When you’re trying to market your program and sell tickets, some audiences are easier to reach than others. Alumni? You know who they are and how to reach them. The same goes for students and people who have purchased season tickets or other ticket packages from you before. But things get a little trickier when you’re trying to market yourself more broadly to your community.
With a large area to cover, a crowded media environment, and a myriad of competing entertainment options, how can you maximize the impact of your limited marketing budget? You don’t have the big bucks that professional sports teams have, nor do you have the funding to be able to afford a lot of mass media placement. The good news is that there are digital tools and tactics that can help you get your message to the people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
One of the digital tactics you should consider for your program is location-based mobile advertising, more commonly known as geofencing. Geofencing allows you to define a small geographic area (like a mall or the county fair), serve your ads up to smartphone users in that area during a designated period of time, and retarget those same individuals by showing them your ads across different mobile platforms during the following weeks. This means you can get your message in front of people who are likely to have an interest in your sport right when they’re most likely to be thinking about your sport, based on their behavior and location. Retargeting them in the following weeks helps you stay top of mind and potentially reach them at a time when they’re ready to take action.
So what would that look like for your program? Maybe it means geofencing alumni events and reunions to help you get your message in front of alumni when they’re feeling a particularly strong sense of connection to the school. Or it could mean geofencing high school games or tournaments in your area, which would allow you to advertise your games to people who already have an affinity for the sport. Perhaps there are a few local watering holes or barhopping areas where you know a lot of people go to watch games. You could set up geofencing to reach them when they’re already thinking about your sport (and maybe even cheering for your team) to nudge them toward experiencing live game action. The name of the game is to identify what types of people are most likely to be interested in purchasing tickets, figure out where large numbers of those people are likely to be, and get the right message to them at a time when they’re likely to be interested in what you’re offering.
Geofencing isn’t the only digital tool out there, but it’s definitely one your program should consider. To use it effectively, you should develop profiles of the groups you are trying to reach and develop a placement strategy that’s designed with the activities and interests of your target audiences in mind.