When developing a ski area college marketing plan, it is important to consider timing, marketing channels, reach, geographical locations, and target audiences.
When Developing a Ski Area College Marketing Plan Consider:
Timing plays a critical role in college marketing, especially in the skiing and tourism industry. You need to start your college marketing campaign early enough to generate awareness, but not too far in advance that students forget or lose interest. NAM Youth Marketing has found the best time to start an on-campus marketing campaign for ski resorts and ski related paraphernalia is in early September. This allows your resort to establish an on-campus presence, build brand awareness, and attract attention. It also creates heightened anticipation for the upcoming ski season and fosters excitement among the students.
You can start your campaign off with college posters and flyers, table tents, and door hangers. These mediums enable your logo to be seen throughout campus in a variety of spaces. This repetitive exposure ingrains your company into college students’ minds. When students talk about going skiing, your ski resort will spring to mind. Placing door hangers on campus apartments and dorm room door handles allows companies to get their product message directly to students within their personal space. This print advertising leads to brand recognition among students.
Geographic region is another important aspect to consider when developing a college marketing plan. Do you want to have a regional or a national advertising campaign? NAM Youth Marketing has found that a strong regional push delivers the best results. The majority of your customer base will stem from geographically close locations, so it makes sense to maximize your college advertising in those areas. Also, competition is fierce among nearby ski resorts. College marketing can give your company a considerable advantage. Especially since college students can turn into lifetime customers. A smaller emphasis can be given to farther geographical locations—like Florida or Texas—where skiing can be marketed as a once in a lifetime experience.
Another equally important topic to consider is the target demographic and how to market to that audience. Marketing to college students as a whole is an excellent approach. In addition to this you might want to focus your attention on subsets of the student population, including fraternities, sororities, clubs, and African Americans. With fraternities and sororities you want to emphasize how skiing is a great bonding experience. Tell a story with your ad, demonstrating the camaraderie and memories that will last a lifetime. Thrill seekers are another group of students to go after; they can typically be found in outdoor and adventure clubs, ski clubs, extreme sports clubs, skateboarding and mountain biking clubs, as well as various others. Play video clips showing stunts, jumps, and near vertical slopes. This will get their hearts pumping. They are a great group to target as they seek adrenaline and adventure.
African Americans may seem like an unlikely target group as very few ski: “African-Americans make up more than 13 percent of the U.S. population, [but] only 1 to 2 percent of them are skiers.” This means there is huge potential for growth in this demographic. It will require marketing efforts that change their perceptions of skiing and make it inviting, something that they want to pursue. This will not happen overnight, but with ongoing advertising efforts this could dramatically increase clientele.
NAM Youth Marketing is a leader in ski area promotional campaigns. Contact us today and see how we have increased ROI is excess of 300% at various ski areas around the nation! We will help you develop a strategic college marketing plan that attracts students to the slopes.
 Click on the following link to read Maria Lloyd’s There’s a Nationwide Effort to Recruit African-American Teens Into Skiing