I just got an email message from an IRATE camp director who took issue with my post of earlier today (and other places in this blog) where I claimed you can actually CREATE word-of-mouth marketing by incentivising people to spread the word about your camp. I wish he’d stated his complaints in the comments section for everyone to see, but since he didn’t I assume he’s either too scared or ashamed to make his case publicly. (Or, if I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe he didn’t want to “embarrass” me publicly with his negative comments. But considering the attacking tone he took, I don’t think that’s the case…)
Anyway, out of respect for him, I’m not gonna reveal too many personal details other than tell you his name is Jeremy and he’s the “marketing director” for a sleepaway camp in Nevada.
I don’t feel like I need to defend myself, but to appease Jeremy and anyone else who feels like he does, I wanted to give you something to think about so you understand more about my position and the incredible opportunities available to you when you do your word-of-mouth marketing right.
I assume you run a phenomenal summer camp and you’re already getting your fare share of organic referrals. “Organic referrals” means they happen automatically without any prompting by you.
If you’re like me you probably think word-of-mouth marketing is the best kind of marketing you can get. It’s cheap, easy, credible and it works. Now if we agree on that, think about this:
What would happen if you tried to improve upon the word-of-mouth you’re already getting? Instead of waiting around for happy camp families to tell their friends about you, what if you put some effort into getting more referrals than you’re getting now? What if you DID prompt people to refer others? What if you figured out how to get your customers to tell their friends all about you?
Well you already know what would happen. You’d increase your referral rate dramatically and your enrollment would go sky high … all at practically no cost to you.
Think of it this way. If you designed a print ad for your camp and placed it in your local parenting magazine, and then you got tons of enrollment from that single ad, you’d run it again and again, right? Of course you would!
Same with word-of-mouth marketing. You can DESIGN your word-of-mouth marketing program so people refer others to your camp over and over. In fact if you do it the right way, you will never have to worry about getting new customers because your existing customers will do all your marketing for you. If every customer you have refers at least two or three other families, and you never break the chain, you will never run out of new customers and you’ll be sitting pretty all the way to the bank.
And that’s how word-of-mouth marketing works.
Got it, Jeremy?
I work in marketing for a camp out in Michigan, and I've been going backwards through your posts for the last week or so because I really appreciate your insight, and I have to tell you this made me laugh out loud! I totally agree with you by the way–I believe that the number one way our camp gets new campers is through the word of already satisfied parents/counselors/campers. Why not incentivize people to do so?
Thanks for posts!
Alyssa from Michigan
Thanks for your comment, Alyssa. Glad you got a laugh out of this! 🙂
And thank you for your continued help! I'm jealous your chilling in warm Cali and I got snow 2 days ago! haha