THE MARKETING PLAN
What is Marketing?
Simply stated, marketing is meeting customer wants and needs at
a profit. It is the total effort through public relations, direct
mail, advertising, promotions, group sales, trade shows and your
staff's community involvement to gain visitors. Depending on your
situation, competition and your overall objective, what you do to
"market" your park should change to reflect what has worked
and what has failed to produce results.
The Marketing Planning Process
Marketing planning is a systematic approach to identifying areas
of opportunity and formulating programs which are designed to keep
and develop current customers as well as bring new business to your
campground. These programs include facilities and services that
are based on customer needs as well as appropriate methods of identifying
and reaching those prospective customers.
The Planning Process can be reduced to five simple steps.
1. Situation Analysis
Research your campground's market, customers and competition.
Set realistic objectives and goals.
Develop marketing strategies that will enable you to meet your
Set aside adequate funds to meet your goals.
Carry out your strategies according to your predetermined
Monitor and evaluate your progress.
All of these steps combined bring you full circle, creating an
ongoing planning process. This process is outlined in the following
The Planning Process
1. Situation Analysis/Defining Your Dreams for
The Positioning Statement
The Positioning Statement lays the groundwork for an effective
Marketing Plan. It is developed by identifying your product
market and your customer wants and needs. Identify those facilities
and services you provide that differentiate your product from
your competition. You must identify these items both in strengths
and weaknesses. The following questions will aid you in writing
Who are you? How do your customers perceive you?
Do you have significant areas of opportunity you can capitalize
on? What are they? What is your niche?
What sets you apart from your competition?
Do you have weaknesses that can be turned into strengths?
Who is your most important customer?
What is the one thing your campers look for most that you
can offer or do not offer?
Please keep in mind the following three elements that form
a true positioning:
Positioning creates an image.
Positioning identifies the perceived benefits of the product
or service. Once these
have been defined, you can isolate those target markets that
will produce the greatest return.
The third essential element of the Positioning Statement
is that it differentiates your camp-resort from other campgrounds
in the area. The Positioning Statement should reflect opportunities,
target markets and the desired perception based on customer
needs and wants, customer benefits and the difference between
your camp-resort and the competition.
Where You Camp with Friends
Camp, Swim & Slide with Yogi
For the Best in Family Camping
Where You Camp for the Fun of It
Hey, Hey, Hey...We're Better than the Average Campground
Camping for Kids of All Ages
(Research, Fact Finding)
1. SITUATION ANALYSIS
Research, Fact Finding
The first step in preparing a marketing plan for your camp-resort
is understanding the important facts about your property, your
customers and your competitors.
This section helps you gather useful information about your
market area as well as identify target customers for new marketing
programs. It also helps you understand your competitors' strengths
and weaknesses. This analysis will allow you to identify facts
that affect your property's strengths, weaknesses, problems
Strengths - Those services and/or facilities which are unique
or performed well by your property.
Weaknesses - Those services and/or facilities which are not
at competitive levels.
Problems - Items that may prevent or interfere with the achievement
of your goals.
Opportunities - Methods by which strengths may be exploited.
General Market Facts - In your own words and based upon information
you have gathered, summarize your campground's market in the
Overall economic conditions, both local and regional; the
overall health of your local and/or regional area, travel
trends and visitation to area attractions.
Local attractions and major events. List all attractions
and events that affect or could affect your business.
Determine the accessibility to your camp-resort from major
Campground Description - In this section, give a brief description
of your camp-resort's facilities and services.
Describe your overall campground layout and list all capital
areas that if replaced, refurbished or available would allow
you to become more competitive. Also describe all improvements
made or to be made at your top competitors within the next year.
Demographic Profile of Your Customers
Define geographic areas that dominate your camper registrations.
A zip code summary of 300 randomly selected cards will supply
a reliable breakdown of where your customers are from.
Determine your park's visitor demographics by age, group
size, and locale (income).
Summarize visitation patterns: seasonal vs. daily, average
length of stay, occupancy rates, weekend vs. weekday, day-use,
repeat visitation, how long ago.
Review comment cards to determine customer satisfaction
level and identify reoccurring problems, compare to system
and other Jellystone Parks in state.
Assessment of Competition
List some reasons your campground is better or worse than your
What advantages and disadvantages do you have in relation to
Consider facilities, pricing, promotions and advertising strategies.
|List any new competitors coming into existence
within the next year which may change your competitive position.
Describe what type of impact they may have on your business.
Problems - List some outside factors that may threaten your
ability to carry out your business plan. These threats could
be: economic downturns, traffic route changes, unrealistic competitive
growth, major competitive discounting, etc. Identify what alternatives
would help your camp-resort should these occur. By having such
contingency plans, you will gain a significant advantage during
periods of crisis.
Opportunities - List some opportunity areas based on your
market customers and your competitive strengths as compared
to your competition.
2. Planning/Developing Marketing Strategies
(Objectives, Goals and Strategies)
The planning section is the heart of your marketing plan where
you will be developing programs that are designed to keep current
customers and to bring new customers to your Jellystone Park.
You will decide what your objectives and goals are for next year
and the strategies you will use to accomplish those objectives.
Objectives are a general explanation of "what you want
to accomplish next year".
Goals are specific targets you set for the camp-resort. These
goals are to go hand and hand with your objectives.
Strategies are actions
designed to initiate activity to achieve a specific marketing
objective. Don't confuse objectives and strategies. Objectives
don't create change, they should be inflexible. Strategies do
create change, they can be changed and they are flexible. They
must be tracked and measured. They are road maps to results. It
is the marketing logic by which your campground hopes to win the
competitive battle. Constructing your strategies is done in two
Develop a program, promotion, etc. for each target customer
Select the best way to sell that program to these customers.
Traditional campground methods of communicating are advertising
in industry related publications, brochures, billboards, direct
mail, in-house merchandising and public relations. Each is best
in different circumstances. Your selection must be based upon
reaching the most customers you can for the least money.
Objective: Increase Monday-Friday occupancy levels from
36% to 50%
Goal: Increase incremental site nights by 2,800 and site rentals
1. Establish discount packages for extended stays of over
2 nights Sunday-Thursday.
2. Create special weekday activities targeted at family
3. Direct mail to the last three years family camper customer
list to communicate the package.
Objective: Increase visitation from a major city located
within a 100 mile radius
Goal: Gain 20 incremental site nights per week from Hamilton
County or 300 for the upcoming season and $6,000 in site revenues
1. Establish shoulder season discount rates.
2. Create a "bring a friend" program for specific
- Host a Friday night pizza party.
- When you bring a second unit the third night of both
parties stay is half price.
- Create a "VIP" guest card for discounts on
merchandise purchases, mini golf, free cup of coffee,
3. Release information to all community and citywide publications
for in spring travel sections along with descriptions of
your events and dates. Give away a free camping weekend
in conjunction with a local country or soft rock radio station
for free mentions. Mail to former and existing customers
from area explaining the program and its benefits.
In other words, strategy development is simply constructing
the most effective programs, promotions, etc. and the most
cost effective communications you can to keep current customers
and to bring new business to your camp-resort. Remember, your
programs should include unique benefits, "competitive
points of difference", which are sufficient to keep and
attract a particular target customer. That means designing
your programs (strategies) with benefits that appeal to your
guests. After all, the decision to use your campground is
based upon whether you can fulfill custodial needs and wants.
3. Budgeting/Building You’re Marketing
(Funding Your Strategies)
One of the most common errors made in marketing is that people
spend too much or too little or they spend money on the wrong
program or wrong advertising mix. That is, they don't set aside
a reasonable amount of money to achieve their business goals.
For this reason, many good plans fail. Good planners set aside
a reasonable amount of money to achieve their business goals.
Your marketing plan should produce new business as well as additional
revenue and profits.
There are generally three methods of calculating your campground's
annual marketing budget:
The most common method for establishing a marketing budget
appropriation is the percent of sales (revenues) approach.
In this method, you simply multiply your campground's past sales
(revenues), forecasted sales (revenues) or a combination of
the two by a standard percentage. This percentage is normally
derived from what you traditionally allocate and what the industry
averages, for the camping industry, the general rule of thumb
is between 5-7% of gross revenues.
A second method is the objective and task approach.
When using this method, the tasks associated with accomplishing
an objective are given an estimated cost. All costs are then
totaled for each objective to arrive at an amount to be used
as the marketing budget.
A final method you can utilize is known as the arbitrary
approach. This method expedites the budgeting process by
permitting the owner/manager to decide how much can be allocated
to the marketing budget.
The actual method used is solely up to your discretion. However,
it should be remembered that the marketing budget must be able
to properly fund all marketing strategies for next year.
4. Execution/Implementation of
Executing strategies is another area where most marketing plans
fail. Too often people blame themselves for the wrong reason -
for poor planning instead of poor execution. To manage strategies
requires monitoring on a regularly scheduled basis. If you fail
to execute your strategies timely, your objectives may not be
reached. Settle for nothing less than excellent execution - your
business depends on it.
5. Evaluation/Measuring the Results
It is the responsibility of every Manager to follow up and monitor
all action plan strategies being executed at his or her camp-resort.
The purpose of this review process is to determine if your plan
is working and to correct course, if necessary. It also establishes
a permanent record for future review and planning.
Please give your plan enough time
to work. If your objectives are achievable and your strategies
are sound, stick with it - your results will come.
This process creates the necessary attitude . . .
YOU EXIST BECAUSE OF YOUR GUEST!
It is the guest’s wants and
needs that must be satisfied in order for your business to survive
and prosper. They become the centerpiece of your marketing plan
for without them, you have no business!
You are now part of a nationally recognized and respected
network of campgrounds. Use the strength of Yogi Bear and our
reputation as a family campground.
Yogi is well known
Over 30 years in the limelight
Over 20 years association with camping
Instant recognition: 95% adults
"Classic" character: Top 10
Think about who your customer is...where they live, what your
park represents and
what you want to accomplish...before you spend your money.