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What I'd Do
I’ve been surveyed hundreds of times by resorts and never been asked this.

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I love the Heath Brothers work. Between Made to Stick and Switch, I’ve always enjoyed their approach to solving problems and framing the way they look at solutions.

One of my favorite ideas is something called bright spots: looking at what IS working instead of what ISN’T to find solutions to inefficiencies and challenges.

But today I want to suggest we may be too “bright spot heavy” in some of our marketing.

The Bright Spots
Bright spots get their power because humans tend to look first at the negative when often times is the positive that hold the answers.

If 90% of our employees aren’t filling out timesheets correctly, we almost always try to study the misbehaving group to find out why they aren’t doing something instead of studying the obedient group to find out why they are.

Trying to replicate success rather than fix failure.

It’s that switch that can make all the difference. But, as I mentioned earlier, I wonder if we aren’t doing a little too much of this at times.

The Difference
We comb through our post-departure feedback to find out why people did, or didn’t, have a great time and try to find the root cause of each. We use iPad surveys at the resort and feedback cards in hotel rooms.

But each of these channels miss a critical segment within a resort’s database.

Can you guess who it is?

It’s the people who didn’t come this year. The people who didn’t renew. The people who didn’t bite on your marketing lures.

What I’d Do
I know there are people who already do this. Well done. But for the rest of you, what if you created three new surveys this summer for three specific groups of people:

  • GROUP 1: The people who BOOKED LODGING last year but didn’t this year.
  • GROUP 2: The people who HELD A SEASON PASS last year but didn’t this year.
  • GROUP 3: The lesson-takers who TOOK A LESSON once and never showed up again.

To each group I’d pose a simple question: Why didn’t you come back?

I’d put part of the survey right in an email so they could answer the high level question with a click and then give them a chance to provide details on the following page.


Would this approach hold the secrets to marketing immortality? I dunno, but it’s tough to grow a sport if we only get feedback from the people who have always done it.

Worth a shot.

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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