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Thread: Marketing the club

  1. #1
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    Default Marketing the club

    Expenditure for last year on Marketing and PR was 0 and the average number of drivers per meeting fell last year - coincidence ? i don't think so



    whilst this drop can be attributed mainly to drivers and drivers spouses/partners giving birth it's still a cause for concern



    Whilst not wanting to take on the role of PR & Marketing for the club i'd like to suggest we think of effective ways in which we could market ourselves



    my suggestion is we target existing 'club' motorsports i.e. karting, hillclimb, trials, motocross, stock car, proddy bike racing etc. who's interest is fuelled by enthusiasm not cheque books



    i recently saw a powerboat club exhibiting at the 2008 Autosport Show at the N.E.C. and they said the level of interest surprised them (compared to the boat show which was a waste of time)and they had attracted converts to their sport from the motorsport industry - they had a big stall in a prime location and paid nearly 10K for it - other stands can be had for around 2K but it is a massive 4 day event with press, media and the industry present - i reckon in one hit we could recover falling numbers and get some worthy recognition for our sport



    other suggestions welcome



    Tony
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Marketing the club

    Have you thought of approaching "The discovery channel"



    Prhaps Mark Evans could be interested in " A hovercraft is born"



    It has all the elements,





    <ul type="square">[/list]
    A Hovercraft built from scratch

    A national racing series

    Tuition required before use (the training and licensing requirements)





    And obviously would need someone from the HCGB to be a technical advisor





    Mart
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Marketing the club

    Free ways:



    Get some videos loaded onto youtube. Wikipedia has a section for hovercrafts. We could expand the description about hobbyists to 'big up' the racing and cruising sides a bit.



    Keywords for this website, are the words 'motor racing events' etc used?



    Not so free ways:



    Maybe we can get into doing some 'demo' races at other motorsport events like grass track for example. This would obviously only be any good if there were significant spectators at that event and also if the drivers involved were re-imbursed for expenses.



    Maybe the club could help the branches with a marketing fund.



    Get the race control van sign written, 1200 miles a year on motorways is always good advertising. I know this has been discussed and budget pricing has been found, don't know how far its got though.



    Silly idea:



    Get Clive (Claire's hubby) to tow an advertising banner every time he goes flying!



    Just my 0.02p



    P.S. Tony you mentioned power boats, look what I did this weekend




  4. #4
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    Default Re: Marketing the club

    How about advertising in each regions local press,



    a one page advertisement one week before the weekends racing should make people notice the event.



    Some of the smaller local papers, may have cheaper advertising rates.







    mart



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    Default Re: Marketing the club

    The cost involved in advertising is ridiculous, I found that out when trying to get the Severn Treasure Hunt in our local rag. 450 for a half page ad! Even when I said it was for charity the reply was "well you can get the VAT back"! I ended up getting them to just do an editorial which isn't always as good (no space for pictures etc).



    At the moment the branch that puts on the race meeting looks after it completely. If it is a very small branch then the funds are not there to spend on sorting out advertising. This is why I suggest that the club has a marketing budget for each race meeting. Also if the branch is very small then they have enough to do to plan the event without having the added hassle of beavering away with the local press (they do require a lot of phone calls to take notice).



    Local press and local event websites are a good starting point though.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Marketing the club

    As Jon says - there are plenty of "free" ways to advertise using web sites. As far as press advertising is concerned you can try your local authority/council - most of them publish a 'what's on' newsletter and are usually glad to get some content. The local papers usually pick it up and re-print bits.



    How about giving a bumper/windscreen sticker to all members with the website address?




  7. #7
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    Default Re: Marketing the club

    Whilst no doubt I will be called "negative" again, the biggest reason the Club doesn't attract more members is because it's seen as a sport for eccentrics buiding machines in their sheds.

    And accept it, it's a fact!

    With money getting tight for many people again, the working man may not want to spend time and money building a craft to take part in inland racing events.

    The so called young professional with a bit more money won't want to self-build, he'll want to buy a sexy looking bit of kit.



    You shouldn't so much be looking to promote the Club, but to promote the use of light hovercraft.

    I own a hovercraft, I live next to a big river I can use it whenever I want so why do I need to be a member of the Club? So you can come and over-regulate everything I do?

    Do you offer me a discounted cruising insurance? No (not that it is a legal requirement to have it.) If there was a decent comprehensive policy covering theft then it would be worth having.

    Is there a calendar of numerous cruising events, overseas holidays etc? No.



    So the club only offers inland racing and that appeals to a minority of people who want the challenge of building their own craft.



    If I had the financial resources (and the HCGB does) I would market coastal racing/events to the boating world at regattas around the country. It would need the manufacturers to supply a particular craft for it and market it as a "buy a craft and take part" sport. Ideally with a club sponsored entry level craft such as F35. Provide 2 or 3 craft for people to try it out.



    We always said it had to look more professional with a direct way of getting into it rather than just homebuild.



    Where we went wrong was trying to appeal to Club members to take part in coastal events. We should have gone straight to the outside marketplace and bred it over 2 or 3 years. But hey, that takes time and money.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Marketing the club

    Simple Maths,



    If each member found one person who they thought would enjoy being part of the HCGB and persuaded them to attend a meeting, how many would become new members?

    This is how I came to be part of this club.

    Word of mouth and personal reccommendation is the most effective generator.

    How many people do you meet in an ordinary day that have no idea that; a) You drive a hovercraft,and b) How much fun you can have.






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