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H@pkid0ist
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 29 Jul 2002
Posts: 101
Location: Hampton/Buckroe,Va
Styles: 2nd Dan Hapkido, Wing Chun, American style Boxing & wrestling, Karate, Monkey KF, Muai Thai, Ju Jitsu.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2002 12:29 pm    Post subject: Advertising/marketing Reply with quote

Hey, I have a question for yall out there.
To date what has been the most effective marketing/advertising tool to date that you have used? What has the public responded best to?

Now I have read simular posts to this but wha tI am asking for is things that have already proven to work.
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BlueDragon1981
Red Belt
Red Belt

Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 779
Location: USA
Styles: Goshin Jutsu Karate, Shotokan

PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2002 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its hard to say what is proven to work in most areas. I know the company I work for got a lot of customers simply by word of mouth and newspaper ads. That is the main reason people give when we ask.

As for MA the thing that seems to catch a lot of peoples eye are big newspaper ads, Flyers spread around town, and Business Cards. Droping promotional items somewhere is a way to spread them around. I was once told to take a handful of pens with the company name on them and lose them. The traditional newspaper and Radio ads are a good start if you can afford them. Specially Radio.
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Tombstone
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 24 Dec 2002
Posts: 408


PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2002 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Television commercials are costly but reaches alot of people.
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 28218
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2002 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And if you are looking for national/international advertising, KarateForums.com is a great place to advertise.

Locally, I would say that local TV stations are a good arena if you can afford it. Radio and print ads like BD said are good. Also, if you want to take out an ad in the phonebook, so when someone goes to "Martial Arts" and sees the list of schools (if you are in an area with a few schools), your ad will stand out.
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Killer Miller
Brown Belt
Brown Belt

Joined: 29 Nov 2002
Posts: 732
Location: California
Styles: JKA Shotokan

PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2002 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The BEST and CHEAPEST method of advertising is Public Demos... Malls, Fairs, Local Festivals, etc... You hand out flyers to the audience with your club info. You will be flooded with students - I promise... I used to have to teach classes with 60 and 70 students after these demos. About 1/2 of those will actually stick with it for a long term period though. I was month-to-month - no McDojo contracts...

- Killer -
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taebot
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 83
Location: central
Styles: tkd, kobudo

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2003 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't have any sure-fire tips yesterday, but an answer came to me earlier as I replied to another thread.

We do public black belts tests and advertise them.

The testing is combined with a pot-luck dinner and the public is welcomed in and treated as family.

We ALWAYS get new sign-ups even though marketing did not originally drive our testing concept and we do no recruiting.
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monkeygirl
KF VIP

Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 3678
Location: Iowa
Styles: Tae Kwon Do

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2003 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hrm...we actually did a demo in the mall in early September, as part of a fitness fair they were having. Actually, it was three demos: One on Friday night, two on Saturday afternoon. I must have passed out about 300 tickets over the weekend, and only two students came. They came twice and left.

Buddy sponsorships can often work well. The way these work is that current students give friends Buddy Slips that are good for 2 weeks of free classes. If the buddy joins, they get a free uniform. Depending on how many buddies a current student gets to JOIN, he/she earns prizes. Our prizes went something like this:

1 student-- T-Shirt (with school logo)
2 students- Belt Display Rack
3 students- Jumbo Gear Bag
4 students- Wavemaster Heavy Bag
5 students- 1 year of free classes

The offer lasts for about 2 months.
You may have to vary prizes depending on how much you charge for classes. There is an alternate form of this where instead of prizes, a student gets $20 worth of gear/MA supplies for every student s/he recruits (it can accumulate). Also, try using these at different times of the year to see which works best.
Most of our recruiters were teenagers so you may want to keep this in mind:
End of school year (Right before actually ending)-- Kids still have access to the friends they see every day, and the freedom of summer is a good time to start new activities. However, we've found that a lot of people are away on vacations during the summer so it doesn't always work well.
Beginning of school year-- Can be a time of high pressure at first, but wait a few weeks and their schedule will settle down and be figured out. People will often wait until fall to join, because it kind of has the feel of an after-school activity. Also, it's a good way to release all that energy from being penned up in school all day.

Finally, if you have a program for small children, you might want to try advertising in day cares/preschools, etc. Make sure you get the point across that you don't get into "Eastern Mysticism" (if that's true of your school), because people get kind of freaked out. They think you're going to make their kid levitate or pray to Buddha or something. They sometimes think of it as religion instead of art/activity/sport whatever.
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KickChick
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 02 Aug 2001
Posts: 3282


PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2003 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can offer a whole bunch of "ideas" (this was really my area of expertise in college) but the tried and true methods that have worked at our school so far are:

Web Page (offering web discount for classes)

Small article appearing weekly in newspaper mentioning the web site

Having student black belts teach afterschool TKD program in the area schools. (usually they run for 8 weeks) Many come into the school to continue with formalzed training.

Buddy Program (similar as to what monkeygirl described)

We have done others but these have shown reslts for our school. We also offer Cardio kickboxing too that we have also advertised in this way.
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