Marketing in paintball
Many businesses, once having found a location that is well traveled and out in the front don’t require any marketing. Most of their sales can also be done on a whim. In paintball however, people need to make plans before making a trip. Marketing is a crucial aspect of your business that helps its profitability.
In this business you need to inform the customers about what you have and at times what you are. You need to put yourself out there and make sure that customers are aware of your existence.
How well your business does may depend on how well you market your business. Try and keep marketing costs low but don’t skimp out on good marketing just to save costs. If you have ever passed by a really well made billiards hall with an unknown but found it empty and one which is sloppily done but is crowded and has a familiar name, despite how good the site is people tend to go towards something familiar. The same stands for a paintball field. If your site is really good but you have bad marketing, a paintball field with a bad field but good marketing may end up doing better business than you.
The image of any product is its main selling point. In the past paintball used to be known as a war game. Its image was that of people decked in war paint, fighting mock battles. The paint being used was red which didn’t help soften its image.
As time went on, paintball slowly began to lose that image and is now accredited for being safe and fun. The change in name and paint colors is now presenting paintball as a ‘fun’ game.
During the game, keep in mind that paintball is nothing more than a game. Using phrases such as ‘I shot you, your dead!’ doesn’t bring a ‘safe and fun’ image. Phrases used should being about a positive feeling about the game.
Your target market is everyone. People the age of 10 and 60 have been found playing paintball. As long as the game is played properly, its one of the safest of many extreme sports. The minimum age limit across many fields goes from 10 – 16 years. If parents are still unsure, you can allow younger children to shoot at the target shooting area.
You can host birthdays, where each child receives 100 paintballs. You will need to think of ways in which the children will use the paintballs slower. You can take them for a tour around the main field. This will also show the parents how safe the game really is.
Word of mouth
This form of advertising is not only effective but is cheap as well. People tend to go for a sport more so, if they hear about if from a friend.
Marketing via the internet is a great way of getting across to paintball fans. There are not only hundreds of paintball blogs, fan pages and websites, there are social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Through this you can access over 500 million people that may be potential customers.
Having a ‘group’ on facebook can lead to paintball fans joining and being kept up to date on all your activities. If you had a tournament, people would be informed at virtually no cost to you. Which is another big advantage you gain by using the internet as a marketing tool, your costs are kept to virtually nothing. Your main or only costs would be a computer/laptop and internet charges. The internet isn’t one method of marketing but quite a lot. You could have a blog, group, your own website or your own email service just to name a few.
Flyers are very economical. These are supposed to be eye catching and straight to the point (preferably). You can post these on bulletin boards in shops or in residential areas. Acquire permission to do so before hand.
You can attach coupons onto them, which can provide either a discount or a free game. This will encourage customers to visit your field and have a trial run. If you provide a free entry pass, they will still need to pay for their equipment, which makes the entry fee the only thing you’re losing out on. Coupons get customers to turn up. Having an expiry date would be wise as it creates a sense of urgency. This encourages them to make plans rather than keep putting it off. Make sure terms are clear.
These are very handy as you can fill it in with all the information of your business. You can keep these at the desk for your customers to take home. Even if they leave it somewhere and someone else picks it up the information is passed on. It should include the basic information about what you offer timings, prices and location. This can also include what the customer should expect when coming to play.
When having large groups booked for your field or important players attending, you can send thank you letters (you can create one and save it as a file, just change the name and send it) when they finish. This gives a sense of personalization and encourages them visiting your field again if plans arise.
You can also give the person booking the field a package with all the information about the field, costs, business cards and so on, before they book the field so they can book a package that best suits their needs.
Having a mailing list would be wise as you have instant access to all or most of your customer base. You can give your business’s email address out as well so customers can email you if they prefer it to calling or they need large amounts of information.
It’s recommended you open your business, smooth out any cracks that occur and then plan a grand opening. To gain recognition for your business, you will have to work hardest at your opening as it’s at this point its reputation starts a base. After the first three months your half way there.
To save on costs and still be able to gain good products, try trading various services for other services or products. You can either offer items on websites such as bartergains.com or you can call up companies. You can sell paintball equipment from a local store with their name, and they can recommend your field to customers who visit them. Or you can offer free play for a company in change for concessions.
You should be able to use the media as a form to get your field known. If you hear about any movie shooting nearby you can offer your fields for them to use as part of their movie. You can give articles to paintball magazines or newspapers to publish. If you hold tournaments some TV stations may be interested in broadcasting it. You should make it a point to let college and university students know about your field as they may be your main customers. You can ask radio stations to talk about your field; you can offer the hosts free game entry. Or you can provide free game entry tickets as a prize to the listeners for answering a question.
You should distribute your broachers in racks found in apartments, hotels and restaurants.