For the entertainment and recreation industry, boring, unfocused, or “status quo” marketing just doesn’t cut it anymore. If you’re marketing to the general population without speaking or appealing to the decision makers for your particular business, you could be wasting your precious advertising dollars. Knowing who your decision makers are, what their motivations are, and how to motivate them is key to growing your business and attracting more (and new) customers.
Target Market Defined
Who Are Your Users, Decision Makers, and Influencers?
There are three types of audiences for the entertainment and recreation industry, and it’s critical that you identify and understand each one for your business.
Let’s take a look at each one:
These are the people your business caters to or serves a purpose for. For example, a petting zoo’s users may primarily be children between the ages of two and 10 while a bowling alley’s cosmic night has users that are teenagers and young adults. This may further break down to specifics such as young families on a vacation, middle aged couples, or students of a specific college. Most brands choose to target these individuals or demographics when designing their marketing campaigns.
Sometimes, just knowing your users is largely ineffective, especially when the business targets children or teens. Instead, you need to look at who really makes the decision on where to go or who pays for the admission. For some, decision makers may be the same as the users. However, when it comes to families, the breakdown of which member holds which role within the household is a bit harder to decide. While a teenager with an allowance may decide to go to a movie, a father may override his teen’s decision. So how do you appeal to both groups?
Influencers also play a large role in the decision making process. For instance, let’s look at the petting zoo option again. The user may be two to 10 years old, however Moms may be the ultimate decision makers. Now, put your brain to work. Who else influences this decision? Maybe during the summer or holidays, grandparents do. Or maybe Dad influences it. We also can’t forget about other Moms that might encourage/discourage this decision. Therefore, we can see from this example that there can be many different influencers.
Understanding Your Target Audience Motivation
The user, decision maker, and influencer all play a huge role for your business, and knowing how and why they individually make (or influence) decisions is essential. While the decision maker may be only swayed by overall price and potential discounts, the user may respond well to flashy advertising with lots of videos and the influencer may want to read reviews or have a pamphlet mailed to them.
It’s also important to know when to target your customer. For example, an amusement park may start to see a ramp up when school lets out, but it may die down in the middle of summer when it’s considered “too hot” for your market. The influencer and the user may just find the idea of thrill rides exciting enough to want to go. However, the decision maker concerned about logistics will ultimately make the judgment call on if it is too hot or not.
Marketing towards the user and influencer would have been a waste of advertising money when the real targeted audience budget should be spent on educating parents on shaded lines, waterpark rides, or cooling stations.
This is just one example of many. Hopefully it starts to spell out why all three roles are important, but that the decision maker can’t ever be ignored in your marketing decision.
How to Combine Target Audience and Marketing
Once you understand who falls in each category for your unique brand, it is time to position your marketing angle in a way that will reach them the best. Motivation will play a huge factor in this. That same parent making the judgment call on if their family will go to the amusement park may be best swayed by education about the park through brochures, mailers, or an interactive social media component.
Influencers, in particular, can be cost-conscious. For them, knowing that the entertainment or recreation choice is not costing too much money will help them sway the decision maker. Offering coupons and discounts through trusted value sites such as Valpak’s local and travel coupons can hit what motivates most people: the bottom line.
When it comes to reaching audiences over the noise of other competitors, take a look at your convenience and location, in addition to the offer. Sometimes it isn’t just the deal or the price, especially when it comes to the less price conscious user. If a large mini golf center attracts more overall customers, offer community nights for those in a certain area code. The influencer, who may be paying for gas or driving to the center, may be more willing to try your business because the message was locality rather than discount or seasonality.
When reevaluating marketing strategies to better suit your audience, you should start by looking at past and current marketing efforts, specifically the response and results.
From there, break down who your user, influencer, and decision maker is by studying their buying behaviors, thought processes, and wants versus needs. Knowing what marketing avenues are available to you and which will reach your audience will help you better target the customers that matter.