How to Market Your FEC in 2020 and Outlast Covid-19
How to Market Your FEC in 2020 and Outlast Covid-19 Webinar Transcript
All right, everybody, welcome to Entrepreneurs. This is our very first Entrepreneurs, so please bear with us, with getting used to… Want to thank all of you guys for joining. My name is Chrissy. I am the marketing director for United Play, and also I will be your moderator for Entrepreneurs. All right.
We’re just going to take a few housekeeping minutes, housekeeping notes real quick. All of your cameras are off. We can’t see you, but you guys can see us. If you have any comments or questions, go ahead and put them in the chat and we will be answering questions throughout the presentation. We will also have time at the end for a Q&A. Moving to the next slide.
That’s me. Next one. I’d like to introduce our sponsor for this webinar. The sponsor is Aluvvia. Reopen your business with confidence by using Aluvvia. Automated body temperature screening kiosk system that screens all incoming guests and employees quickly and efficiently.
Entrepreneurs is a production of United Play. United Play designs, manufactures and installs the world’s most exciting indoor adventure parks.
One of our recent projects. All right. All right, so to review today’s agenda, we have seven topics we’re going to cover today. What is marketing, golden budgeting, branding, brand loyalty, audience persona, content creation, marketing through COVID, and [inaudible 00:07:37].
All right. I’m going to introduce your host, this is Bob Krause. Bob Krause is the founder and co-founder of United Play. Before entering the FEC industry, Bob spent 25 years in corporate event marketing. He’s launched multiple brands. He’s been a writer and speaker for multiple publications, colleges, and events. As I said, Bob is also the founder of Uptown Jungle Fun Parks, and he is the co-founder, partner, creative director for United Play along with Dave Wilson, who is also the co-founder of United Play.
I’ve known Bob for 23 years, and in addition to being extremely creative and starting multiple businesses, he’s also a loyal father and husband. I’m really excited. You guys are not only going to learn a lot today, but you’re going to have a lot of fun.
I hope so. Thank you, Chrissy, and welcome everybody. So glad that you could join us with our very first Entrepreneurs webcast. Entrepreneurs came as an idea that we wanted to create something within our industry that we could then go tap into the minds and the brilliant experiences of so many other people who have been doing this for so many years. My partner in United Play is Dave Wilson. He’s been in the business for over 30 years, has built several hundred FECs in his career, and he’s over on the East Coast. I want to say hi to Dave.
Wonderful guy. He helped me build my very first park almost seven years ago when we started the first Uptown Jungle. What I thought I’d do today is take a little time, just want to let you know that my intent today is to have an opportunity to share ideas, to talk with you about some things that I’ve learned over the years, not just in the FEC industry doing family entertainment, but in years and years of doing big corporate brand launches, and re-branding companies in understanding the dynamics that are involved in running a great company when it comes to marketing.
So, with that being said, I’m going to take you on a fun journey. I hope you’ll enjoy what I put together. Keep in mind that along the way, you’re probably going to have some questions, so feel free to write those down. Also, you can chat to Chrissy in real-time, put questions in the chat room. I’m not watching the chat room at this moment, but Chrissy will kind of keep it in the right spot for us.
With that being said, I thought we’d start with something kind of fun. So, here’s a question. This is a personal kind of thing, and I’ll reveal that later, but who was it that started the first outdoor family entertainment center? Was it Fred Trump? Was it PT Barnum? Or the Huish Brothers? Take a minute. You can scan your phone, do whatever you want to do.
Put your answers right in the chat.
Ooh, we got PT Barnum.
Keep thinking. I got to tell you, my parents watch this show, still, every night. Bum, bum, bum.
One for the Huish Brothers.
All right. Here’s what the answer is. It is the Huish Brothers. In 1958, they started their very first miniature golf course and continued to grow that up to something bigger and bigger as time went on. In fact, they started their very first FEC in San Diego. Ironically, John Huish ended United Play being my mentor as a kid.
So, John and Jim Huish started Family Fun Centers in California, and then the concept exploded. A couple of years ago, they were actually inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame. The only other two brothers that ever were given this designation were Roy and Walt Disney. Kind of cool, little piece of trivia there. It all started here in Southern California, and a lot of people took off from there. Good times.
Well, with that being said, I thought I’d start off with just a little bit of information that might give you a little insight as to what’s happening in our world. I didn’t mean to start with a bummer, so I hope you’ll please forgive me. But we need to know that there has been a lot of due diligence done over the last three to four months. IAAPA seems to be really at the forefront of this, trying to keep us informed. But the bottom line is, companies are going to be expecting losses between 30 to 90%.
I know it says 60 up above. They’re saying that’s probably going to be more the average, is somewhere in that range, but it can be as little as 30%. The reason being, in places like Asia, they haven’t really seen a huge loss in business. 29 to 30-something percent. But in the U.S., we’re going to see a major dip. Now, this creates a big concern for many of us who are running, owning, and operating family entertainment centers.
I have two of them in California, two in Nevada, and I have four in Arizona. The two in California right now are closed. The governor opened them for a while, and then closed them, so we’re struggling like everybody else is. Even our shops that are open in our other locations or stores, they’re struggling. I’m just being very candid. If we’re lucky to break even each month, at this point, but we’d rather be breaking even than losing.
So we’re working hard to keep our customers happy and to answer solutions that they’re looking for. But let’s take you through some other information here that you might find interesting. I promise this won’t be heavily COVID-driven. But, with this being said, you can see there are different trackers being done. This is done by a company called YouGov and they do these huge polls all over the world. What they’re finding is between Europe, Asia, China, Australia, you can see the US kind of in the middle, the teal color. That in early March, the concern of being in public places was very high. 80% of people said they weren’t going to go into public places.
Then over time, that slowly started to drop. As we know, in early June, especially here in California, the governor laxed up on some things. Well, now we’re having to pay for it because they’ve pulled back the rules again on bars and restaurants. FECs as well. Now, in Arizona, Nevada, and other states where you might be, that could be different, and my heart goes out to you if you’ve been one of the ones struggling to even have your doors open or have been shut for various reasons.
So today, the hope is, we’re going to have not only discussions about what happens if you’re still open, but what can you do even if your doors are closed, to keep your customers happy, keep them ready to come back, and get ready for that re-opening if you will.
So, it all begins, as we talked about. The subject matter of this is marketing, right? So, what is marketing? I really had to stop and think about it myself. Done it for years, I understand the general scope of it. But what is it, really? So here are some things to think about. It’s basically a discipline that involves the actions of the company that they undertake to draw customers in and maintain an ongoing relationship with them.
Think about that for a moment. It’s the things you do to draw customers in and keep ongoing relationships. So with COVID right here right now, what are you doing to keep your customers coming in if you’re open, and what are you going to do to get them to come back? How do you stay in their hearts and their minds, and how do you continue to build that brand loyalty?
Marketing is also a process if getting customers interested in your products, right? I know that may seem a little backwards, but you’ve got to get them interested first. This involves researching, selling. It’s promoting your business. For some companies or many other companies, it’s the distribution of your goods. In our case, it’s all about letting people know what we do, what we have to offer, and being very specific about it.
And also, the concept of marketing proposes that it’s the complete organizational objectives should be anticipating the needs and wants of the potential consumer. Also, making sure that you’re doing it better, and more effectively, than your competitors. Keep that in mind. There could be somebody down the street. I have a place, for instance, in Nevada. We have a competitor probably less than two miles away from us, so what did we do?
We know they run a good business, but we tried to make sure that our customers knew what we did better, right? So we’re going to talk more about that later. What are the things that differentiate yourself? So keep that in mind.
The other big, important element of running good marketing is you’ve got to define and set goals that are realistic. Today I’m going to take a few minutes, talk about that, and we’re going to talk about being smart with your goals, right? It’s about being specific, it’s being measurable, obtainable, realistic, and managing it on time. So here’s some things to consider. When you’re getting ready to start your marketing, you really need to know who it is you’re speaking to, right? It’s really critical that you understand who your customer is. We’re going to show you some really cool stuff in a little bit that will help you understand that better.
Be clear, also, in what you say. For instance, if you’re going to say, “We’re food, we’re this, we’re that,” that’s great, but maybe you need to look at your audience and understand, hey, it’s an adult-oriented FEC, we’re going to really emphasize, “Hey, we’ve got an open bar, we’ve got great food, we’ve got adult fun.” Or if it’s for children, it’s going to be more about the fun and the birthday parties, right? So really defining what that message is.
Now, the other thing is to make it measurable. Something you need to be aware of before you just start some campaign or spending money is deciding in advance, what do we really want? What does success look like, right? You’re going to need to define how many views, likes, shares, and deals that you’re looking for, meaning deals, people coming into the park, purchases, acquisition of your goods, right?
It’s going to be important to set goals for that. Then also, figure out how you’re going to track it. The beauty is, on things like social media, and other advertising tools, there are ways to see how many people are viewing and purchasing from your efforts, so keep that in mind. Also, we want to make sure it’s obtainable. Does your budget allow for you to accomplish all these things you’re setting your mind to accomplish? Do you know the different realms in which your marketing outreach is going to go, so the proper channels?
Some channels may be more expensive than others, so you’ve got to really think through how you’re going to reach out to them. If I was a place like the… is it Gray Bear Lodge? I think that’s what it’s called. They also have a hotel there, and so they’ve got a different message than some other FECs. So it’s a very unique, specific thing. Someone like Lego Land, as well. They’re not just about getting you in, they’re about keeping you there for days. So, keep that in mind.
Those reaching out of channels might come through other marketing channels, such as Travelocity or Trip Advisor and other things like that. The last thing is, or the other thing to remember is to be realistic. Set goals that you can achieve, things that are obtainable, so that you can have little moments of, “Yay, we did it, we accomplished what we wanted to do,” rather than feeling like you didn’t quite make it. The other thing is to remember to learn from your past, learn from the things you’re doing.
“Oh, that didn’t work well. This really worked well.” So be realistic in what you think you can accomplish. Lastly, plan in advance. Make sure that if you’re going to be promoting for a certain seasonable type of thing, right? So maybe we got Labor Day coming up, or a summer thing, or end of summer, you don’t just start promoting that the day of, you’ve got to start getting all your parts in place days and weeks in advance. You might have to produce a video, you might have to make some really cool graphics that you want to promote. These things like that.
All right. The other thing that’s important is to understand how critical it is that you budget properly. Make sure you create realistic marketing budgets, that they’re not going to break the bank, especially right now. I mean, let’s face it, these are tough times. In fact, in some of our parks, our marketing budgets have been slashed dramatically just because we’re trying to keep the doors open. Labor, paying bills, a mortgage, and those types of things are more important. So maybe where we were spending more money before, we have to pull back, but then we find other clever ways. That can come through, just keep in mind, the elements of budgeting in your search engine optimization, that costs money.
Can you develop content for less money? Print does cost, because you got to print it, distribute it. But social doesn’t cost so much, and things like deals, which we’ll talk a little bit more, can be a real great way to build your business. Okay.
The next thing I want to talk about is branding. Now, with branding, there are some elements I want to discuss. Now, I’m already making the assumption that all of you here, or the majority of people watching today, have already got established brands. When we look at things like Apple, Google, Amazon, we know what they stand for, right? We have our own personal journeys with these great brands.
But when you think about a brand, literally the term comes from branding cattle. It’s how do you put an indelible impression onto a customer, so they believe in you and become what’s called brand ambassadors? Now, as you look at this graphic here, you can see all kinds of really good brands, right? Different companies, some of these I know personally, some of them I don’t. But you can see that they’ve spent some good time, and good money, developing things that look nice, and are catchy, and hopefully draw the right audience.
So, for instance, Ultrazone. It’s black, it looks kind of sleek and cool. You can tell it’s a laser tag type thing, right? Where you’ve got pins in the bottom right corner. It’s definitely a bowling place. Then you have another place like Goofballs and Fun City, and things of this nature. You can kind of get the general feel of it just by looking at it. Funplex, you got Urban Air, who does a great job. As you can see, there are all kinds of different brands.
In our industry, there are probably hundreds, under a thousand businesses that do what we do. So there’s a lot of brands out there. The biggest thing is to make sure that your brand defines who you are. It’s not just the look and feel, it’s what you do with it. So, here’s an example. I’m going to ask you a question. Which brand of coffee, who serves a better cup of coffee, in your mind? Starbucks. Look at all these brands here. I don’t really want to talk, I want you to just look at them for a second, and make your own assessment. If you’d like to, you can chat. Send to Chrissy what you think is your favorite.
My fav is… And my least favorite is… [inaudible 00:23:22] another one we didn’t mention, sure. Hey, mention that, too. But my question for you is, why did you pick it? Why did you pick this particular brand? Was it because the coffee tastes better? Well, maybe. Is it the experience you had when you went into the coffee shop? Is it the people that work there? Is it the way that the cup is made? Do you like the way the little surround on it, the little handhold is done so it’s easy to drink out of? What are the elements that make you favorable to this specific brand? Then I want to ask you a question: how do people feel about your brand?
Here’s another example. I was trying to think of something the other day that would be universal. We go into a drug store. You got all these different brands, right? We got Rite Aid, you got Walmart, CVS. You’ve got Walgreens, and then you’ve got your Krogers, which is a big national brand. Owns all the grocery stores in America.
Now, as you look at any of these, do you have one, in particular, you like better? If so, why? Is it their selection? Is the store cleaner? Are the people nice? Is it easier to check out? Is it brighter? Does it have more lighting? Do you like the way they display their items? These things are all part of marketing. Even though you might say, “Well, I’m not really in that business,” I hate to tell you, but we really are in this business. We’re in the business of showing off everything we do.
It begins from the moment a client enters our parking lot. When they enter the parking lot, is there trash on the ground? When they make their way to the front, is there trash near the front? Are the windows clean? When they enter, is there a nice presence? Is it well-lit in your park? Do people ever comment that it’s dingy or dark or dirty?
If you hear these things, take them seriously, right? Hopefully, that’s not the case, but you need to be your own critic at your own place. So keep that in mind. Again, my question is, why did you pick the one you picked? Feel free to send us your favorite, if you’d like to chat it to Chrissy. But here’s what I would tell you. Your personal experience and your brand ambassadorship is based on your experiences on what happened every time you entered that store.
Now, some of it might be by convenience or other things. But I promise you, you’re building your brand loyalty and the things you love most, based on your experiences with them. Here’s my question for you. What are others saying about you? What do they say about your brand? What do they say about your company? Do they like the way you run your business? Are you known for having great people? Are you affordable? Do you have a great menu? Do people think that you’re safe?
In fact, let me tell you what we’ve learned running all our FECs, which are for kids 12 and under. We’ve done mother’s groups, and we found out that mother’s two top concerns, and it varies depending on when we do these round table interviews. But it’s safety and cleanliness. Right now, cleanliness is number one, but they kind of vary back and forth. But those are the things that matter most to mothers.
Then it was into how much fun did my kids have and whatever else. Something else that was funny during one of these, we said, “Well, what are some of the things you would like?” They said, “Well, we like soda, and we like Diet Coke. We would love it if you could get that crunchy ice like they have at Sonic or some of the stores.” We looked into crunchy ice and unfortunately, the stinking machines are super expensive, so some of them we couldn’t afford it. But it’s something to think about, right?
All these things matter. If the mom’s going to come with their kids, and they’re going to have this great experience and get their little comforts and their little things, and the snacks are just right, and the food’s just right, and it’s comfortable, they’re going to stay longer, and they become your brand ambassadors, as well.
So, that’s my next question, is who are your brand ambassadors? Are they the parents? Are they the children? Who are they? Now, every one of you might have a different scenario. I apologize, this particular discussion is kind of tilted toward indoor family entertainment centers, and our experience in working with them. But, you need to know who your brand ambassadors are because you’re going to need to speak to them on a regular basis.
Now, with that being said, it’s also important to remember to know what your offerings are, okay? I know this may sound a little bit of a repeat from earlier, but it’s really critical that you clearly understand what it is that you offer. So, when you do that you want to use also texting graphics that really deliver the message, and make sure that things are clear and concise. Most importantly, you want to make sure that everything they see about you delivers the message.
Here’s a good example: the Big Thrill Factory, okay? I was doing some homework on some of the big national brands. These guys aren’t huge, they have I think three, four, or five locations, but they do a beautiful job representing all the various things they offer within their own facility. It’s very clear, by these really beautiful photos. They have a nice color contrast, and they clearly state it in all of their imagery.
Here are some things else to consider. You have to also decide what type of business am I? And who are my markets? So, here’s how it’s broken down by Allied Market Research, who’s the biggest in the industry for our business to know what’s going on. They’ve defined visitor demographics in basically five categories. You’ve got families with children under the age of nine, and families with children between nine and 12. Teenagers, young adults, and adults.
So, you’re in one of those categories, or you should be. Or you can span a lot of them. In my particular case with Uptown Jungle, we’re in the first two. We’re really for kids 12 and under. A good friend of mine, Frank Price, who’s amazing with Birthday University, he gave us some great advice when we were looking at expanding.
He said, “You know, when children hit middle school age, even though they love their parents, the family’s no longer cool. They want to hang out with kids their own age.” I found that to really be true. And so, we thought sometimes we skewed into that 12, 13-year-old range, but really, it’s like 11 and under, because the 12-year-olds are getting into middle school, mom and dad aren’t quite as cool. They want to hang out with the older kids, so it’s really important to understand who your client is.
Then some other things to consider is what’s the size of your facility? Do you want to talk about the size of it? That it’s smaller and quaint, or it’s large, or it’s gigantic, or it’s this huge, outdoor venue. Then keep in mind, too, that revenues vary, and make sure that you clearly understand how your revenues are generated. Is it by admission fees? Food and beverage? Do you sell stuff on-site? Is it going to be through arcade games and other types of things?
So, it’s really important that you clearly define and understand where your revenues come from because as you’re marketing, you want to make sure that you clearly deliver the message that’s going to hit all of these points. In my case, I’m going to go to young children, that’s my market, but I also know that children don’t read advertisements as much as mothers do. So I’m going to look for moms with young kids.
We’re going to promote our size, being big but not too big, and so forth. I think you get it. Now, I want to show you something really cool. This is about understanding who your client is. This is a great video that says, “We know who our client is.” I’m going to play this video for you. Let’s see if I can get this to play. There you go.
Whoops. Look at this. It’s like a UFO in the sky, right?
You got to love it, right? Fun, different, super viral. Just a great approach, right? A great way to say, “Hey, we’re going after those looking for thrills and fun.” All right, now, with that being said, I want to give you some of my personal experience with the company that I started with a good friend of mine, [inaudible 00:32:34]. He has 14 kids, literally, adopted a whole bunch. One of my dearest lifelong buddies. We got asked to be investors in a trampoline park and decided, you know, maybe we could do something a little different.
Created something completely unique to the industry. Dave Wilson, my partner now with United Play, actually helped me build this first place. What I wanted to tell you was, when we started with this company, we had to decide who it was we were going after, who our clients were. So let’s talk a little bit about our audience persona, okay?
What this means is we got to clearly define and focus on who it is that our clients are, and know them by their key demographics. We need to know them by their gender. Did they go to school? What’s their education level? What are their personal interests? Where do they live? What’s the geographical area? Do they have a family? And how much money do they make?
By the way, we always thought, “Oh, the more money people make, the more they spend in a park.” I got to tell you, we found that those that are very affluent will probably end up going on trips with their family and going to other places. Where those who maybe aren’t as affluent, they’re going to stay local, and they’re going to spend money on their kids. They’re going to go to other things.
Money doesn’t always matter, like they have to be super-wealthy to bring a lot of business, although, those are great people to come and visit. We find that those with disposable income, even those that are living from paycheck to paycheck, will spend their money on their children, because they love them so much, and they want to do things right. Here’s something to be aware of.
In this particular case, we got a gal named Jenna. She’s 32 years old, she’s a stay at home mom busy raising two children. Her seven-year-old daughter’s into dance, her four-year-old son’s in pre-school. One thing about Jenna that we’ve decided is she never pays full price for anything. Do you know what’s funny? I kind of feel like that, too. I like to bargain. I’ll download an app to save a buck going into a restaurant sometimes.
But she and her husband live on a modest income, $68,000 a year. That’s in California, by the way. That probably would be a little different in the Midwest. But they live in a three-bedroom home, in a nice neighborhood with good schools. So why is it important to know this? Well, Jenna’s the one with the kids, and Jenna’s the one we’re going to be going after.
So, let’s talk about these demographics, how important it is to know what Jenna’s up to. Our data tells us that 35% of our clients that come in our park are the ages one through five. 40% of them are six through 11. 18% of those are adults. They come in between seven and eight times a year. 98% of these people recommend us regularly, and their average, this was a year and a half ago, was probably 16 dollars.
This is important to know, right? It’s important to understand who it is that you’re going after. In this case, Uptown’s focus is mothers with children between the ages of five and 11. Makes sense, right? Because those little ones need someone to get them around.
Here is what our why is. What’s our why when we run our business? Well, we know that we want to get people to the location, we want to have people pay for tickets to come in and play. But since a third of our business is birthday parties, this is one of our why’s. For the little one to say to her mother, “You’re the best mom ever, Mom. I love you.” So what do we do? We market, and we tilt our marketing to those kinds of emotions.
In fact, Chrissy was the one that gave me this idea, being a mother of children said, “You know, as we really think this through,” this was years ago. She said, “Isn’t it really all about creating experiences that are easy for Mom?” Remember that, Chrissy? And, she also said, “Let’s make it easy for the moms so that when they come, they don’t have to do anything.” That became a big focus for us was a turnkey party, and mom, you’re the champ. You’re the world’s best mom.
Okay, now, hopefully, you got something good out of that. I’d like to ask you, now, here’s the next trivial question for you to break things up a bit. What year was the first coin-operated pinball machine introduced? Was it 1897, 1920, or 1931? Chrissy, do you know the answer to this? Don’t cheat. Here we go, ladies and gentlemen. The answer is 1931. It was called the [inaudible 00:37:14].
In fact, [inaudible 00:37:15] restaurant, [inaudible 00:37:17] gyms, all that stuff, came from this particular company.
I knew that one.
So, a little bit of trivia for you. Hopefully, you got a little something out of it. All right, now, not only do we need to understand the persona of who our customer is, it’s also super important that we understand who our competition is. We’ve got to understand them clearly so that we know who what we’re going up against.
Here’s a thought. It’s real easy to say, “Oh, those guys are like this. Oh, that place is dark and dingy. Oh, they have bad service.” We have found, and what I would suggest is, if you know your strengths and weaknesses as well as theirs, then what you want to do is build upon what you do best. I found there is no advantage to speak ill about any of our competitors. It’s always better to say, “They do a good job, but here’s what we do better.” So, promote what makes you different, what makes you better.
Keeping in mind, this might be things like, “Our service is superior. We have really cool new fun attractions, things that the kids really seem to be drawn to. We have a lot of positive reviews, go on our rankings, you can see.” That’s an easy one. You can say, “Well, if you really want to know, go on Yelp and compare the two companies and you’ll see,” or, “Check the ratings on Google.”
Then also maybe your hours are different. Maybe there’s a way that you stay open later, or you open earlier. In our case, we do a toddler play early in the morning, because we know that little kids, little toddlers, get up early with mom, so we do a toddler playtime for the moms to get a break and bring their kids in. Toddlers own the entire park for hours, a couple times a week, and it’s a big, big, big hit. Something to consider.
All right, so let me show you a little bit of data on what’s happening state to state, and some things to be aware of when it comes to COVID. Now, depending on where you’re at, you can see California and Colorado, see some of these in purple. They’re more likely to be wearing face masks, a lot of it is because it’s been forced on us by our governor, of course.
But you can see depending on where you’re at, there are places little less likely to wear masks. I wish we were in that case. I was in Arizona all of through COVID, through April, March, April, and May, all of that time, on and off pretty regularly. And the state of Arizona wasn’t very strict at all. And so, we really enjoyed some of that freedom.
Now, ironically, Arizona got hit later on by being shut down, because they had a lot of people with COVID-19. So these are things to be aware of. So at least you kind of see what’s going on in your state, this is pretty recent. Here’s something else. Excuse me, very interesting.
This is from YouGov, and I specifically looked for data about marketing. So check this out. While most consumers are avoiding public places, media consumption and social media activities are through the roof. We’re seeing here that… Let me see if I can move this little window out of here. Yeah. Marketers should be looking for opportunities in the new reality to make it through the crisis. So instead of relying on tried and tested methods, basically, they’re saying they should look for new tools and ways to create more value for their marketing outcome.
I would agree, and we’re doing this right now. So, marketers should be creating highly targeted campaigns, knowing who they’re going after. You’re saying to yourself, “Well, my doors are shut. What good does that do me?” Well, let me tell you what it can do. It can keep those that have been to your location, and those customers who like what you do, really attached, and they become ambassadors. So you can say, “Hey, let us show you what we’ve been doing to remodel. Here’s some of the new procedures are going to happen when we open,” and I’ll show you some videos of that.
But there’s really a lot you can do to keep people connected to you, and then maybe you do some other fun things, which I’ll show you in a second. All right, let’s see here. Let’s see. Oops, I’ve got to move this here. Okay. All right.
Let’s talk a little bit about advertising, how this works. Typical advertising comes in many different ways. You guys all see Mad Men, right? The show about the early days of the advertising world. Well, you know, these are pretty unique times. It was all kind of new territory, but the world hasn’t changed much. We’re all looking for ways to influence and bring people to our businesses. The real job really is to make sure that we’re not just a great venue, but we’re an excellent and stellar marketing company.
And so keep that in mind, that’s going to be important for you to make sure that you’re not just a venue, but you see yourself as a marketing company. After all, isn’t that what Disney does? Universal Studios, Six Flags? They’re all masters at marketing.
Here’s what’s important. It’s important to stay in constant communication, and you can do this in different ways, right? We talk about social media targeting ads weekly. You’re going to get a short response time. You got to make sure that if you’re posting stuff. People mention things on Facebook. If you could respond quickly, Facebook actually rates you on how quickly you get back. We had the highest rankings with Uptown Jungle. Jeff, who managed our social media, actually got flown out to present at a Facebook conference because they were so impressed.
I think it was in San Francisco, but they wanted to know how they did it so quickly. These types of things you can do to really be on top of responding to your customer’s questions. Website and SEO, search engine optimization. How you pay for money, how you write ads, the pictures that you post. Just so you know, each one of these is going to be a separate subject matter in future marketing events that we’re going to do. We’re going to get really deep and do a deep dive to teach you how to become experts in each of these fields.
Another one is mobile marketing. Wow. Mobile is where it’s at. Laptops are gone, desktops are pretty much gone, as well. Meaning that most of the stuff we do and watch, 66% of it’s on mobile, and they say that’s going up. So keep in mind, build everything for mobile. Your website, your marketing. Even the marketing that Chrissy did, build everything so that fits in your linear part of your phone, and not worrying about what it looks like on your desktop.
So, then talk about [inaudible 00:43:56] marketing. We’re going to have a whole discussion on another time about places and situations like Groupon. Some people hate it. I’m going to tell you some miraculous stories in the future of what it’s done for our business because people don’t realize it’s not just about the discounted deal that you can negotiate, but the at the moment of search engine optimization that they bring your way, and it costs you nothing.
For instance, just real quickly. When I ran our first Groupon deal, we had 25,000 unique views of Uptown Jungle in its first three days. We would have spent, I was looking at doing Google Ads with Google. The cheaper ad I could run at the right time, at the right audience, was 40 cents per click. I had 25,000 views for free just by using Groupon.
Let’s see, what would’ve been 20 grand I would’ve paid for that? And I got it for free. So there’s a lot of other useful stuff that we’ll talk about in future meetings together. Then email marketing. Just so you know, that’s still viable. 22% of all emails are open, and you can get deals from them. So we’ll talk more about that in the future.
We talked about budgets earlier. Talked about, you remember the little piggy, he had a little smile on his face? Well, in today’s world, he’s not smiling. He’s kind of like, “Uh-oh, what am I going to do? I have very little money, don’t know how we’re going to approach this. So, here are some things I want to focus on, and we’ll talk about it.” You can develop content, social media, for little or no money, and if you work with deal sites, it costs you nothing to run a deal. They just take a percentage of what they sell.
There’s not only Groupon, but I have found that there are other companies out there offering deals that they’ll run ads, full-page ads in their magazine and that kind of stuff. They’ll run a deal, and instead of you paying them for the ad, they’ll take their money in payments for the deals that they sell. Anything over that, they write you a check. So there are some unique ways to really grow this business, without having to spend a lot.
Let’s talk about this next subject. It’s actually one of my favorites, content is king. It’s really true, okay? I’m going to keep going through this. Talk about social media, right? And things that go viral. Here’s what I want to say to you, and I don’t know what your age is. I was at an event for the amusement industry three years ago in Las Vegas. At one point I raised my hand, and I said, “I hope you don’t mind,” it was at the end of all these people had been talking. It was around the arcade business.
And I just said, “I have one question. Is there anybody in this room under the age of 40?” I said, “But don’t stand if there is. And anybody under the age of 50.” It was kind of a joke. People laughed when everybody realized what I was trying to get at is, we’re a business that’s trying to go after young people ran by a bunch of old people. Right? Sorry. I’m in my mid-50s, I’m calling myself older at this point. Chrissy, not there yet.
Anyhow, the point I’m getting at, if you see these logos here, right? Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest. If you have not been familiar or been on all of these sites, then I’m going to tell you that you’re lost when it comes to marketing. You may say, “Hey, I got a gal or a guy that does that,” that’s great. But those things need to be a major part of your business, especially right now in the face of COVID. Because you can do a lot for free. Listen, for free. If you want to boost posts, you can do that later with a little more money, but there’s a lot you can do.
Keep in mind, everybody like, “Oh, Yelp. Yelp’s great. They’ll call you and try to get a bunch of money from you,” but keep in mind that Yelp, although it’s a huge search engine, it’s usually a place for unhappy customers to post. Just be aware of that. Although it’s important to keep your Yelp account current, and your stars as high as possible.
Chrissy and I were talking about TikTok. Have any of you ever made a TikTok? You even watched a TikTok? Here’s my challenge to you today: download TikTok and watch. You’ll go, “Oh, now I see why it’s so popular.” How could you get TikTok videos to come to your way, have customers make things they can post online.
All right. Here’s a little idea. Hmm, I have no money. What could I do to make a one minute video that would get a little bit viral? Well, you could post it in a video challenge. Or you could say, “Hey, post it on Instagram. $50, we’ll give you $50 of free play if you post a one minute video that we like, and there’ll be two winners every week.” So think about that. You give away $100 of free play time that costs you very little if your doors are open, it’s already there. You’re not giving away food, you’re not giving away merchandise.
We look at it is, it’s a very minimal cost, right? These are some things to consider. So you’re thinking, “Okay, well, how do people make a one minute video?” Here’s what I’m going to take. I’m going to break away from my screen, I’m going to show you something fun. By the way, if you have a Gmail account, you have a free YouTube channel, and you probably didn’t even know it. See, Google owns Gmail, and Google owns YouTube, and they put them all together, you get G Drive, you get all these cool things for free, but let me just show you something fun here.
So, I’m going to surf away from here. We’re going to go to my YouTube channel, which is part of my Google, my Gmail, and right up here, if you go up, you can click your photo here, and it will show you all the things you have access to. I click the YouTube, I’m already here. I want to create a new video. I’m going to upload a video, watch how easy this is.
Now, earlier this morning, I made a fun video for you guys that I wanted to post and show it. Now, it’s a little four by four video, so I’m going to say this is… let’s say, I’m going to call this Bob’s awesome marketing video. Okay. It’s awesomer. I’m going to live awesomer in there, because that even sounds more awesomer. Now, here’s something to keep in mind. These words right here are critical for Google to know what you’re promoting.
So, Bob’s awesome marketing video. Okay, there are two keywords that will be good. They don’t know who Bob is, but that’s a good thing right here. Marketing video, I’m going to say, for family entertainment. Okay, now, this is a targeted market I want to be known, I want my video to go to. So right here, I can also put a description, learn a ton from this webinar. Okay, sorry, this is… And in this description, you put other keywords. San Diego’s leading indoor family entertainment center made for kids under the age of 12. Mom and dads can relax in the adult lounge, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You put a nice description there, all those things become searchable.
In fact, the main search is going to be right here in your title, but I’m just going there quickly for the sake of time. Okay, my video is loaded. So I’m going to hit next. It’s now going to ask me is it made for kids. Absolutely, kids can watch this. There are no age restrictions, so hit next, okay. So I’m going to hit next here. I want it to be public. I want everybody to be able to see it. Watch this. In a few minutes, if it doesn’t already… Okay, so it’s published. Okay, so here’s what we’re going to do.
We’re going to now click this. Okay, wait. I’m going to grab this link, here it is. It’s already on YouTube. [inaudible 00:52:25]. No. I don’t know if I want to wear shoes today. [inaudible 00:52:32]. Okay, note to self. You’re going to give a great representation today. You’re going to do a great presentation today. People love marketing when it’s fun. Yeah, fun. Maybe I’ll put something funny, like some laughter stuff. Something to make people laugh. Yeah, but if it’s something too goofy, then they probably won’t think I’m serious. (singing)
I can always use case studies, people like case studies, yeah.
Tips on how to stay healthy during COVID-19.Ugh, COVID-19. When’s it going to stop? All right, COVID-19. Got to deal with it. Today I’ll actually give some examples of how other people are dealing with COVID-19. That’d be good marketing. Show some videos of how people are dealing with COVID, that would be a good idea. Oh, hi, Chrissy.
I could take all of this, and then put it on YouTube. Show them how quick and easy it is to make a YouTube video. Hey, good idea. All right. So, look at that. That’s already up. No views yet, but eventually I’m sure it’ll be seen. There’s Bob’s awesome marketing video for family entertainment. We literally did that in real-time right there in real time. Okay, now-
We have one person who was concerned that you brushed your teeth and then drank orange juice. [inaudible 00:54:01].
Well, I did that in the wrong order, that was correct. Thanks for making sure that I’ll do that correctly next time. All right, let me talk about something else super critical. Public relations. People are like, “Ugh, public relations.” Trust me, you have no idea the power of what this can do for you. Basically, it helps keeps the press in your local area aware of everything that’s going on. A typical press release and again, we’re going to do a whole another course just on how to write a good press release. In the next few weeks, you’re going to love it. This is what Chrissy did for years with her own firm, so you’re going to love learning more about this, but getting good press releases can get you all kinds of really good coverage into newspapers, magazines, televisions. We do it for all our grand openings, which is what you’re going to see here.
But what I want to show you is how well this worked for us in Arizona. Whoops, let’s see, let’s see. I have to click this, I think, by hand. Here we go.
So we talked about this a little bit earlier.
Right now it’s nice outside, especially in the morning and the evening.
Sure, mm-hmm (affirmative).
But very soon-
The kids probably won’t want to play all day outside, it might be a little too hot for them.
It’s too hot.
Next best thing.
Indoor adventure park in Peoria, brand new, [inaudible 00:55:21].
Oh my gosh, wait until you see what this place offers [crosstalk 00:55:24].
Now, I edited this video down.
[inaudible 00:55:26], it’s really fun. It’s Uptown Jungle Fun Park. I love this concept. You must be really proud of this place, just [crosstalk 00:55:33]-
This is Mark, our general manager.
[crosstalk 00:55:35], we’re super happy and excited. We’ve got so many fun things happening over here. We’ve got a massive place for [crosstalk 00:55:43]-
We actually did competition with the TV host, racing one of our kids.
It’s super interactive, it’s fun for the adults, as well.
I love that part. That has to relax a little bit-
That’s our adult lounge.
We’ll definitely have all the games on, so dads, if you want to say, “Hey, family, let’s go to Uptown Jungle,” just bring them on over, you can relax, watch the game [crosstalk 00:56:05]-
So the point I’m getting at is one thing.
Your kids will never sleep better.
This cost us nothing except to write something and send it out to all the media in the local area. We got literally five minutes on prime airtime, and they did three segments for us. They did five and two four-minute.
Kids are going to sleep, dad’s going to watch the game. Air-conditioned.
Kids are safe.
Boom, got all that for free, ladies and gentlemen. So, keep in mind that there’s a lot you can do. Let me go back to this. Just keep in mind that even in the fears of COVID, you can write a press release that talks about some of the unique things and powerful things you’re doing to keep your parks clean, ready. Imagine, you can do a press release that’s like, “We’re going to visit an indoor family entertainment place that is ready to kick COVID in the face,” if you will.
Okay, a couple of last things. We’re looking at, again, here’s what each country is… their fear factory, basically, of catching COVID. You can see here what it did. It really piqued in April. I just basically did Canada and the U.S. here. Then you can see it went down in June, it’s back up, but just be aware that there’s still a concern right now. We have to be very careful in how we approach this. Then this was the one about people avoiding public places.
Again, I broke this down so you can see it very specifically. 60-something percent of people are still concerned of going into public places. It’s important that you understand this. What are you doing today to ensure your customers are safe, right? And what are you doing to help them understand that you’re thinking about their safety? I think that’s even more important.
So, we’re seeing all kinds of things where right on the front page of websites, they’re literally tackling this right at the very forefront. David and Busters, for instance, we’re all about good, clean fun, right? Great little play on the name, on words. We’re prioritizing your health and safety.
Oh, and by the way, we’re supporting healthcare and first responders by giving them playtime and things of that nature. What a great idea. So, here are some thoughts. What can you do to be reaching out. See, that right there is worthy of the press to say, “Hey, we’re giving away free play time to first responders,” or we’re doing this or that. The news is going to cover you for that, okay?
So I love, love this idea, just a great concept. You can see Dave and Buster’s has really thought that through. Here’s [inaudible 00:58:45], one of our big clients is doing. They’re making sure that everything’s clearly understood with visuals. Let me show you what one of our clients is doing with Candyland that we just built for him, his very first one in Las Angeles in the mall. Pretty proud of this place, but look what they did to ensure people that they’re watching out.
[inaudible 00:59:06] sweet place to be. We’re located in Main Place Mall in Santa Ana, California. Candyland is the ultimate indoor playground. Since we [inaudible 00:59:14] for our reopening, we have new safety guidelines, and have [inaudible 00:59:18] here [inaudible 00:59:18].
Hi, I’m Jason from MicroShield 360. MicroShield 360 is an electrostatic FDA approved spray to prevent pathogens from growing on surfaces, giving you year-long protection. You can reset assured that we are providing you a clean, safe environment for your kids to play in.
We are reopening our business with confidence by using a smart management system, an automated temperature screening kiosk, and each of our guests. They’re using Aluvvia.
And look at this, they’re giving away gloves and a mask for the child to match their socks.
So how cool is that? Gloves and socks to match. Peter, who’s the owner of this company, Candyland, is just a brilliant, brilliant marketer. He and I had the time of our lives building his first location. Check this out.
You’ve done it all. Kept them safe kept them entertained. Kept them learning and growing. But now, it’s time to get out of the house. Get back to a routine, and most importantly, get back to fun. So we’re here to help make that happen, which also keeping your family as safe as possible. Because the safety and well-being of our guests and team members are always a top priority.
In addition to enhanced cleaning practices, we’re limiting the number of guests in the park, taking the temperatures of both staff and guests before they’re [crosstalk 01:00:38]-
It’s a great video, right?
And adjusting our ticketing and food and beverage service to touchless interactions. That means you’ll now be able to reserve a spot to play online in advance. [crosstalk 01:00:47]-
Booking online in advance.
[crosstalk 01:00:50] food and beverage in the park from your mobile phone. It also means you’ll see our team members wearing personal protective equipment, and you’ll be encouraged to wear what makes you feel safe and comfortable. Finally, whenever possible, we’ll encourage social distancing, all while still providing you with the [inaudible 01:01:07] experience you’ve grown to love.
So, with all that out of the way, it’s time to let them loose, let them laugh, let them be active, let them run. Let them swing. Let them roar. Let them spread their wings. We’re excited for you to get out of your house and into ours [crosstalk 01:01:28].
So Michael Browning, who’s the CEO of the company, has been speaking at some recent events I’ve been out, and he’s really on top of the concept that we got to make sure our customers feel very clear. In fact, he said they reach out to every customer after they’ve come and they say, “Hey, would you mind posting online about your experience with us? We’d like to let others know how it went.” So people, as they’re leaving, are being queued to, hey, tell us how it went.
Now people who are thinking of going can say, “Look, wow, they just went there and had a great time. They felt the place was clean and well taken care of, really great idea.” He also said something really cool, which I love. He said, “Every time we did an opening after COVID, we treated it like a grand opening.” What a brilliant idea. He’s a great leader with a great company and doing wonderful things.
Here’s [inaudible 01:02:19] did.
I’ll just show a little bit of this for the sake of time.
Right, here’s what you’ve been doing to keep your kids busy, but guess what?
We’ll be ready for you.
We’re ready for you. Come on in and have some fun.
[crosstalk 01:02:32] and introducing the Sky Zone game. We’ve missed seeing you in person [crosstalk 01:02:36]-
And for the sake of time, I’m going to cut this one short, but I do want to talk about it quickly.
[crosstalk 01:02:39] attraction by attraction, because-
What’s important here is to make people realize, help people understand that we understand what you’re going through. You’re cooped up, you’ve been stuck in your home. You’re not having very much fun, and we’re that place of fun. We’re that place to let out all your steam. We’re the place that you’re going to come and have the time of your life, and let the kids just run like wild banshees. That’s got to be the message.
So have empathy for your customers. Let them know that you’re that solution for joy, happiness, and fun, right? In fact, at the end, I’m going to ask you a question, which is related to what is the theme that you’re going to take away today. Is there a single word or thought, like hey, I want to bring more joy, I want to bring more hope to our customers, okay? All right.
Now, let’s get out of this. So, what are you doing today? Here’s another question. Ensure that your customers are safe. So, it seems to me as I’ve scoured a whole bunch of different FECs. Bowling alleys to laser tag, I saw the whole gamut. Some people didn’t touch it at all. They don’t mention it, talk about it. Almost like they hope it goes away and no one thinks about it. I guess that’ll be up to you personally to decide how to deal with that, but when I see it as a marketer, I say, “Hmm. They must not understand that I’m concerned about coming back.”
Remember the data that I showed you? The climbing scale? I think you must, must address it, and do it in the most positive way possible. The more you can be specific… I kind of get tired of seeing the same things. People want to see the same things. They want to know that you’re cleaning. Our big thing is to keep staff with towels and cleanser in their hands, moving around the park at all times. There’s always somebody cleaning.
Which, ironically, we were already kind of doing in advance. But now we just have more of that going on. So, by the way, if you’d like to learn more about some of these great things you can do, go on our website at unitedplay.co, Chrissy wrote a phenomenal blog that’s now been posted in other places. What the world needs now is fun, and she did a great job. There are all kinds of wonderful tips there.
Chrissy’s also, I think she’s going to make it into a PDF, if you’d like a copy of it, just let her know. She’ll send that to you, but again, you could go on the website and read her great blog. Okay, a couple of last things, and we’re running low on time. Oh, we’re really low on time.
Let’s talk about influencers quickly. Just so you know, you can reach out to people around your area that have major followers. This one here, this video had over three million views. Look at this one. This video had 2.7 million views, and they have five million subscribers. So this particular family came to Uptown Jungle and had the time of their life. We basically hosted them a birthday party and a fun trip for free, okay?
[inaudible 01:05:38] jungle in here, it’s crazy.
Yep, so, anyhow, for the sake of time, I won’t play the whole thing, but their video was seven minutes long and it had, like I said, 2.7 million views. What would you pay for 2.7 million views? Okay, and lastly, let’s keep in mind a couple of things that sales can also happen by having somebody go out and meet with people. But sales can also happen from the time that your guests arrive.
Remember, it all starts at the front desk. So, train them on how to answer the phone. Provide front desk upgrades and deals to clients when they need it. Have these special deals and offers right when they walk up so you can upsell the client without making… Or maybe you’re offering special COVID pricing right now, and make them feel special. Give them a reason to come back, even offer them a return coupon to come back and get a half-hour of free play, or a certain amount of whatever you might offer. It brings them back, right?
So, just want to make sure you stay connected to the outside sales is also working with youth sports. Outside businesses, schools, churches. We’ll spend a lot more time, we could talk about all this. And for the sake of time, I apologize, but I will finish this today by asking you one question. What is your personal takeaway from today? What did you gain from today’s meeting today, and understanding what’s going on?
I hope that you’ll be able to take it back to your team and do something great. It’s a real honor to be here. We’ll have a little Q&A, Chrissy if we have enough time. We’re just going a little bit over, I apologize.
[inaudible 01:07:17] people on. I don’t [crosstalk 01:07:19] many people have left, even though we’re at the top of the hour. If you guys have questions, feel free to put them in the chat, and we will go ahead and select them. Bob, I would open your chat, if you can.
I sure will.
So you can see. And then, let us know, you guys. Of the things that we’ve talked about today, of course, we’ve talked about a lot and we had to get through a lot, but as Bob mentioned, we’re going to be doing many, many more of these on marketing, and on tons of other subjects. Not just marketing these FECs, but things you guys want to know about. Put them in the chat, and we can answer some of those questions right now. We’ll also take them into consideration moving forward when we’re selecting topics.
And if you would like to be part of a future webcast, you have some great insights, as Chrissy said, we’re going to have all kinds of different subject matter. Let us know, we’d love to have you online with us, and we’d love to learn from you, as well. So thanks again, everybody, for being part of the Entrepreneurs webcast today for marketing in 2020. Hope you have a great day, and we’ll look forward to seeing you next time. Take care.