The 4 A’s to Marketing Success

If you fail to plan, then you’re planning to fail.  Follow our 4 A plan and you can’t go wrong!  Now more than ever leisure providers have got the opportunity to plan for the survival of their business.  Whilst marketing is just one element of the business that needs to be mapped out, it is an essential strand of the recovery plan needed for operators to bounce back following lockdown.

In this article we take you through 4 stages of running a successful marketing campaign starting defining your Aims and objectives.                                        


Without setting clear target and objectives you will never understand how successful your marketing activity is or what can be done to improve it next time.  Consider what you want to achieve at the end of your campaign.  What would perfect success look like?

Usually this might be direct sales, growing your social media audience, generating leads or improving your data capture?  But post-lockdown a primary Aim is to get your existing customers restarted and back into your facilities.  Inevitably their will be a level of drop-out that needs making up but with restrictions affecting capacity expected the primary focus will be on reactivating your customer base.

Finally, before moving on decide how you will measure these Aims and put the tracking tools in place.  Being able to track digital metrics will be easier (online sales, social media audience growth) but consideration is needed for some of the more manual tracking systems.  Do staff need re-training on recording enquiries via phone calls or walk-ins?  Do your procedures need revisiting to consider how people can check in to the facility if they were previously using fast-track kiosks?


Defining your objectives above will have helped understand who your target audience is.  And we’re not just talking age, location and gender.  With the targeting tools now available online your marketing activity can be very precisely aimed at small potential user groups.

Facebook gathers information on interests, behaviours, education, income and others.  Twitter allows targeting by interests, TV show engagement and behaviours.  And Google AdWords campaigns allow targeting based on specific keyword searches and website visits.

Next you have to consider which advertising channels are most appropriate for your target audience.  There is still a place for traditional advertising (providing your budget can stretch to it) such as radio, printed media, bus shelters, leaflet drops and direct mail.  But again, it depends on your audience and how likely they are to respond.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because 90% of Instagram’s users are under 35 then this is an ideal way to target teenagers.  A younger market is often savvy to advertising and will ignore a lot of the digital traffic that is aimed at them.  Consider using direct mail to this audience as a letter might actually break through the noise and get read.

Facebook continues to grow its 55+ market and we have seen great results from targeted PPC advertising to the older market.


With objectives set and target audience defined now you have to plan and carry out your strategy.  Consider what resources are needed both in time and direct costs.  Fully commit to each marketing channel you choose, for example, if you’re planning a Facebook advert, then craft an attractive video to accompany the advert, choose keywords that will capture the potential customer’s eye, setup tracking pixels to monitor conversions, create a landing page that achieves your objectives (data capture, sales, etc.) and decide on the metric that will define a successful advert.

Avoid leaving things too late.  With most digital advertising you can schedule your campaigns weeks in advance leaving you time to setup offline advertising, brief your staff and fine-tune your enquiry procedures.

Post-lockdown an element of flexibility will need to be built into your plans.  Without knowing what restrictions and limitations will be in place operators will need to be willing to adapt their plans based on Government guidance, customer feedback, capacity issues and income targets.


This is the part of a marketing strategy that is often overlooked by the novice marketer and even experienced ones can struggle to make time to fully evaluate a campaign.  Not only does it help refine your next campaign but can shape your existing campaign as it happens.  Only a few years ago we would have had to wait for enquiries to walk through our front doors and monitor ‘where they heard about us’ before deciding if our advertising had worked.  Now we can login to Google Analytics or check out our Facebook Insights and see what is happening with our campaigns in real time.

Using a url shortener such as allows the tracking of clicks on particular links.  Monitoring the click-throughs and open-rates on your email campaigns will produce a hot list of prospects.

But remember where we started; what were your original Aims?  Have you been able to track success linked to your objectives?  What will you do differently next time? Now go plan your next campaign.

TA6 have developed an action plan to support leisure providers in their marketing activity, called T-minus2.  For help with your post-lockdown strategy please get in touch with our team who will be happy to schedule a video call and talk through our T-minus2 plan.