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A marketing campaign - means to move forward - Part 2

Marketing 101 - Part 2: A marketing campaign - means to move forward

Many groups have discussed or been involved in efforts to generate a "marketing" campaign.

I would like to try to lay out a process where non-profit recreation groups can change their current strategy (or on-going efforts) in order to become more effective.

Marketing is getting your name/logo recognized in a broad segment of the market. As such, a successful campaign attains name recognition outside their field. The entire marketing aspect encompasses two different aspects: individual members and businesses.

That requires a two prong marketing strategy. One geared to individual members and one geared to supporting business members.

Okay, so what? We already have that. But, we are not effective at either effort.

A lot of time in spent on individual membership issues and I will not dwell on that effort as that requires a different marketing approach. However, it is a critical component of a successful marketing campaign.

My focus will be on the supporting business membership aspects.

For the sake of a starting point, let us say that Organization Broken Winch intends to increase name recognition as a major advocate for recreation. A measure of knowing that they are succeeding is they attain name recognition outside the traditional 4x4/OHV community.

From that perspective, you need to address two market segments: traditional partners and non-traditional partners.

In Marketing 101 - Part 1, the “traditional” partners were covered.

In Marketing 101 - Part 2, will cover the concept of "non-traditional" partners as potential supporting business membership.

Non-traditional partners is a more difficult segment to identify.

For a definition of "traditional partner", included are the manufactures and suppliers of the aftermarket products purchased for use with motorized vehicles, including tow rigs (trucks/RVs) and trailers as well as the 4x4 vehicles driven on the trail. In other words, if a product is used as direct support for recreation activity on the trail, it is a traditional partner.

The definition of "non-traditional partner" does expand upon the direct use to a broader scope. Where the traditional partner would provide the essential elements for motorized recreation, the non-traditional partner would provide that rest of what is used during participation in a motorized recreation activity.

For example, campgrounds, business associations, Chamber of Commerce, other recreation oriented organizations, and other non-recreation organizations are examples of non-traditional partners.

Another example spans the general interest of the 4x4 recreationist. Across the membership spectrum, there are a variety of interests. While everyone is centered around the 4x4 as a core interest, there are others that are interested in prospecting/rock hounding, water sports, snow sports, camping, fishing, hunting and a long list of other recreation activities.

These activities share some common elements. They require a motor vehicle as part of the recreation activity or as a means to get to where the activity is to happen. And, they share a common interest in access to public lands.

The prospectors/rock hounds may not be interested in a 4x4 trail ride from the social aspect. However, they do share a common interest in having a 4x4 capable of reaching some remote places not accessible in a passenger car. And, they are interested in keeping public lands open.

Another non-traditional partner would be the association of junk yard owners. Many recreationists have older vehicles and spend considerable time searching junk yards for just the right part for their current project.

Addressing the non-traditional partner entails a different approach than the traditional partner. The effort is increased and the pay-back is harder to quantify. The end result can be significant.

As with traditional partners, marketing efforts start with data that describes your membership base in terms of demographic profiles that describe the products your members use and the importance of the non-traditional partner to the overall recreation experience of their membership.

That strategy needs to articulate a shared vision and values that are complementary to each others overall goals.

To achieve this, a marketing presence is needed at selected sportsman shows where your name is associated with supporting their goals and the potential benefit of collaborating in some fashion.

Your presence there should be supported by:

1. Marketing/Media Kit that describes Organization Broken Winch, its membership base, and its efforts to promote motorized recreation. And, why Organization Broken Winch is important to the business owner as a part of their strategy to grow their profit line.

2. The strategy needs to recognize ALL member companies promoting them prominently on a sign in your booth. In addition, your membership base needs to be promoted to display its geographic diversity and strength in numbers.

3. The strategy needs to encompass the common vision and goals.

With non-traditional partners, the show attendance approach should be approached with caution. They should not be ruled out as there are significant benefits to be achieved.

For example, attending a Good Sam or Family Motor Coach Association rally could result in increased individual membership. There are many jeeps used for light-duty 4x4 recreation that are being towed behind motorhomes.

The opportunities are there. There is a need to have a commitment to explore the possibilities.
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