What Is Marketing?

Marketing is the process of matching what your club offers with what various customers want. It’s about selecting the most attractive and relevant features and communicating these consistently to your current and importantly your potential customers.  

Marketing is a planned approach to ‘selling’ and all sporting clubs have something to offer  e.g. great facilities, a family-friendly environment, on-field success, experienced coaches, professional management…. Importantly the brand/messages you create need to be consistent with what customers are likely to experience.

Getting Started  

Identify what aspects of your club ‘sell’ – what’s in the brand, and your current image
Determine what different customers may be interested in e.g. potential sponsor vs potential members and the ‘selling points’ for different member types 
Look at the different ways to communicate the brand messages 

Information from Bowls Australia Club Support

The most important ingredient of any club is its members.  Clubs can’t rely on prospective members to simply arrive at their club anymore.  Clubs need to use marketing techniques to attract new members and to engage in ongoing communication with them to ensure they are receiving the services they expect.

With society changing at a faster pace than ever before people have become more focused on time and the use of their valuable leisure periods.  With entertainment and un-structured sports gaining popularity at the expense of traditional participation in sports, clubs have had to adapt and become far more proactive in promoting to the next group of members.

Through the development of a marketing plan, a club can segment the market into different groups based on demographics and identify a target market of people they want to attract. An effective marketing campaign can then be created that speaks to the needs of the target group.

Although marketing can be perceived to be expensive with no guarantee of an immediate return in revenue, it is important in the modern day, just as in all business, that clubs set aside some money specifically for marketing.

Effective marketing and communication can attract new members and retain existing members at your club. 

The more people who know about your club, the more opportunities that might come your club’s way. Marketing and communication initiatives are also a good way to acknowledge and thank club volunteers, members, sponsors and other community partners.

Effective communication means both doing more with less, but also ensuring your messages are being seen and heard by the appropriate audiences.

There are a number of ways to deliver these messages, including the club website, event presentations, meetings, noticeboards, newsletters, emails, SMS, media releases, local and community newspapers and radio, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other community forums.

The key is for communication to be regular, and not just interacting with your members.  Engage with prospective members by ensuring your local community is aware of your club and its activities.

Another important consideration is for the club to meet the needs of all their customers (WHO = members, guests and visitors) by understanding WHAT people want to know about, and the WHEN and HOW they want to receive that information. This is particularly important when needing to deliver messages to customers about events, competitions, facilities or club announcements.

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