As you know, skiing is one of my favorite winter activities. And snowboarding de vez en cuando for good measure, too.
So I thought it might be fun to come up with some marketing ideas for ski areas. The goals of these ideas would be to:
- Increase customer engagement and create “higher friction” relationships.
- Increase revenue.
- Increase market share.
Here we go.
An active community on Facebook could be really valuable for a ski area. You can run contests, share conditions, and encourage fans to post pictures of their trip.
Offer a small token of appreciation to users who “like” your page.
Quantify, Quantify, Quantify
Through more religious ticket-scanning or GPS-enabled smartphones, skiers could track their daily and season stats for runs, vertical feet, miles traveled, top speed, and more.
The ski area could publish the top 10 in each category on their website and have prizes for each.
Plus, the data would be valuable internally to see the habits of both the heaviest users and the crowd as a whole.
How many skiers do you need to have to turn a profit each day? And work backwards from there.
Generate some buzz with theme days on the mountain. 80s day, pajama party, cowboy up, black and white, etc. Discounted tickets for those in costume and prizes for best dressed.
Season ticket holders could get companion passes to bring their buddies for a discounted rate. Or even free, and maybe they spend some money in the lodge.
Maybe you upsell 4 companion passes for $50 when they buy their pass or something.
If the lift ticket counter offered $10 off on the spot in exchange for people’s email address, what do you think their take-rate would be?
In no time they’d have a huge list of proven-customers, not just prospects, they can keep in routine contact with. Build a relationship, share of mind, and all that jazz.
Huge opportunity I haven’t seen any ski area take advantage of yet.
Everyone’s got one of those GoPro camera’s these days, but what do people do with the videos? Give them a reason to share them with your ski area’s name attached to it.
How about contests for best air, best pow run, or most spectacular wipeout?
Early Bird Special
This would suck, but ski areas could totally sell early lift access on powder days. I’m pretty sure the hardcore powder hounds would pony up an extra $10-20 to guarantee fresh tracks before they let all the rifraff in.
But it would suck for everyone else and destroy the equal-opportunity of the freshies. No one do this, please.
Premium Lift Line
Ski areas could upsell priority lift line privileges to let high-rollers cut ahead of the crowds. I’ve seen this at a couple places already.
It could be sold an a daily or annual basis.
Honor Competitor’s Coupons
So what, you sold a lift ticket for less than you wanted to. You run a fixed-cost business, in that the revenue from that incremental customer is pure profit.
I feel like ski areas view this as the difference in collecting $30 vs. $60, when the reality might be more like collecting $30 vs. collecting $0.
On a sunny day, how about a hot dog and beer stand at the top of the chair or something? Nobody wants to go into the dark and smelly lodge.
At the end of the day, station someone in the parking lot to hand out coupons for your next trip, but that have a tight expiration window.
Bus transportation, ticket, meals, rental equipment — all included at a discounted bundled rate.
Give families or groups a reason to choose your mountain over the competition. Maybe it’s a buy 3, get 1 free deal, or a “family 4-pack” type of offer.
At Whistler earlier this month, I noticed their terrain park was sponsored by Nintendo. This is only the beginning. Chairlifts, runs, and lodges could all carry corporate sponsorships.
Let’s ride The North Face quad up and then grab lunch at the Salomon Snack Shack.
If you ran marketing for a ski area (what a cool job!) what would you do?