Okay, let's figure it out.
First, all my questions and thoughts assume talking to customers. Numbers are for analysts and they're all in jail now.
1) Who are customers for ski instruction?
b) Light blue intermediates wanting to improve
c) Dark blue intermediates wanting to improve
2) What is the message? Well, first of all, the message for a beginner is not the same as the message for a blue/black intermediate. In order to be successful selling lessons, we must identify the "must have" reason for each customer type and focus our campaign around that message. The message, becomes our business.
3) How will we sell our lessons?
Simple enough. Or is it? Advertisements are difficult/impossible to track and very expensive. I'd take another approach to build momentum, then add advertising later.
B) Word of mouth marketing
Very-very important. Our marketing program must be central to customers telling other customers. Customers, are our best sales people.
Then, we do have a sales force in place - ski instructors. Let's mobilize them and get them to sell our product. One idea. Have instructors ride the lifts. "Hi, I'm Steve, great to meet you. Here's a voucher for a ski lesson..."
C) Partnering with ski manufacturers
"Buy Head skis and get 5 free lessons from any Vail Resorts area".
D) Co-op marketing with other ski areas? Maybe, but later on. I liked this one more, a few weeks ago. Now, I'm not so crazy about it.
Small ski areas will feel the affects and be able to ride the coat tails of the "big guys" marketing. Like, if company A is spending bazillions to tell people about their widgets, any company offering the same product benefits from their marketing.
4) Okay, we sold some lessons. How do we get them to come back for more; develop long term customers?
Well, one way is to constantly communicate with them. If a customer signs-up for a lesson, we have their address and email address.
These same customers should recieve email newsletters from us. "Hi there. We'd like you to meet our newest employee, Mike Smith. Mike has taught skiing for years and really loves to teach".
The communications should be littered with testimonials.
So there you go![ May 15, 2002, 03:25 PM: Message edited by: SCSA ]