Recent industry reports indicate that 3 out of 4 bowling centers in this country spend the lion’s share of their marketing budget developing fliers for in center use to be distributed to customers that are coming there anyway!!
As an industry we spend very little on trying to retain and grow existing customers and even less on NEW ones.
Moreover, the over riding objective of our industry model is to grow bowlers from non bowlers to casual open play bowlers to mini league bowlers and hopefully to competitive bowlers.
We all work very hard trying to convince the open play bowler to “Join Up” and get involved in a structured weekly or every other week short season or traditional season program.
No doubt you are doing this right now as you implement your summer league programs.
But should you? Should you really be doing the same old thing even in today’s helter skelter economic environment of high gas prices, high food prices, declining home sales and deafening calls to shrink our $14 trillion dollar debt…or raise the debt ceiling limit?
Maybe, there is a large niche out there that is just looking to knock some pins, down, drink some beer on a hot night and hang out with some friends.
And that is all they want. No league; no structure; no averages; just fun.
If you can identify these people, then you can market to them and just maybe they will fill the gaps in your revenue model that a declining league base has created.
Here’s a suggestion on “HOW TO identify that niche and get those people to raise their hands.”
Start with a face book ad (budget $50 per day for 7 days per offer (two test offers would cost you $750 and three test offers would cost you $1,050) offering a family and friends special; you know, a special hourly fun program; then follow that up with an email to your entire open play data base telling them of the offer AND one special added value offer as well.
Now in both face book and emails, test different “added value”offers such as:
1.bring this coupon in and get $10 off in open play bowling
2.get 1 hour of free bowling with 1 hour of paid bowling
3.get a free pizza with 2 hours of bowling
4.no offer, just your 2 hour specials
Which one pulled better? And that is, (at least until you test other offers against the winner) the offer you should be shouting from the roof tops!!!