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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Who's Got the Best Summer Camp Marketing Advantage, Day Camps or Resident Camps?

I often hear resident camp folks lamenting the fact their camps are not local establishments. They think day camps have a marketing advantage over them because day camps serve local customers.

Well I am here to say even though "local marketing" is a popular buzzword these days, day camps DO NOT have any marketing advantage whatsoever over resident camps, assuming the resident camp marketer is an astute one.

Personally I would be drooling if I were a resident camp marketer. In general, a day camp only has a confined market area to draw from. Overnight camps have a worldwide market base. For every one prospect who might attend a day camp, resident camps have millions.

The one area day camps may APPEAR to a have a slight marketing advantage over day camps is the word-of-mouth aspect because groups of friends tend to live close to each other and hang out in person and talk and all that. But resident camps can overcome this with a strong social media presence and well-designed websites that appear in the top pages of search results and create warm, "homey" impressions of their camps and programs.

(If I ran a resident camp, one of the first things I'd do is design a "Meet the Camp Director" page with a video introducing myself and welcoming people to the page/site, my camp, etc. and I'd plaster that video all over the internet, too including on mommy blogger sites and other sites of influence.)

Did you know most Facebook fans of any given page are NOT locally based fans? Only 15% are. That means 85% of your Facebook fans live, and come from, everywhere just like your resident campers do. (This is not my opinion, it's a fact as reported in the Wall Street Journal.)

It just goes to show, where you are located makes no difference if you know what you're doing from a marketing standpoint and understand how to make your camp stand out from the crowd.

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