We asked Brett Larimer, Executive Director of Brand Development at Skyhawks Sports Academy, what new technology tools she is using to reach customers.
Marketing is all about relationship management. It’s getting in front of people, drawing them in enough to establish a connection, and then maintaining that connection so it blossoms into a strong, mutually beneficial relationship. When it comes to marketing, working in the youth sports industry presents a unique challenge. Not only must we compete for the attention of parents or guardians, we must also earn their trust that we will take good care of their children and deliver a safe, positive experience. The best way to streamline that process is by investing in the right technology to meet our customers’ needs.
We previously accomplished this with countless paper flyers sent through school districts or parks and recreation offices. However, times have changed. Even flyers are making the move into the digital landscape. There are now a handful of digital flyer solutions that streamline the process of creating assets, get them approved by the organization, and then deliver them right into the inbox of parents. We no longer worry about a paper flyer getting lost in a crumpled ball in the bottom of little Sally’s backpack. There is now a direct line to parents and guardians through a source they already trust: their child’s school. The added benefit is that they can simply click on the link to register, and the customer is brought right to our website, where they have all the information they need at their fingertips in a matter of seconds.
The other technology pivot we have made, which you see many brands doing now, is investing in SMS messaging tools. This is especially important for customer retention. This is not blowing up their phones with daily messages. Instead, occasionally reaching out by text with a personalized message can help move your customers from what we like to call “sort of fans” to “super fans.”
As the age of parents moves from Gen X to Millennials and even Gen Z, we see customer service needs shifting from phone calls to direct messages and emails. The same can be said with marketing, as shifting to SMS messages can add a powerful new tool to your marketing mix that meets your customers where they already are – on their phone. Incorporating a personalized touch will also make them feel special and appreciated by your brand. It pays to take the extra step to show your customers you value them. Maintaining that relationship with them through continued contact is key.
Ultimately, there is no singular tech tool that’s going to do all the work. You have to constantly try new ideas, track your results, understand the data, adjust course, and try again. Doing a combination of these things will not only help you get in front of your customers, it also will help maintain and continue your relationship so they keep coming back to your brand for more.