Is Your Marketing Real?

The holiday season starts next week with the Thanksgiving holiday; actually it starts the Wednesday night before thanksgiving – the biggest drinking night of the year.

I hope you have a super special cosmic edition going on Wednesday night. The college kids will be back home, the high school kids will be out in full force and the one thing they have in common is: they are looking for something to do.

Your bowling center is a perfect fit…if you tell them what you have to offer. I hope you have planned this weekend out.

Beyond the holiday weekend, the Christmas break will be upon you with opportunities to market your center and bring new people in and invite old customers back.

Whether you open Christmas Day at 4pm, or not at all, is your choice. But many centers report excellent traffic after 4pm or 5pm. I won’t push you one way or the other. It is a religious holiday and you must do what your conscience tells you.

However, with the “traffic season” upon you, now is the time to make sure that your January short season [programs are up and ready to be sold in house to open play bowlers as well as league bowlers. 

From have a ball programs to 8 for 8 or 10 for 10 leagues to couples, company and premium leagues, your offerings should and MUST be available by this coming Friday morning.

So without naming what leagues/short season programs to run – here’s a 12 POINT CHECKLIST of questions that you should review to see if they pass the criteria to unveil them

1.   Who are you trying to target?
2.   Is this what your target wants and have you found this out by speaking to existing customers, new customers, a survey on line or do YOU just think it’s a good idea? You may be king of the jungle at your center, but if the target market has never given you any indication of the likelihood of buying “your idea,” you’re a dead duck. Even AFLAC can’t help you!!
3.   What are the goals?
4.   What do you want them to do and when?
5.   How will you measure its success?
6.   How long before you will throw your hands in the air and say it’s not working and move to something else?
7.   How will you promote it? C’mon in center selling is Ok, but there’s at least 6 other ways that you can make it happen.  Emailing campaign, incentives to employees, outside selling, traditional media, Facebook campaign, You Tube videos, etc.  What do you think would happen if you did it all? 
8.   How much time and money are you prepared to spend on it? (Oh, you hadn’t planned to spend ANY money? Well, you might as well get a magic lamp and start rubbing!)
9.   Who gets the final say on what you will roll out? Hint: let the people who are closest to the customer decide and that includes snack bar people, bar tenders, desk people, mechanics and maintenance people. YES, them!!
10.     Who will champion EACH cause?   Establish teams and team leaders even if you only have three employees.
11.     Who believes in it enough to make it happen and work on it as “their project?”
12.     If this program, does take off, what is your next step for this short season program?

But if you do it the same old way, “put a flyer on the settee or control desk”, you’ll get the same old results and then you will call me to say the industry is going to hell in a hand basket and I will, of course, respectfully disagree.

Do Your Homework First Before You Roll It Out.  It’s Cheaper To Spend Some Time On This Process Than Just Roll It Out.

Here’s another 7 POINT CHECKLIST for your fliers:

1.   Always put the benefit in the headline and no the headline is not “happy lanes new mixed league” “Here’s How To Get Out Of The House, Break Away From Boredom And Do Something Fun And Different With Friends.”  Now that’s a benefit!!
2.   Benefits in the copy; heres what you’ll get (emotions, emotions)
3.   Photos of people bowling
4.   Testimonials of people who had a good time at your center
5.   Guarantees (“after the 1st week, if you have no fun, we will give you your money back 100% guaranteed.)”  Just set up your 10 week league as an 11 week league or state that the first week is FREE.
6.   Action; what do you want me to do? Should I call? Should I email should I text? What do you want me to do and by when?
7.   Your name on the bottom with a logo and map, preferably in the lower left corner

If you follow this tried and true guideline, you may be surprised at the results.
Very happily surprised. 🙂

About Fred Kaplowitz
Marketing is in my DNA. I love to solve problems and meet challenges head on and I have successfully produced results for hundreds of clients. I love what I do and love helping to make my clients more successful and happier. I am a husband and father, consultant, a coach, a teacher, a motivator, a copy- writer, and a speaker. I look forward to working with anyone searching for a proven methodology out of mediocrity. May I assist you in taking your business to the next level. Please call me now @ 516 359 4874 to review your business goals and strategies.

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