Is print advertising for my summer camp really worth the spend?

And, if I do continue print marketing for my summer camp, where can I maximize my efforts?

Both questions have surfaced in recent conversations with camp marketing directors. So let’s dive in.

To Continue or Not To Continue?
To begin, how do I decide weather or not to continue spending money on print advertising for my summer camp? I generally like to start with the end in mind…why am I marketing for my summer camp? First, I want to sign up more campers and for these children to experience the joy of our summer camp. Second, and just as important, I want to measure my efforts so that whatever works, I do more of that.

So what gets me more summer campers, online digital marketing or print marketing? There is no pat answer. But, my question to you, especially if you have kids who are camper age, is–where do you go to get information? Where would you most likely get information when looking for summer camp for your child? The answer is likely either from a friend (i.e. you see their Facebook feed) or from Google.

Likewise, if you do decide to try print advertising for your summer camp, how do you measure success? This is a moving target. One way to attempt this is by using a distinct discount code. You can also use a QR code that sends prospective camp families to a specific online destination. I have talked with camp marketing directors who have used the former with little success. Our camp has tested QR codes in the past and it has been difficult to track progress. It seems that even when using these tracking tools, it is still hard to measure true ROI on my marketing efforts.

Lessons Learned on Marketing for my Summer Camp
When it boils down to my goal of getting more camper sign ups and measuring success, here is what I have found.

  1. Print advertising for my summer camp is hard to measure. If I do continue to spend marketing dollars here, be sure I can track it.
  2. Try small cheap experiments with print marketing. It never hurts to try something, measure it, and then make a more informed, data-driven decision. At the end of the day, if it works, do more of it. If it doesn’t…don’t.
  3. You can’t manage what you can’t count. One thing I love about digital marketing for my summer camp is that I can measure my marketing efforts. Further, when I build my sales funnel and keep everything in one place I can measure down then penny my return on investment (ROI).
  4. Use print ad spend for warm leads. Because summer camp is a big investment for families, it is a good idea to mail a professional brochure after a family has requested information. This is an easy and personal touch point that moves the conversation with prospective camp parents along.

Have more questions about marketing for your summer camp? Click the “get info” button on our website header and I will be in touch!