Wonderful Word of Mouth - Summer Camp Referral Strategy


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Developing your summer camp referral strategy

Summer camp marketing expert, Travis Allison, presented at the Northeast YMCA Camps Conference.

His topic: implementing the strategies outlined in John Jantsch's The Referral Engine for summer camps.

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  • \n
  • How do people choose a summer camp?\n
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  • emotional connection\n
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  • Given a Canon Rebel film camera for graduating from Uni. nothing fancy used it everyday at camp 2000 slides a year just for camp\nOne fall something happened that made me a Canon customer for life\n
  • working with a group in the fall, took my camera and clipped it off at the top of the Zipline pole while I worked. When I had a chance I would take a couple of pictures of people enjoying camp in the beautiful colours of fall. people had a great time, lots of magical camp moments and then they went home that Sunday \n
  • 2 weeks later I was packing for a trip home to see my family, had everything ready to go but found that my camera wasn't in my bag. This is the important part of the story: in that 2 weeks we had the tail end of a hurricane with torrential rain and 30 mph winds\nbefore I left to go I put on my harness, climbed up the pole and grabbed my camera. It has never stopped working\nI was a professional photographer. I use only Canon products\n\n
  • do you think I’ve told that story to?\n
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  • referred customers are better customers, better understanding of your camp, \nhave a social responsibility to referrer, lifetime value of a customer is unlimited when you factor in referrals\n
  • referring is a process that fires of receptors in your Hypothalamus\npleasure in doing good and getting recognized, sense of belonging\nsocial drive/need to make referrals\n
  • human survival tactic, builds credit in referrers community, deeply satisfying\nasking for a referral just allows others the satisfaction of being a resource to others\n
  • when I turned 28 I decided to do something I'd dreamed of for my whole life\nI saved up and had my kilt made\n
  • beautiful, Allison tartan, very proud.\nspend $1200 to have formal wear that will last me for the rest of my life\nafter I picked up my kilt I rushed home and got it out of the bag: GRAVIS Allison\n
  • when we got married 2 years I need to have my kilt adjusted. uncomfortable about it but proud that with a lot of hardwork I had quit smoking after almost 15 years. Went to the counter at the Scottish Shop: sheepishly told them that I had gained 40 pounds and needed to have my kilt resized\nimage this scene: me in store full of people, embarrassed to ask to have my kilt altered and this wee Scottish lady yelling out "Ye Got FAT"\n
  • do you think I’ve told that story to?\n
  • surprise them; make them feel good about themselves; you need a complete camp experience excites, delights and surprises customer, then they will talk about you\n\n
  • Seth Godin quote: If the marketplace isnt' talking about you, there is a reason. The reason is that you're boring.\ninterviewed Seth for CampHacker.org: When you look at your camp and say "We couldn't be WEIRDER" then you are starting to be remarkable\n
  • Referred customers will factor value into decision, get out of competing on price\nhave social proof\nif you are referred as the best possible choice people will expect to pay more\n
  • Book to give away + 2 free brand audits\n
  • of marketing\n
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  • Show you a video\n
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  • low cost: on your blog, FB , YouTube\nie Hubspot.com: new free downlaodable pdf weekely\nwhy\nget past built in sales resistance, build trust, show that you are an expert in child care\n
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  • put your marketing where they are - not interruption but an added value\nwrite/produce video to draw people in\nsales 2ndary or maybe even unnecessary\n
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  • customer chooses to be in contact with you\n
  • CampHacker blog, CampHacker podcast, email newsletter, new video show with Scott Arizala,\nSetting up Camp Pros group on FB, even sharing camp ideas on pinterest\n
  • CampHacker blog, CampHacker podcast, email newsletter, new video show with Scott Arizala,\nSetting up Camp Pros group on FB, even sharing camp ideas on pinterest\n
  • CampHacker blog, CampHacker podcast, email newsletter, new video show with Scott Arizala,\nSetting up Camp Pros group on FB, even sharing camp ideas on pinterest\n
  • CampHacker blog, CampHacker podcast, email newsletter, new video show with Scott Arizala,\nSetting up Camp Pros group on FB, even sharing camp ideas on pinterest\n
  • CampHacker blog, CampHacker podcast, email newsletter, new video show with Scott Arizala,\nSetting up Camp Pros group on FB, even sharing camp ideas on pinterest\n
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  • natural for camp people\ncreate communities for your families: FB Pages, Pinterest Board, Tumblr blog for teens\n
  • NOT SALES-y remember offline: in-city clothing donation drive, Christmas tree choosing party\n
  • of marketing\n
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  • What does that mean? These are steps along the path to becoming a camp family\n
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  • online, at camp, in communication\n
  • don’t need to be all for everyone but find someone who\n\n
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  • goods, $\n
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  • to get to know us\n
  • use website to set yourself apart, project openness\n10 things on YouTube\nNewsletter to know how you will make it easy for a camper to come to camp\n
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  • part of this step, too\n
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  • free report: benefits of summer camp; ACA + CCA research\nHow-to checklist: prepare your child for first night of camp\nOnline seminar: new parent's orientation; prevent missing home through great parenting\n\n
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  • run a "day at camp" in a community centre 2ce a year\nPut out a highlight video of your biggest event: campfire, talent show, white water lesson\ntraditional: slideshows with staff present , teach a silly song or chant, game\nLow risk trial: wknd at camp\n
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  • great orientation: parents; kids; multimedia; Opening day checklist\nreminder or personal call the week before camp\n
  • create a people you need to know booklet that can be printed out: director, head counsellor, nurse, kitchen manager, admininstrator\none for parents and one for kids\nlaminate and hand out as soon as get onsite\n
  • or session\n
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  • - what sessions are at the next skill level - how to know if your child is ready to move from instructional to competitive swimming - best practices of camp parents - when to start to talk about going to camp - what age\n- Camp buying calendar\n
  • seek feedback\nonline form\ncalls\n
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  • make it easy\nhave a system\ncustomer marketing board\n
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  • what happens next? who to contact with questions, how to get the most of your child's camp experience? be funny - a great vacation with out your kids, What we need from you to get started, What you must send us and when, How to resolve problems, our referral expectations, guarantees, what they can expect if we don't perform as promised\n
  • give them something extra\n
  • gift certificate to wash and fold b/c kids laundry will be too much for your machine at once\nSend a note with "have a great school year" and a pack of pencil crayons\ngive them a free car wash after driving up the dusty camp road on closing day\n
  • Confirmation letter +\nsend a picture of the staff on the 1st day of training, letter from their counsellor BEFORE they come, picture of child at camp, follow-up a week after they get home\n
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  • movie passes, flowers, include in brainstorming, exclusive gatherings for Champs, introduce to your strategic partners, send them links of things that interest them or will help them in their business, feature their testimonial in your marketing material, give them free or low-cost camp programs, take a bunch out to lunch - let them network with each other, use camp for free: lunches, anniversaries, fundraisers\n
  • Personalized Referral Cards, when submitted we know it comes from them; gift certificates that they can hand out, special offers that they only find out about when they refer, Exclusive bring-a-friend events (Women's weekends, week of camp), personalised landing page\n
  • someone says you're incredible, when they send you in a testimonial, when you get 1 referral ask for more, When their child leaves camp, When they do refer\ncall and ask them WHY\nStaff bonuses for referrals they ask for\n
  • When they do refer\ncall and ask them WHY\n\n
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  • Wonderful Word of Mouth - Summer Camp Referral Strategy

    1. 1. WonderfulWord of Mouth Text Building your Strategy
    2. 2. choosing camp
    3. 3. wom
    4. 4. connection
    5. 5. looks fun
    6. 6. looks safe
    7. 7. inspires confidence
    8. 8. maximize both
    9. 9. a Canon guy for life
    10. 10. how many people?
    11. 11. build a system
    12. 12. why care about wom?
    13. 13. how does it work?
    14. 14. makes me itchy
    15. 15. the other side
    16. 16. rest of my life
    17. 17. 2 years later
    18. 18. how many people?
    19. 19. be worthy
    20. 20. seth godin
    21. 21. why care 2.0
    22. 22. john jantsch
    23. 23. 4 c’s
    24. 24. content
    25. 25. context
    26. 26. connection
    27. 27. community
    28. 28. Scandinavian Air
    29. 29. content
    30. 30. education marketing
    31. 31. context
    32. 32. where they need
    33. 33. connection
    34. 34. when, where, how
    35. 35. community
    36. 36. natural for us
    37. 37. do something special
    38. 38. ideal customer lifecycle
    39. 39. know
    40. 40. like
    41. 41. try
    42. 42. buy
    43. 43. repeat
    44. 44. refer
    45. 45. get to know us
    46. 46. 1st impression
    47. 47. ideal customer
    48. 48. 1+ kids
    49. 49. engages your staff
    50. 50. volunteers
    51. 51. donates
    52. 52. already referring
    53. 53. brings people to camp
    54. 54. find more of him/her
    55. 55. get to like us
    56. 56. path
    57. 57. educate
    58. 58. come to trust us
    59. 59. educate
    60. 60. communicate WHY
    61. 61. wombomb
    62. 62. try something
    63. 63. give them a sample
    64. 64. wombomb #2
    65. 65. buy camp
    66. 66. talkable
    67. 67. wombomb #3
    68. 68. repeat next year
    69. 69. get the most out of camp
    70. 70. wombomb #4
    71. 71. get their ideas
    72. 72. refer to a friend
    73. 73. make it easy
    74. 74. system
    75. 75. bill of rights
    76. 76. exceed expectations
    77. 77. wombomb #5
    78. 78. communicate
    79. 79. reward champs
    80. 80. wombomb #6
    81. 81. equip them
    82. 82. when can I ask?
    83. 83. always ask why
    84. 84. questions?
    85. 85. zoic.ca/CampPros
    86. 86. www.camphacker.org @camphacker travis@walkingmaverick.comtravis allison