We see this dance every year. It begins in late July when operators realize that football starts in two weeks and they haven’t done anything to market for it.
We hear, “Not really a big deal because we are always busy during football season, so there is no reason to add the strain and expense of marketing for it.”
Then the season ends with a thump, especially if your local team didn’t do well, and suddenly it’s winter and it slows waaaaay down.
It’s a classic error to not make the connection between your busiest times and the slowest. You may have heard the adage: the easiest customer to get is the one that is already in your building. It’s a cliché because it’s true. The key to ‘year round’ marketing your business is to ensure you turn your strongest revenue periods into a campaign to inform guests about what you do the remainder of the year.
This is especially true if you rely on sports to drive traffic. You can’t assume that your guests know all the programming you buy, promotions you offer or events you have planned. By leveraging their presence you can make them aware of your full calendar upping the chance they will return after the football season so over.
Five ways to leverage your busy times to boost your slow times
- Be aggressive about collecting email addresses. You will likely experience your highest new guest traffic during football. This means lots of new connections you can make and email is by far the most effective/efficient.
- Pick a program. Each week pick an upcoming program for your team to focus on and share with guests. This is about finding the conversation each guest wants to engage in with you. If you are buying the NBA League Pass, promote that fact so guests who are NBA fans know well in advance yours is the place to be for those games.
- Press your Loyalty Program. The more guests you can convert, the more easily you can make calls to action. Everyone likes being an insider and your loyalty program is the way to deliver that feeling of exclusivity.
- Be responsive to guest viewing requests. If it takes you forever to change a TV at a guest request, then you are doing damage for later. They need to trust that you both have what they want to view as well as you are willing to quickly accommodate that request. Now is the time to gain the trust and loyalty of your most avid sports fans.
- Ask your guests’ opinion. When you’re busy is the best time to learn how your guests feel about your place. The more folks you can engage about your performance, the more likely the feedback will be valid and worthy of addressing it.
The four months from September to the end of the year are by far the most important marketing period of your entire year. If you are slow and promoting, you are likely too late to make any real impact. However, when you are busy, you have the optimal circumstances to share your message and convince your guests that they need more of you in their lives.
No matter whether it’s building a UFC following or implementing a fantasy NBA promotion, take advantage of your traffic to ensure you guests are informed and your programs succeed.