“What’s happening to the industry, Fred? What will it be like, now that Brunswick is out of the retail part of the business, Fred? “When will we see the bottom of league attrition, Fred?” “When will my cosmic get good again? I used to have 175 people here every Friday and Saturday night. Now I have 47…both nights, Fred.
As I traveled around the country this fall meeting and consulting with many new clients, these questions and worries became more apparent. In fact, they became pervasive
So I tried to calm their worries and suggested that they start to wade into the marketing pool. Not jump in with both feet, off of the 20 ft. diving board, but just begin to do a little wading and start giving the customer what he wants.
Take a cosmic example. I know you have probably cut back on what you offer, cut back on some payroll, maybe even cut back or postponed some capital improvements to replace some burned out lights or upgrade some old ones and even tried to charge a little bit more.
But the consumer is no longer stupid. He wants what he wants. And he wants more value otherwise he will go to one of the many other entertainment options that offer a better value and more fun.
So go back to what brought you to the dance. Get that great MC or DJ. Give away prizes for red head pins trikes, trivia contests dance contests. Give away ITunes gift cards, funny noses, rubber chickens, t shirts, free game passes, $25 gift cards, food vouchers and funny hats. Maybe even hire a band. Or host an “open mike” night. Or host an acapella group singing Christmas songs for the holidays from a local college.
If you’re still charging $12 or $15 for cosmic bowling, offering burned out lights, funky sound system and unfriendly “age challenged” person at the desk, is it any wonder these younger people aren't coming back?
‘Cause here’s the deal. The consumer, especially the 18 to 25 yr. old consumer wants to have “More Fun. More Choices. And More Value. ALL THE TIME.”
So it’s time to wade into the marketing pool. Time to get off the beach and give the new marketing a try.
Here’s one clue.
Emailing and sending out Facebook posts are NOT the panacea you may think it is. Only 1 out of 10 or 12 people even open up your email. And Facebook is a scrolling billboard. Not all your Facebook friends see everything you post all the time.
You need more communication. TV is still the most popular. Why do you think so many network and cable TV shows sell out? Because nobody is watching? Radio sells out in morning drive and pm drive in many markets. Because nobody is listening?
I tell them to stop looking for JUST ONE thing to be their magic elixir, but to understand that it takes many, many pills to get better…and some of those pills aren't always free.
Time to maybe get some help, if you’re stuck. Maybe a course in digital marketing. Or read some articles. Or go to more seminars.
Time to find out how to develop an integrated marketing campaign that includes old media, new media, digital media and social media. Time to offer a better product at a value centered price.
And then you can do it again, but louder. And larger.
It's easy to be afraid of taking a plunge, because plunging can be dangerous.
And worrying, well, that just keeps you on the beach doing nothing at all. It may be safe, but it isn't going to change anything.
Wading, on the other hand, gets you off the beach. It gives you a chance to begin.
Up. Off the beach. Stick your toes in. Ready, set, go!!