The Three Knows: Part Two

Last issue, we talked about the Three Knows for Marketing, and how these three elements are important to developing compelling and effective materials for your camp. We also discussed the concept of Holistic Branding — everything you do should contribute to creating an impression and the right one. The Three Knows, combined with Holistic Branding, give your marketing a one-two punch: A keen message and strong marketing materials, designed to work together, will resonate better with your audience than slip-shod and inconsistent materials.

Camp Tango

Let’s take a look at the materials for our hypothetical camp, Camp Tango.

Camp Tango understands the importance of their website in attracting new campers and their families. This is why they had their website redesigned by a professional design company. Their original site had been designed seven years ago. It was nice, but it was more a “web presence” than an integrated interactive web site. It had a home page, a few pages of pictures, and a page with a brief listing of activities, with a brief description.

It was not very impressive, but it was more than a lot of camps had, and they were happy with it.

But things change. As time went by, Camp Tango saw many other camps taking advantage of the Internet. It soon became apparent their old web site was not the great thing it once was; while it was fine at first, it was a bit of an embarrassment now. They began to feel they were losing campers to camps who showcased themselves with more advanced web sites.

A New Web Site

So Camp Tango set out to upgrade their site.

They understood their message had to reach both the parent and the child, and their new web site would need to accomplish both jobs simultaneously.

It was decided the new website would be both dynamic and interactive. This was accomplished by the inclusion of an in-site video, highlighting the fun and excitement of the previous summer. The video was an exciting addition to the website, and a strong one: a good video would give the viewer the chance to see the camp the way they wanted them to see it. It would be a strong way to let the site visitor experience the camp before ever visiting the grounds of the camp.

They also upgraded all of the photos on the site by hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of the camp at the same time as the video shoot was happening. While it cost a little bit more that way, they knew they were getting wonderful images they would be able to use in various materials for years to come. (It’s always a good idea to update your photo images every few years).

They added a page with testimonials from past campers, who loved the experience and were happy to tell everyone about it (perhaps the only thing as compelling as strong pictures and text are strong testimonials from satisfied customers).

But the people at Camp Tango also understood all the videos in the world would not be enough to convince concerned parents about the safety of their kids. So on the new website, they included an entire page devoted to the facilities of the camps infirmary, as well as details about the camp nursing staff: full color pictures of the infirmary and the medical staff showed Camp Tango took safety seriously.

And all over the web site, the camp reinforced this message, with constant reminders of the low camper/counselor ratios, the experience of the staff, and the fine record of safety at Camp Tango.

Instead of simply having a contact page with an address and phone number, they added a contact form. When the contact form was filled out, the family was placed on the camp’s mailing list and additional information would be immediately mailed out from the camp office.

They also integrated a special “back-office system,” which would allow them to track the progress of potential campers as they moved through the system. This system integrated seamlessly into the new website and allowed the camp office to follow each inquiry from first contact and follow up, all the way through to alumnae. They found it a great way to keep track of the inquiries, and to see how many inquiries lead to actual enrollments.

And gathering names in this way also allowed Camp Tango to stay in touch with families, even if they did not enroll in the camp for that summer. They could now create a file of families who expressed an interest in Camp Tango, but did not attend that particular season. In the past, these contacts were ignored or discarded; now they had a valuable system for contacting people who had already expressed a strong interest in their camp.

Camp Tango’s Brochure

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  1. Part Two – Getting The Picture
  2. Staff Marketing
  3. Designing Your Marketing Budget
  4. The Power of the Postcard
  5. Brave New World of Marketing
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