How to Market Your Camp on a Budget in the Age of Coronavirus

Sometimes people ask me what I think the single best way to market a camp is. I honestly don't know a  single best way.

Camper and counselor tubing at summer camp.

In my opinion, marketing works best when you have a number of strategies going at once. When you drop a single line in the ocean, you might catch a fish. When you drop five or six lines in, you have a better chance of catching your dream fish.

Now this doesn't mean you should start indiscriminately spending your money on every marketing idea that comes your way. Doing so could be a very painful financial lesson to learn! It's always nice to allocate a small portion of your marketing budget to good old fashioned experimentation, but a more efficient strategy in my opinion is to constantly test what works and what doesn't while sticking to your budget.

This is more important than ever in today's coronavirus environment. Maybe your camp isn't operating at full capacity right now, if you're even operating at all. In either case, you have virtually no margin for error. Every dollar you spend on marketing your camp must do the work of two.You need to get your marketing plan right the first time.

That's why it's so important to test. What works for one camp might not work as well for another. Various customers and prospects often respond differently to the same marketing message. Testing your marketing will help you determine what works and what doesn't. When you find something that works, double it. When your marketing investment does not produce the results you want, dump it. But there is no way to definitively determine the most effective marketing activities for your camp unless you test. As I have said before, if you're not testing, you're just guessing.

If you're like me, you probably like spending as little as possible on marketing your camp but getting big results from your small investment. The goal is to spend a little but gain a lot. So this might be a good time to revisit a post I wrote some time ago, "What if You Only Had $10 to Market Your Camp?' The post is 8 years old or so, but many of its principles are evergreen. I hope you will find some value in it.

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