Mystery, Magic, or Marketing?

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The AEMP (Advertising Entertainment Marketing and Promotion) is a real magical Witch’s Pot of humbug, bull dust, weird theories and fluff. This Witch’s Pot (AEMP) can cost your club anything up to 14% of total revenue, with the average club AEMP would be around the 8 to 10% subject to what items a club may choose to include.  There is little point in a club benchmarking AEMP against another club’s Witch’s Pot, as there is no agreed formula and can result in different outcomes for each club.

What do clubs include in their AEMP?

  • Courtesy Bus
  • Entertainment
  • Loyalty and Rewards Programs
  • Exclusive Members Draws
  • Membership Discount on Food, Drinks and Entertainment
  • Marketing Collateral including Posters, Coasters and Table topper Advertising
  • Electronic Billboards
  • Website, Social Media and E-Newsletter
  • Customer Service Training
  • Cultural Development

Some of these expenses fall into what we call “sacred cows” that I’ve spoken and written about before. Things that we keep doing because we have always done them, irrespective of the fact they cost money and generate no revenue.  What I really wanted to talk about in this article is marketing itself and the part it plays in your club.

What is Hospitality Marketing?

I believe marketing is at the core, perfecting a product for which there is an identifiable and profitable need to an identifiable market.  This market is excited and motivated to buy your product at a profit to you.

The world is full of products that nobody wants and there are many products and services sold in the club environment for which no profit is made.  Many clubs realised this during COVID-19 when we were all worried about making a profit.  They had to cut back on spend and did not do many of the AEMP things that they usually do.  These things had become habits, because they had always done them and now they realise they do not need them.  When they stopped or removed many of the above mentioned AEMP activities, they made a handsome profit by saving money on all these sacred cows.

Anyone can sell stuff when you are giving away or selling it ridiculously cheap; that’s not good business, particularly in the club context where you are using members’ money to subsidise a minority.

If marketing is about matching the product with a need, how does this translate to clubland?  There are clubs and marketing personnel who have been, and still do, spend inordinate amounts of time and money promoting various products and spend little time ensuring that the product is right and there is a profitable market need.

It’s an old but true saying that if you provide a good product with good service you don’t need to spend money on marketing, your customers will market it for you.  This is particularly the case in today’s digital and social media environment where customers will praise or denigrate your product with their reviews, photographs and articles on Facebook, Instagram, Google and Trip Advisor just to mention a few.  A great example is Club Pine Rivers who put their Google reviews front and centre on their homepage.

If you read the feedback on these platforms you will quickly realise that many businesses, including clubs, are spending money promoting a product that they have not perfected.  Marketing will not overcome a poor product or service, in other words your marketing AEMP Witch’s Pot will not turn a pig’s ear into a silk purse.

To help you concoct the right spell for your AEMP Witch’s Pot here are some basics of club marketing and promotion you need to be considering:

  1. Has the product or service you are promoting being tested in the marketplace?
  2. Have you researched the buyers of the product so you can target market; is it less cost and more effective?
  3. Prepare a budget of the marketing or promotional costs against revenue profit required to cover the marketing or promotional cost, plus profit.
  4. If you can measure your marketing or promotional campaign, why are you not doing it?
  5. Is the campaign different enough to cut through the information jungle that we all live in today?
  6. Even the best marketing campaigns are only effective when they attract the customer’s attention and excite them into action.
  7. Marketing and promotions are not about providing a lot of information, they are about motivating customers to follow a certain course and make a purchase decision (the information can come later).
  8. Marketing and promotions should also be designed so that customers will be so delighted they will market our product for us.
  9. Always review a campaign and record the successes and failures for future campaigns.
  10. Marketing and promotional campaigns are far more effective when developed with group dynamics (brainstorming and thinktanks).  Do not assume your way is the right way, feedback is always valuable.
  11. Remember successful marketing is measured by how many times you challenged convention and won, not by how many times you did what you always do without measuring its effectiveness.

Have you checked the ingredients of your marketing AEMP Witch’s Pot recently?
Is it achieving the marketing magic that you want? DWS have got some great proven marketing potions of their own which we would be happy to share with you, so why not enquire as to how we can help you to perfect your marketing strategies and outcomes to achieve success for you club.

If you’ve had any great marketing successes or failures I’d love to hear them, John Dickson  0417 721 942.

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