- ing or other professional mentoring as to your guests?son to rest on your marketing laurels. nels. needed in exchange for a stay at your Top of the list is relationship building.Smart modern marketers will recognizeReferral programs: Some of your park, hosting job fairs and recruiting Thismeansafriendlyandefficienteconomy-inducedchangesincon- best advocates are satisfied customers. programs in similar, service-related in- check-in experience and genuine staffsumerbehaviorandseizeuponthis What types of incentives can you offer dustries, co-op advertising, even prod- interaction throughout their stay. Re-unique opportunity. them to return to and promote your uct sample distribution programs. member,friendsdobusinesswithpark? From a frequent visitor rewards Another way to partner is with your friends.Actions Add Up card, to word-of-mouth stay and mer- community. Becomeinvolvedwith Travelers appreciate local tips. Every-There is no magic marketing bullet chandise bonuses, to public recogni- fundraisersandeventsponsorships. thing from the best gas prices, to thethatwillmakeyourparkrecession- tion, the small cost of this programYourlocalfireandrescueproviders farmers market, to the most reliable me-proof.Itsawiseanddiversemixof even if you only get a few referrals per would be delighted to come to your chanic can be of great value to your guest.many, many small actions culminating yearcan pay large dividends over time. park to present a program in exchange Build your services (such as Wi-Fi) intoin an effective, holistic marketing pro- for fundraising. Schools are always in- thesitefee. Thenickel-and-dimeap-gram that can move the needle. Engineer Partnerships terested in putting on fundraisers by proach creates an unpleasant, detrimen-Seek out a wide variety of ways to Now is the time to partner with other flipping burgers, an instant activity for tal feeling, even if guests can afford it.reach your customer base. Some may businesses to achieve a mutual objec- your guests. You might even offer yourcost a few bucks, others may cost only tive. Whether you initiate contact or are facilities for school functions or sport- Marketing Really Mattersyourtime.Reinforceyourmessage, asked to partner, the benefits of a savvy ing events. Slashing a marketing budget mightagain and again, get out there and get partnership, both inside and outside of The list is endless. With a little imag- be less painful than other cost-cuttingheard. the industry, can drive awareness. ination, you can develop partnerships measures but do not be penny wise andpound foolish. Though it might help thebottom line today, your future businesswill suffer. Catch-up might be impossi-ble. There is no question that we havehurdles to overcome. If possible, ratherthan gutting your marketing budget, re-allocate it to meet todays challengesand youll thrive tomorrow.Want to know more about mar-keting your RV park or campgroundonline? Evanne Schmarder, princi-pal and founder of the RV industry-specificdigitalmarketingfirmRoadabode Production, has a newbook to help you do just that. Mar-keting YourRVPark/CampgroundOnline is available as an ebook atyour favorite online bookseller or inprint at Amazon.com. WCM8 -June 2020 Woodalls Campground Management'