Traditional word of mouth marketing in rec

Although we have returned to somewhat normal operation, we are reminded of the tactics and trends we used before COVID. This includes some “old school” tactics that continue to have a huge impact on entertainment marketing efforts. I’m talking about word of mouth marketing, the type of traditional “tell your friends” strategy that is vital in any marketing plan.

According to a 2014 Nielsen report, 92% of consumers trust the recommendation of friends and family over all other forms of advertising. What does this mean for recreation? This means that building brand advocates from passionate members could mean more gym memberships, more comprehensive classes and programs, and spark new interests.

Some marketers call it “referral marketing,” but I much prefer the basic version: a street team. By creating a street team, you can “foster the goodwill and energy that already exists … make brand users feel like part of the brand family,” as Justin shared. Kirby and Paul Marsden in Connected Marketing: The Viral, Buzz and Word of Mount Revolution. Providing enthusiastic members a job as a member of a street team provides a way for them to share all the great experiences they have had in your establishment, answer questions and generally promote your programs. It’s even better if you give them a loot to hand out to grab the attention of the regular student.

Confused about how to create a street team to fully utilize the power of word of mouth marketing? Here are several steps to get you started:

Applications and interviews

Not all gym goers will be suitable for your team. You need to make sure they have the skills for the gig. When accepting applicants, I look for things such as past leisure experiences, opportunities that involve teamwork, communication, and initiative, and applicants who can think on their feet during an interview. I appreciate members who can use common sense to find an answer to a question or how to go about finding it.

Education about programs and services

I want my team to know about our programs because they are the “face” of our institution when they are on campus with our information booth. To ensure that they are up to date on our offers, we have implemented protocols:

  1. First of all, all of our members should know and study our quarterly magazine Rec Guide who has the offers of the quarter. This is their bible and by the end of their first week they know exactly which pages to find answers to common questions.
  2. Second, I strongly suggest that all members of the street team follow our social media accounts. The more they interact with our programs and information, the more likely they are to remember it.
  3. Finally, I meet the whole team at least once a month to review administrative elements, answer questions, brainstorm ideas for interactive booths / displays, and provide professional development so they can continue to grow in their role.

Teamwork in Word of mouth marketing

Since the street team will most likely be under minimal supervision when depositing on campus, it is important that they build trust and teamwork with each other from the start. During our monthly meetings, we work on it through:

  • Team building games
  • Mini competitions
  • Group presentations
  • Attend interviews when we need to hire more hands

I have found that when they trust each other, they hold each other accountable for doing their jobs, showing up on time, and helping each other cover each other’s shifts when things are going on. the last minute.

Learn from them

As current students, the street team know what resonates well with their peers and what doesn’t. Let them tell you how they want to get their information.

For example, the street team found that the students wanted to take pictures of the flyer rather than taking one. Based on their recommendations, we started sending flyers to students instead of handing out physical papers. This allows us to print less, which is good for the environment. Students also receive information about our events and services in the desired format. In addition, it allows us to maintain social distancing and minimal physical contact.

ADDITIONAL CREDIT: Discover the top 2021 digital marketing trends according to Ashley Demshki.

When deciding where to go for a shift, I let the team tell me which places on campus are busy and at what times. From there, I create a schedule focused on those peak times on campus. We’re also testing new locations and times, and after the shift the team gives me feedback through an online feedback form. This allows me to see what adjustments need to be made for the future.

Whether you’re at lunchtime, occupying a table in residents’ rooms at night, or representing your recreation at a staff / faculty benefits fair, having boots on the ground in an effort to the base is a sure way to get more visibility and referrals to your establishment.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

About Deborah Wilson

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