How would I market a business where most customers only come back once?
I'm helping a business think up ways to market their stunt driving experience business. It costs nearly nearly $300 for the most expensive package, but there are two other cheaper options. This is kind of expensive for four hours of entertainment, but it's a huge rush for people. This is something a customer does once, typically. However, the company offers advanced stunt driving, too, in case customers want to come back to learn how to do new stunts. I think the cost is the same, but I don't know for sure.
That should tell you basically how the business works. How would one market such a business? It needs to be new sales, mostly, because repeats are probably hard to come by. In Canada, the company has plenty of business and it took it 2-3 years to build the business up to where it is today. The company has had events in Dallas for a year, I think, but they're not getting as many customers as they'd hoped. They've had the most success with groupon-type promotions, I think.
What are some good ways to promote a business like this?
Thanks so much for your help.
Have they tried discounts for referring new customers? Since it sounds like most of their business is based on new customers, any way they can encourage others to refer new customers would be a great way to grow their business. Also, I would explore ways to serve existing customers. Can they offer lower cost services and get people coming back? The offer to learn new stunts sounds great. Can they expand on this? It's always easier to sell to existing customers than new ones.
Sky diving seems to market their product in a couple different ways that Prove work. One: they sell the full experience offering Videos, Photos, and Courses. Bringing something back home to show the Facebook friends, and family is a great way to influence new customers. Two: Gift certificates. Just like a store. One of the best gifts you can give is the gift of a new experience. Check out http://www.skydiving.com/, they have a similar market to fill, and seem to do a good job of it.
Referrals are always a good option, in addition to various BOGO offers, such as buy one, get 50% off for a friend. The Richard Perry Experience in Vegas does copious amounts of coupons in all the publications and coupon books out there.
Connect with event planners, especially wedding planners. A side referral as an option for a bachelor party would be great.
I would suggest that they think of the customer as less of a one-time sale than as an evangelist for future sales and perhaps fuel that. Undoubtedly this already happens informally where the customer goes and tells their friends that they just had a once in a lifetime experience. Are there things that the customer takes with them to help tell that story more impactfully? I would guess they get a video of their drive? Perhaps the company could make use of inexpensive digital printing (that doesn’t look inexpensive) by giving the customer a classy feeling small, hardbound book that is 90% generic to the business, but several photographs of the customer driving are incorporated that makes each book actually feel personalized to the customer. In effect it is like a brochure for the business, but it feels like a keepsake and the customer is less likely to throw it away. Ideally a few of the customer’s friends are going to want that book. In order to incorporate the customer’s photos, the book would need to be sent a week or two later, but that’s good. It becomes a follow up piece that will send the customer off talking about their experience again.
Other ideas would be to incent the customer to enlist a friend. Perhaps they get money off on their second drive, or perhaps partnerships could be forged with other, relevant businesses. Refer a friend and get 20% off a tune up or accessories for their car at a local partner business.
The marketing approach for selling big ticket items, such as you have mentioned, require a bit of creativity and a different type of tactic compared to something like retail sales. I am the marketing director for an upscale home builder and obviously I cannot expect repeat business anytime soon.
So Brian, you would first need to do some basic research and inquiring to discover exactly who your target market is for the stunt driving experience. With the prices that you detailed, I would assume that you would be looking at those with disposable income; so let's say a middle-age demographic. Secondly, we can probably make the assumption that such an experience could be appealing to both sexes and that opens up some good marketing options. Third, you want to know the extent to the area that you want to do market within. Once you know who your target market is, then it's time get creative.
Luckily middle age males tend to have disposable income and are willing to make more expensive purchases for thrill seeking experiences. Run with that. Develop visually captivating advertising for use at specific local businesses such as gyms, sports bars, outdoors supply shops. An interesting angle to approach with advertising would be to promote the stunt driving experience as the perfect gift to give a husband or boyfriend. "Don't know what to get him? Try an experience unlike any other!" Try to correspond unique deals with holidays like Valentine's Day and provide special packaging that can be gifted. With that, don't forget about our adventurous ladies out there. If you are going to do special offers, then providing a ladies day with discounts could prove to be quite advantageous.
You can also contact your more popular local newspaper or magazine and provide one of their reporters with a free experience for a published article. Having an article will almost always beat out an advertisement on marketing effectiveness. Because we have become accustomed to being bombarded...(too many B's) by ads, we have the natural tendency to visually and mentally skip over advertisements in publications. An article is also more effective because anyone can toot their own horn about how great their product or service is, but it is something entirely different when someone else is the one speaking of how spectacular it is.
I also suggest utilizing an online marketing campaign because word-of-mouth is going to be very critical for big ticket purchases, especially when it comes to non-tangible services. Use the business website if they have one, if not, get set up soon and social media can be a magnificent tool. Now I say this with a GIANT WARNING; "Social media marketing DOES NOT mean using as many social media platforms as you can find." Certain social media sites are useful in certain types of marketing campaigns and the same platforms are not always productive for businesses in the same industry. What works for Company A shouldn't automatically be assumed will work for Company B. As I always say, your website is your home...your main place of residence. It is the place that your customers can always find you. Your various social media platforms in your campaign are like your beach home, your condo in Florida, your boat house, and so on. They are only extensions of your main website and should be used as tools...not as the entire workshop. Post a first-person-view of the stunt driving experience to build the excitement, be sure to use a lot of photos, and get pictures of customers right after the experience to capture their rush of adrenaline.
I hope that this answered some questions of yours, and if at the least, it provided you with some creative ideas to go forward with. Just know your customers and how they think, then you can sell them anything.
Have you tried corporate clients as gift to staff? Since it is "once a life time" experience, individual may not buy due to the cost factor. You may want to consider running trade shows to help boost your presence as well.
I would be happy to work with you on a direct marketing campaign -- postal, email, phone or any multichannel combination -- to help drive traffic to your events. Campaigns driven around the holidays, Fathers Day, Graduation, etc. would be ideal.
Referrals. Let those customers come back as well just work on the referrals (but you have to ensure you make their experience thrilling, enjoyable and memorable.
I would agree with Kyle and Hazel.
You are in a niche market, so I do not think price is an issue (especially in the US with a 300 millions consumers market. There are a lot of sport driving experience (formula, Ferrari, Porsche...) that are more costly in smaller markets (especially here in France) and seem to work.
So if I was their communications director, I would try a three fold approach :
Corporate or package (smartbox or equivalent) is definitively a way to explore as your activity can make a very surprising gift.
Then I would explore the journalists. You are on a very specific activity that appeal to car or driving connoisseur. So a press trip with a selected group of journalists (car, entertainment...) could get you some very positive cover in media read by driving fans .
And I would also explore the endorsement : As you are talking about stunts, try to have a well known Hollywood stunt man and use him as a reference. If he could be present when you do your press trip, this would even increase the leverage of your operation.
Finally always remember you are in a niche market (not one of a single try customers) and you then need specific programs or actions, do not spend money on mass media, that would be a waste of budget and time. And of course, all this applies to both On Line and Off line media.
Wish you the best and a great Thanksgiving.
Actually to me it sounds pretty cheap for 4 hours of excitement. I have threw away 300 bucks on a lot less many times but the problem here is if YOU think it is expensive then your marketing reflects that. So get it in your head that it is a GREAT VALUE and an EXPERIENCE you will want to tell your friends about.
This just begs for video, I am sure you make videos for all your customers so do a daily highlights video and put it on you tube and make sure you start with action, then do short interviews with the customers (nothing sells as good as a testimonial).If you don't already do it put cameras in the cars to capture your customers experience from not only outside the car but from inside too.
Post these everywhere, get the local newscaster to come out for a free ride and they can film and show it on the news.
This sounds like a fun product to market, I would even do some local stunt shows for free at local tracks just for the advertising value. There is a world of ways to market this. Revel in it, its rare not to have to sell a boring product like most of us!
Sounds like a fun business.
You need to first understand the target customers or buyer personas. The more you understand who and why they buying this service, the easier it will be to implement a strategy coupled with the right tactics to reach your goals.
For a business like this, every customers experience is an opportunity to capture content and leverage the social networks they each have.
Without knowing enough about the business I would do a campaign that records every customers experience. Use a go pro in the car or something and when the customer is done, provide a link to the video that they can share with their social networks. Add some type of referral incentive to encourage them to promote it more. Customers will love sharing their video.
This is just one strategy.
Would love to work on this with you as it's right in our niche.
Give me a shout and we could talk it through more if you like.
Simply run a promotional package for the first group of customers who patronize the product and if possible introduce an 'after sales' service in addition to the promotion. I believe this will encourage and motivate people to increase your turnover.
I find delivering "Added value" with ongoing options Help my consultancy practice. On completion of a project I always offer existing clients short ongoing telephone or short email advice for no charge. These short exchanges often develop into fresh assignments.
My friend has a resturant she often invites old customers for free early evening snacks and a glass of wine. This cost is off set by those who stay and eat for the evening and good will from those who return at a later date.
To Give is to receive.
You have a few options...1. Increase Customer Value
This is where you offer upsells and cross -sells to your customers (this is of course while they are in the process of booking a stunt driving lesson. Think if McDonald's.) Ask people if they want to upgrade to the xyz package for only x amount more. Offer pictures, videos.
2. Network With Other Businesses in Related Industries
You promote me and I promote you type of thing. Think about sky diving, bungee jumping, rock climbing, paragliding, etc.. I'm not familiar with this niche, but you want to align yourself with other types of businesses your target audience are likely to frequent.
3. Set Up Booths at Trade Events
There are all kinds of trade events year round. Find the ones you're likely to see your target audience frequent and set up a booth.
4. I'm assuming this is a big establishment. If that's the case, they should turn a room into a meeting place or a place where people can book for banquets, birthday parties, etc.. They could even have parties centered around stunt driving lessons for everyone in the party. This will get the business ultimately more customers.
5. This company should be getting their customer's email addresses at the very least. This way you can email them of special events.
You really got to think outside the box on this one.
How about a 5 touch greeting card campaign including a thank you, birthday, holiday, and 2 or more promotional cards through out the year? Gifts can be included with the cards. And incentives for referrals.
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