Economy, social media and ski resorts advertising
Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz tells us in this 9 min video how they changed their advertising strategies this last year to adapt to the economy’s demands, consumer changes and the continuously evolving social media marketing environment.
- Decide faster. People are making decisions a lot faster than they used to. Instead of booking their vacations 6-8 months in advance they are waiting to book up to a week in advance. Vail Resorts experienced a boost in their lodging occupancy from 50% to 80% in just one week before Christmas. As a result, they decided to change the way they advertise the mountains as well. Good thinking!
- Adapt or die. Vail Resorts realized that they need to adapt together with the consumer or face the consequences. People want to receive information faster, make decisions faster, get the deals now. Instead of committing to messages 6-8 months in advance, it’s smarter for a business to wait and see what message they want to put out there next week. It will be more relevant to your guests, more real and more in line with the state of the economy. You don’t want to leave money on the table yet you need the business.
- Traditional media is being replaced by social and online marketing. Vail Resorts reduced their print budget by 80%. Wow! They are still planning on spending it just in different places. I hope they do because now is the time to build mind share. Be smart about your marketing, stay aggressive and continue to remind your guests about your brand. The companies that manage to do this wisely will win when the economy improves.
- Work together as a team. By getting the message out online and in social media you can constantly change it to report conditions, tackle slow periods, get the word out about a special event you didn’t anticipate having. Get your departments to work together as a team to have one consistent message. Your social media, PR department, web department and marketing department need to work all together to produce one strong and memorable message. Smaller businesses have the advantage of being able to coordinate this faster as they don’t have that many departments to begin with.
- The importance of the message. Brand advertising is being replaced by a shorter term, more sales oriented message. People are interested in deals and having a more retail approach is key in this economy. Incorporate your brand with the message and always have a call to action in it.
How is your business changing to the economy and the recent marketing developments? Are you adapting or getting ready to close the doors? If you were the Vail Resorts CEO what would you do?
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