b'MODERN MARKETINGInfluence Mapping: A Valuable Decision-Making ToolFollowing the formation of an idea or dream, its time to learn more about the possibilities. Its usually friends and family orEvanne other reliable sources that provide a starting point, a direction. SchmarderIve been a fan of Rand Fishkin for ahowpeoplelearnaboutandengageWhat problem are you solving? making process.long time, even before we shared a stagewith your space and your marketing willWe are lucky. The problems we aim toThey are looking for help to under-at an RV Dealers Association event inbe far more effective.solve and the opportunities we muststand the players in the field and the Las Vegas some time ago. Influencer Mapping seeks to under- make a difference are, for the most part,product specifics of which to be aware. You might know him from his days asstand the problem your business is aim- fun. Our guests and potential customersIn our case, this might mean types of the co-founder and former CEO of SEO- ing to solve and reach those interested inchoose an outdoor hospitality experi- RVs,manufacturers,dealers,rental Moz. In 2018 he started SparkToro, ansolving it in the most logical and obviousence for several reasons. In the days ofcompanies, sites, utilities, and hook-ups everymans software product for marketways. It has four phases: problem identi- Covid-19,theymightbeseekingtheavailable in parks, typical park facilities research. With his years of experience infication, brand awareness or becomingsafety of their own bubble, their RV.and amenities, the social structure of a the digital marketing realm, it is a sureaware of the possibilities, deeper educa- Some love to be among others and lookparks guests and location.bet that he knows his stuff. tion and seeking a solution. Each phaseto your park as a way to enjoy qualityThis information, along with images Thats why I was so surprised to readhastwocomponents:theprospectsfriends and family time and create tra- on social media platforms, rate and site about a marketing framework that hethought process (whats running throughditions. Others want the quiet of nature,map pages on your website, and a circle recently stumbled upon and generouslytheir heads) and the sources that influ- looking for the opportunity to spendback to their trusted friends and family, shared,InfluencerMapping.Hede- ence that process (peer-to-peer, reviews,time in an inspiring environment. Andwill bring the prospect closer to making scribes it in simple terms: Understandsocial media, etc.). lets not forget about the group that sim- a decision.ply loves outdoor activities and is look- Thought Process: We are a family of ingforsituationstoexpandtheirfour. What size camper and vehicle will connections, hike, paddle, play sportswe need? What do we want to see and and enjoy a cookout at every meal. do? How long will it take to get there, Id be remiss not to mention travelinghow long can we stay and how much workers, digital nomads, or those driv- will it cost? Can we make that happen?ing from point A to point B, needing aSources of Influence: forums, review safe and convenient place to park forsites, social media platforms, park web-the night. Their problems are more sim- sites (specifically rate, site map and ac-ilar than different. tivity/facility pages), friends and family. Take a moment to think of each of theSeeking a solution: Once convinced groups you are aiming to attract. Whatthat the outdoor hospitality life is for problems are you trying to solve? Thethem, the dreamer is ready to turn into first step, the problem discovery phase,a doer. They are thrilled to be on track begins with a gee, it would be great to to bring their idea to life. Theyre lookingor an I want, need, like toRegard- to find a camper, map a route, and book less of your vacation strategy, Im surea stay. This is their moment of truth. you can relate. Once an idea or conceptThey are looking for confirmation that begins to form, we look to others to shedthey are making the right choice.light on or validate our thoughts.Thought Process: Should we buy a ThoughtProcess: Iwouldlovetoused or new camper? Are seasonal stays enjoy weekends outdoors, with my fam- or short excursions for us? What steps ily, somewhere that we can all be at ease.do we need to take to make this a real-Sources of Influence: friends, family,ity? I think that you are the park for me, news sources, seeing RVs or parks whileam I right? Id like to come to stay with on the road.you on these dates. Is that possible? Becoming aware of the possibilities:Sources of Influence: testimonials, Following the formation of an idea orreviews, website, social media presence dream, its time to learn more about theand park responsiveness. possibilities.ItsusuallyfriendsandMapping it out family or other reliable sources that pro- The premise is deceptively simple: vide a starting point, a direction.whataretheirdreams,howdothey This fact-finding stage exposes thebegin the journey, where do they gather prospect to whats out there. Are othersinformation and what encourages them doing it? What are their experiences?to come to a decision?What are the possibilities and pitfalls?Not just an exercise to read about, In-What equipment is needed and howfluence Mapping should be put into can that be obtained? In our case, re- writing, kept in your marketing plan file search may be done in a geographicand used as a guide to determine how area. and where best to reach your prospects. Thought Process: Wow, we couldCompare it with your customer avatars spend time at different parks in my stateand merge it with your content plan. but always in our own home on wheels.Review it regularly. People do it, how can we?By paying close attention to your spe-Sources of Influence: search engines,cific audiences needs and influences, blogs, websites, YouTube, Instagram, etc. you can meet them where they are and Diggingdeeper,gettingcloser:Attellthemwhyyourparkistheright this point, our prospective problemchoice. And that, my modern marketing solver has become very interested infriends, is marketing in a nutshell. understanding how to make this idea come to life. Theyve become investedEvanne Schmarder, a longtime WCM in the idea and are looking for a deeperModernMarketingcolumnistand understanding of the mechanics neces- principal at Roadabode Productions, sary. While a general Google search de- will soon be releasing the second book livered an overview, a more targetedin her Marketing Your RV Park/Camp-search will help them flesh out the de- ground Online series. Details to follow tailsnecessarytostartthedecision- at roadabode.comWCM8 April 2022 Woodalls Campground Magazine'