The "Marketing Your Attraction" Podcast is essential listening for every member of the Attractions Industry, including theme parks, haunted houses, escape rooms, family fun centers and more. Every episode takes listeners on a deep dive into a different marketing topic and how it applies to the Attractions Industry. Hosts Brad and Philip have spent over a decade in the industry and bring a total of over 20 years of combined marketing experience. Subscribe now for your regular dose of marketing insights.
Unlocking TikTok for your Attraction
Hello marketers, I thought you'd enjoy this deep dive into the process that helped this attraction go viral on TikTok. Josh Sumsion from Dead City Haunted House comes on to discuss the process behind their TikTok videos, some of which are going viral. Here’s what you need to know to get your TikTok up and running.
What Do You Say To Them? How to personalize your messaging during the pandemic
This podcast is a recording from a recent panel on personalizing your messaging to guests in preparation of opening your attraction this season.
The discussion is divided into three sections—recommendations about messaging for guests before you open, while guests are on-premises, and after it closes.
Include safety in your messaging but focus on fun.
Be aware of the rules and regulations in your area.
Talk to this year’s haunt demographic.
Be nimble and dynamic in response to feedback.
Have a protocol for crisis management.
Consider requiring advance, online purchase of tickets.
Add value and raise your ticket prices.
Introduce your safety messaging at the right time in the right places.
Encourage guests to share their experiences on social media.
Have staff visibly cleaning your haunt.
Have a protocol for screening staff and responding if someone has symptoms.
Let your guests know they’ll be scared safely.
Live Coaching Call with Jewish Escape Room 'OneBefore'
For the first time on Marketing Your Attraction, we bring a listener on the show for live coaching. Gamliel Beyderman is Founder of OneBefore,
America's First Jewish Escape Room in Brooklyn New York. Visit OneBefore here: onebeforeescape.com.
How To Use Story in Your Marketing and Drive Revenue
Scott Swenson joins us on the podcast to discuss the impact Story has in marketing your attraction.
Scott has a new book out:
Follow the Story: The Foundation of Every Great Attraction
Follow the Story’s synopsis reads, “An attraction is most effective when it follows a path and takes guests on a journey. The story determines an attraction’s physical layout, character development, and technical design. It also points the way for clever marketing, merchandising, and branding. This book gives you the tools to develop a story and to use that story as a blueprint for your attraction's development.”
Get your copy here or read more at www.followthestorybook.com
How does the story impact the marketing team?
Because it’s not only about The Creatives. Departments must play together.
Here are some takeaways from the recording:
We become myopic when there are multiple departments but that isn’t true for the guest. The guest sees everything in one continuous experience. Moving past individual departments makes your attraction better because it makes the experience design cohesive.
Successful marketing campaigns must have a ‘North Star’ to coordinate the departments together. Without this, the event design isn’t cohesive. Departments must be able to make individual decisions that contribute to the design rather than detracting from it.
Before: How does marketing tell the backstory?
If you don't have a strong IP to draw from, marketing helps the guest understand the story. Exposing your guests to the story longer increases their emotional reaction to the attraction.
Use marketing to turn characters into ‘assets’ which continue to provide ROI for the event. To do this, their story must continue and evolve each year.
After: How does marketing keep the story going and thereby reinforce asset creation?
Scott shared an example of a Vampire Fashion Show campaign. Mrs. Vein actioned off items from her fashion show after the event.
Alone experience - https://insidethemagic.net/2010/10/a-spoiler-free-tale-of-surviving-the-alone-personal-horror-experience-at-busch-gardens-howl-o-scream/
Merchandising: Everything you sell reinforces the memory of the event. You’re purchasing a manifestation of the attraction. Connection merchandising to Your Story makes the guest more emotionally connection; this drives up demand but also encourages repeat visits. The story behind Merchandise must be compelling.
Where should the marketing dollar go? All seasons are not created equal. Halloween focuses on physical set assets and brand name. Christmas, on the other hand, focuses more on the name of the experience.
Connecting Departments. Where do we begin? Begin by getting face time with the creative department. Meet ‘The Creatives.’ Creatives want to be recognized. Then, set up a regular structured meeting that all stakeholders attend; keep communication open and everyone on the same page. Limit this meeting to 1 hour.
PR example - Personalizing marketing to reach digital news sites, TV media, and influencers. Mentions in the book of how he turned photos of media personalities into vampires to get their attention.
What’s the takeaway for the marketing team?
You must understand the story and work with it, not fight it.
Understand the Easter Eggs and the flow. When possible, work with the creative team during the creative development phase.
Signing August 4th at Midsummer Scream.
Adapting your attraction to a new target market’s culture
Main Topic: Adapting your attraction to a new target market’s culture
Step 1: You should have the demographic and psychographic analysis of this new target market done. Additionally, your team must have decided the new market is worth testing.
Step 2: What that we’re doing now needs to change?
You’ll go through each of the below considerations before deciding on tactics.
Direct or Mass?
Mass marketing is for high throughput attractions targeting a large target market. Mass marketing includes TV, Radio, Hulu, etc. Sometimes you find microcosms where you can go mass in a small way. For example, college radio stations, community TV, regional billboards, or influencers.
Otherwise, most new target markets are a direct selling tactic.
The language applies to signage, directions, website, tickets, maps, apps, menus and more.
Do visitors understand your website and can they purchase tickets? What about references that don’t translate to English? This need not be a large overhaul but could benefit from tweaking.
Many markets don’t have desktops; they’re using tablets and mobile only. They may not have access to new technology (IE buying refurbished devices). Is your market more tech-savvy or less tech-savvy? Do you need a phone line, a WhatsApp ID, a WeChat ID, or a Messenger link?
How does this market consume media and check your quantity? Popular options include Facebook, WeChat, TripAdvisor, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Google, and more. Developing a new distribution channel could be a large investment.
Can your new target market see themselves in the narrative of your marketing? How well do your marketing assets translate over? Families, ethnicities, etc.
Will the nature of your attraction violate the value system of this new market? What about the marketing messages you’re using? Examples of multigenerational families, etc.
Large examples include phantom manor versus mystic manor and small examples include adjusting stage shows by adding target market specific jokes.
If the target market is large enough, should you incorporate new food?
Content Marketing Defined
Content Marketing is one of the most misunderstood tactics, and we explain it all in this episode.
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
In short, instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.”
-By Content Marketing Ins
Why do it?
The History of Content Marketing: https://youtu.be/9OHgMMpGLzk
John Deere & The Furrow Magazine: https://youtu.be/rbKvoKeu4vc
Getting Started Guide: https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/getting-started/
PC Gamer/Razer “The Complete Guide to PC Gaming”: https://www.pcgamer.com/introducing-the-complete-guide-to-pc-gaming/
Ideas of Order Magazine made by Redbird for California Closets: https://www.ideasoforder.com/
OK Go - The One Moment - made by Morton Salt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvW61K2s0tA
MasterThis made by Liberty Mutual: http://www.jackmorton.com/work/building-content-driven-customer-loyalty-breakthrough-liberty-mutual/
2018 Oscar winner animation short film | dear basketball: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziUc0OCDmoU
Consult QD by Cleveland Clinic: https://consultqd.clevelandclinic.org/
Restaurant and Attraction Magazines in hotel rooms are usually created by tourism boards
AirBNB Magazine and Trip Guides
Measuring Content Marketing
How do you find our if your target market is learning something from your content?
Content and Website Views
Search Engine Ranking
Email Sign Ups
Purchases by remarketing.
End of Show
Zest Enlight Marketing App - https://zest.is/enlight
Seasonal Entertainment Source: https://haunted.typeform.com/to/k9CEOz
I LOVE this podcast!
Marketing is a tedious necessity for any business. The subject matter can be extremely dry, but Phillip and Tyler do a great job of making this podcast an easy listen. There's a treasure trove of valuable insights, information, and advice, geared toward the Haunted Attraction industry, that most people pay for. If you want to make your attraction more successful, you owe it to yourself to listen to every episode.