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Resort Marketing Resolutions: An Idea and 5 Ways to Implement

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One of my favorite books as of late is Switch, by Chip and Dan Heath. Everytime I read and reread my favorite sections, one idea always sticks with me: bright spots. The simple idea is that when you want to change (improve) something, don’t focus on the bad and try to fix it, focus on the good and try to duplicate it. For example, they describer a village where the majority of children were malnourished. Rather than ask “what is wrong with this town,” the researcher asked, “what are the properly nourished kids doing right?”

Simple, right? Even though it is simple, it takes some practice to start thinking in this way. I’m still learning to do it myself, but here are 5 ways I’d suggest looking for bright spots this season at your resort:

1) Slow Days
Instead of trying to figure out why people don’t come up on those slow winter days , get out on the hill and ask people why they ARE skiing that day.

It seems discounting is the common solution, but I wonder if your skiers and boarders may hold some hidden insight into why they are up there. Even just identifying common trends like the company they work for, might be open a door to a corporate ski day or partnership.

2) Season Pass Deadlines
Deadlines are everywhere for season pass sales. Instead of focusing on the tail end when the season is just about to start, call 15-20 people who renewed the first day or week passes were available and see find out why.

There are likely to be many reasons, but I bet there are some unique insights that might help you reach out to the procrastinators and encourage them to renew a little bit early in 2012.

3) Mountain Choice
It’s always easy to focus on competitors and what they are doing, but by talking to your skiers and finding out why they did choose your resort, you might find a hidden reason skiers love your mountain.

Finding what you are good at and embracing it can be a smart move when it comes to branding and competing.

4) Post-Departure Surveys
Again, it’s easy to look at the bad and try to fix it (which you certainly should do with some guests), but don’t forget to look at the positive. If everyone is raving about the service when they stay at Hotel X, go spend a morning in that hotel to find out why.

If you spot a trend that a certain run was loved more than another, figure out what that run has that others don’t.

5) Ski School Grads
If your ski school has a low “graduation” or return rate, there may be some valuable insights found from talking to those who didn’t return, but try talking to those that did graduate and ask them about the concerns one-and-done-rs provided as well. “Why wasn’t the travel time an issue?”, “Why was the cost worth it to you?”, etc.

I’m sure you can think of a few more that more closely fit your resort’s needs. Ask questions about what is going right with your marketing, and try to duplicate the bright spots. It may not solve all your problems this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you learn some pretty powerful stuff if you give it a try.

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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