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Content Marketing
Why I Feel Our Biggest Marketing Opportunity is Also Skiing’s Biggest Competitor

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Think back fifteen years – twenty-five if you’re old enough – and picture your family’s budget.

Now, make a list of five big things that are on your budget today that weren’t on your budget back then. If you’re like the few people I’ve asked about this, your list might include the following:

  • Smartphone
  • Data Plan
  • Computer / Laptop
  • Home Internet Service
  • Tablet

You still buy groceries, gas, rent/mortgage, clothes, and furniture, but near the top of every budget are multiple access points and services charges to this amazing thing called the internet.

Opportunity Comes at a Price
As the internet has grown, it’s also brought with it great marketing opportunities.

Never before have marketers been able to create and manage so much of their own reach. And not just reach, but instant reach. The ability to reach virtually any person at any moment with a specific message no matter where they are physically.

But the only reason this exists is because of that last part: We don’t have to physically go anywhere to do things.

For an industry that relies on people going outside, that’s a problem.

Fans and/or Doers
But what I want to get at today is a concern I’ve vocalized a few times. Perhaps I said it best in this way:

“What if our industry‚Äôs very best content is actually preventing people from coming instead of motivating them? Giving them a way to experience your mountain the way they do a football game on Sunday without driving a single mile or lifting anything more than a finger. What if our 24/7 accessible social media feeds, filled to the gills with these experience recreations, are becoming the NFL Sunday Ticket of the ski industry? FANS of skiing but not DOERS of skiing.”

It’s little surprise that these ideas have received a critical response with most saying “watching skiing on TV will never be the same as actually going skiing.”

On that point I totally agree. But here’s the thing, to prevent people from doing instead of watching…it doesn’t have to be.

The Formula
Every activity comes with a cost. That cost, typically, is measured in both time, effort, and money. Every activity also comes with a result, a purpose, or a benefit. So we may write our formula as such.

Benefit – Cost = Enjoyment

That’s how we decide whether we want to do one thing over another. Now, let’s compare watching a ski movie on YouTube to going skiing at a resort with some hypothetical “stoke” units as our comparison.

10 Units of Stoke – (200 miles + 8 Hours + $150) = Enjoyment
3 Units of Stoke – (0 miles + 30 Minutes + $0) = Enjoyment

The question quickly becomes a simple one: at what point is the enjoyment of the digital without the costs as good (or better) than the enjoyment of the real with all the costs.

Never be the Same, Doesn’t Have to
Again, actually skiing will always be better than watching skiing, but for us to justify the latter, watching only has to be as good as doing minus all the hassles, costs, and time that come along with it.

In that scenario, the better our video quality gets and the more incredible our content becomes, we end up slowly creating a double-edged sword that inspires more virtual instead of real.

People so stoked on the ski movie they just watched, they can’t wait to watch another.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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