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Marketing Naturism podcast – transcript

Marketing Naturism
The Naturist Living Show Podcast
Episode 55, May 2013


Transcription service by Rev.com

Stéphane D:  On this episode of the Naturist Living Show, Marketing Naturism.

Female:         This episode of the Naturist Living Show is brought to you by Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park.  At Bare Oaks, we offer traditional naturist value in a modern setting.  Free your body.  Free your mind.  www.BareOaks.ca.

Stéphane D:  Welcome dear listener to this episode of the Naturist Living Show.  My name is Stéphane Deschênes and I'm your host for this podcast and the owner of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park.  On this show, we are going to talk about just one thing, marketing naturism.  Marketing your naturist club, marketing the naturist movement and it's going to be a pretty long show.  I have a lot of material to cover and to discuss.  I think this is going to be the longest show yet. 

                        We're going to for sure exceed an hour so settle down.  Listen to it in a few sections if you want, but it is an important topic that a lot of people have asked about and that they want to hear about and they've asked for advice on.  I am going to go through the whole thing.  It's like condensed marketing course in one and a bit hours.

                        I thought we'd start with our now regular contributor, Felicity from YNA, and I asked her to talk a little bit about her views about marketing naturism.  So here you go.

Felicity:          Hi.  It's Felicity of Young Naturist America back for my monthly segment.  First, I thought I'd share my thoughts and Stéphane's topic this month about advertising and marketing naturist clubs.  I'm going to be blunt.  Most naturist clubs in the US are really bad at this.  They are particularly bad at using the Internet for advertising and marketing.  It's not the first time I'm saying this because as YNA, we've been very vocal about the lack of marketing savvy in the naturist world. 

                        Anyway, the first step is recognizing that there is a deficiency.  Obviously, clubs use advertising because they want to attract new members and do business, but they should also know that good marketing and online presence will especially attract more young people.  I will now share what we consider to be the most essential bits of advice on how clubs can improve in this area.  First of all, most nudist club websites are poorly designed and while the information may be up to date, they still like they haven't changed since 1997.  Many people, especially younger people, will quickly leave a cumbersome, outdated website. 

                        What clubs should know is that a website should not be treated like a business card.  It's not just a page to just dump some information.  It's the foundation of any business that wants to have a place in the future.  It should be used to engage visitors to network and even create a community among club owners. 
                        It will cost some money to revamp a website, but a club really can't survive without a decent functioning site. 

                        Secondly, it seems like a lot of clubs and resorts are still investing money in print advertising.  Print advertising is becoming obsolete with not enough return on investment to justify the cost.  Online advertising is much cheaper and will allow you to reach a much broader audience.  Plus, it has the potential to remain permanent by existing virtually online forever.  Thirdly, many clubs are not using social media.  The two big ones are Facebook and Twitter.  These are both free and pretty easy to use.  So why aren't more clubs using them?  I'd really like to know. 

                        I think maybe it's because the owners and management don't know how to use them or maybe they don't think it's important or maybe they don't have a person or volunteer to take care of it.  It is important and clubs should appoint someone to manage a Facebook page and Twitter account.  I recommend that privately owned businesses hire a social media manager.  That's what tons of mainstream businesses are doing these days because it's become so big.  If you did hire someone, they could create a lot more accounts and even write a blog for your club, which is a very beneficial edition to a naturist club's website.  Also keep in mind that social media should be updated regularly with good quality posts.  That means writing about more than potluck dinners and skinny dips.  Not that those aren't fun, but there's more to it than that.  That's why a person should be given the task of managing it. 

                        By the way, some months ago we actually created a group for a nudist club and resort owners on Facebook called "Nudist Business Owners."  We created this group to try and lend support to club owners and for them to have a place to share ideas and strategies with each other.  The group has, unfortunately, been dead, but we still welcome new people to join, to post questions and to discuss what I have talked about in this segment.  It's a totally secret group so you can send me a message in [inaudible 00:05:34] at Facebook.com/felicitynaturist if you want to be added to the group. 

                        This is all very basic advice, but the naturist world is so far behind in marketing. 
                        I hope this podcast episode will inspire club owners to make changes to their websites and start updating their strategies to join us tech-savvy people in the 21st century.  I have one last thing to share for YNA News.  I just wanted to announce that our YNA upstate New York chapter will be having their very first event on June 29.  It's a weekend long retreat on a farm in Ithaca and there will be a cooking workshop with a chef, some wine tasting, naked yoga and more. 
                        So visit our website to check it out at NudistnaturistAmerica.org.  That's all for this month so back to Stéphane.

Stéphane D:  Thank you Felicity.  I totally agree.  There's definitely a lack of marketing amongst a lot of naturist clubs out there.  That's too bad because if somebody owns a naturist club or if they run a naturist club, if it's a club somebody has to be appointed or elected to run the club, they're in the business of marketing.  They may not be an expert in all those areas, but hopefully they have a good sense of what marketing is about.  Yes, sadly, it does seem to be lacking in a lot of clubs.  We're going to be going a little further than Felicity.  She gave some very good specific advice and she's very right about it.  The Internet is the place to market. 

                        It's such a boon for naturism because naturism is such a niche market and before the Internet, it was so hard to reach people, so expensive, so difficult to get the information.  Now with the Internet it's actually simple.  People who are interested can find it and you can target people so easily.  You can do it very, very cheaply, in many cases for free.  It just takes time and understanding what you're doing. 

                        We're going to talk for the rest of this show and it's going to be me mostly talking.  We're going to talk about marketing.  Usually, you don't listen to me, you listen to one of the guests that I bring into the show, but in this case, I think I'm fairly qualified to talk about this.  I spent a lot of years working for advertising agencies.  Also, I've taken a club, which was essentially inactive with only a little over 100 members to well over 500 in six years and actually took less than six years to get there.  Last summer we had over 2200 visits by nonmembers, many, many of those being people who had never been, had never tried naturism before.  The rest being people for whatever reasons chose to visit a few times, but not take out a membership, but that's Okay, too.  As you've heard at previous shows, we've had no problems attracting young people and that's all marketing. 

                        I'm going to be talking to you about my views of how to successfully market. 
                        The fact you are listening to me right now suggest that I've managed to get enough people's attention that we now get regularly 50,000, 70,000 in previous some months, as I've said before, over 100,000 listeners to the show so that's marketing, too.  That's one of the first things that I want to talk about, the difference between marketing and advertising.  A lot of people use the two terms interchangeably, but marketing is much broader.  Advertising is communicating your marketing message.  It's getting people to learn about what you have and it's very important, but it, by itself, is not marketing. 

                        Marketing by the traditional textbook definition is made up of five different items.  First, the right product or service and I think in the case of naturism, you've decided on the service or product ahead of time.  Is it the right one? 
                        It depends on who you're targeting.  Even within that, there's a lot of deciding what you are selling.  The biggest misnomer in what naturist parks are selling is camp sites or swimming pools.  Naturism, as we've discussed to death in the show, is a lifestyle, a philosophy, a movement.  It's full of ethical and moral consideration.  You're selling an idea.  You're selling something much more than facilities. 

                        Otherwise, you are competing against regular campgrounds.  You're just a campground or a country club with a dress code or different test code or a little more tolerance of nudity.  That's not very powerful, particularly when you're trying to convince people to do something very difficult which is to be nude in front of others.  That's hard.  That's very hard and for reasons we've discussed in several other shows as well.  You have to have something that is powerful enough that makes people want to get over this phobia, this gymnophobia they have.  You have to sell them a service that means something.  That's the right product or service.  We can spend a lot of time talking about that, in fact, we have in other shows.  So I won't belabor that point any further. 

                        The second point in traditional textbook marketing is the right price.  What's the right price?  I don't think the right price personally is the cheapest price.  I've heard many people say, "In naturism, you can always stay in a naturist park cheaper."  That's wrong.  It shouldn't be cheaper in my opinion if it's cheaper, why?  Is it cheaper because it's less?  Well then in a lot of cases it is less, but that's a whole other discussion.  Pricing is key and important and that's a whole discussion.  You have to take into consideration competitive factors, what people can afford, what they expect.  I always compare myself to a round of golf in the area and we're a lot cheaper than a round of golf and I think we provide more,
                        so that's the right price.

                        Number three in traditional marketing are the right quantities.  Not really relevant here, although in the case of Bare Oaks we are out of campsites for people who wanted to keep their trailer there the whole season, the whole year.  In fact, there is about a ten year waiting list right now.  By the way, there was probably of two thirds of them were empty when we bought the park six years ago, but now there is such a demand that we're out of sites and that's a bad thing.  That's an operational issue and we don't have the money at this point to invest to build the sites.  It takes a lot of money and time so we won't worry about that, but that's the number three, not that important for marketing discussion here.

                        The right place, that is in traditional package of goods marketing, the right place as a marketing idea is that you put it on the shelf or you sell it in the right store, but in the case of our service or our product, you have to be in the right location.  If you are too far from where people live, then you have a different business. 
                        If your business then is, for example, if you are in San Martin and you have beautiful resort called on Orient Beach called "Club Orient," then you are selling vacations.  You are probably not making your business on day-users, as we do at Bare Oak.  We're 65% of our members are day-users because they can drive less than an hour and spend a day at the club.  They don't need to stay overnight. 

                        If you are club oriented, then you are selling, in that case towards an overnight.  So the right place in that case because it is a destination is going to be even more incredible so you have the ocean and the beach and the place to stay that make it a fabulous place.  The same thing with Montalivet where we're going in July for our group trip that we have organized.  They are in the dunes and they have a beautiful ocean and views and nature so because they're a destination.  That's the right place in that case.

                        Finally, the fifth element in traditional textbook marketing definition is the right time which means that you're presumably, it's like telling naturism in the middle of winter and not in the summer.  Although, you actually want to start selling it in the spring when people are starting to think about it because this is a high involvement decision to try for the first time.  I never market to existing naturist.  I'm always trying to find new naturist because otherwise, that's why we talk about a shrinking market and a shrinking business in naturism.  We are always trying to market ahead of time to give people time to think.  In fact, it could take years to get there.

                        When you have all those elements of marketing figured out in terms of what you are selling, then you have to decide who you're selling it to?  That's the target group.  To a certain extent, that's going to define the pricing, the place, the time, the product, even that you're offering.  Who is your target group?  Who are you selling your naturist service to?  We talked about how different groups have different expectations.  If you want to attract young people, they have less budget.  They're busier.  They have certain consideration.  People with children have certain consideration.  People who are retired and have different consideration. 

                        Fundamentally, you can target in two ways.  You can target your existing group.  You look at who's at the club right now or at your resort and you say, "This is my target group," because these are the people that like us now.  That's very valid.  You're using targeting your current strengths, you're strong with a certain group.  The problem with most of these clubs are out there that are complaining about shrinking is that they are older and so they are targeting only to older clubs and older people and they're providing services that appeal to older people. 

                        The other option is to target desired groups that you don't currently have. 
                        Now there you're marketing to your weakness.  So why are you weak?  There's two options.  You are weak in that area because your product or services does not appeal to that group or you are weak in that area because you've never successfully convinced them to come buy your product, buy your service.  With young people, I think it's very clear that young people can be convinced to try naturism, do enjoy naturism if you are offering the right product, the right service and you're reaching them and convincing them to try it. 

                        It definitely can be done, but you have to be careful because it's very tempting to only market to your strength.  It's Okay.  It's strong.  You know you're good at targeting the group you currently have.  That's Okay.  Certainly, that can be the low hanging fruit, the easiest people to market to because you understand them and when they come, they're going to see people that are like them and they'll enjoying being there.  But it can be a trap because you can convince yourself that's the only marketing you can do.  You can convince yourself that young people aren't interested if you have a club full of older people.  You can convince yourself that children and parents aren't the right target in the naturism. 

                        There's a club that I was talking to the owner and they had taken out their playground.  Why?  "Because it was unsafe," they said.  "Are you not replacing it?"  "No, we have no children here."  Of course, if you have no children and you take out the playground, you will never have children or you're certainly not making yourself children-friendly.  The rationale for them was that the older people have more money and more time to spend in the club and therefore, spend more money and that's probably true. 

                        My point of view is, we have older people as well, so I'm not against marketing to older people or selling naturism to older people, but younger people, if you get them when they are in their 30s and they are just starting their family and they raise their children there, they are going to be there much longer than the older people.  Therefore, over the lifetime they will spend more money and you will create a continuous circular flow over a century, if you will, of people from young to old and there will always be a mix. 

                        With children, if you keep the children happy and the children love to be there, then the parents are happy because when you have parents, you're trying to keep your children happy and have a good time because you love your children and sometimes you're looking for a little peace and if they're happy, they don't bug you.  The beach, the playground, the toys, the activities, these are the kind of things that parents are looking for and if you want to target younger people that's what you have to consider.

                        The important part and the most important part where every, I think, loses focus in the target group is remember, we're not Coca-Cola.  What do I mean by that is we don't need to reach everybody.  If you look at companies like Coca-Cola, they have to sell to almost every single person on the planet in order to keep growing and in order to keep their market share.  It's a product that is supposed to appeal to almost every single person, the lowest common denominator, very generic advertising.  They have to spend a lot of money just on branding, reaching the whole world.  It's very expensive. 

                        With naturism, you're not trying to reach everyone.  You're trying to reach a very small percentage are interested and if you can get 1% that's probably pretty good.  It's like the assumption that all young people want to party all the time. 
                        I know lots of young people who don't want to party all the time.  I know young people who don't like to use Facebook.  I know young people who don't like to use their cell phone.  There is no one type of young person that you can define.  There is no one type of person becomes a naturist either. 

                        In the example of Bare Oaks in our example, we have about 6 million people within one hour's drive of us.  If I got 1% that would be 60,000 people, well that's way too much.  I'm not looking for 1% because I couldn't handle 6000, never mind 60,000.  You have to keep your expectations in check.  You have to focus and realize that you are not going for 50% or even 20% or 10% of the population.  You are looking for maybe, it's probably less, but maybe 1% of the population that is, shall we say is smart enough, open-minded enough, educated enough to understand that naturism is a better way.  That naturism is a better life and a life philosophy that could make the world a better place.  For now, maybe in a long time from now, we'll be able to talking about much bigger target groups, but for now and anywhere in North America and most of the world for that matter, 1% would be incredible.  Other than the few European countries that would be a huge impact on the population in terms of the influence of naturism.

                        When you pick your target, you have to try to decide what do you want?  What do you need?  What do you want to reach?  There's no point, of course, in going after a difficult target and again, back to that 1%.  For example, there's no point in trying to target fundamentalist Muslims because we know they have issues with covering up themselves.  We know that's a much harder sell.  I'm sure we could convince some of them.  I'm sure that's doable.  There's always people that can be convinced in any group, but try to discover within your targeting, who you want to reach and what they have in common.  Look again at the future, not just the short term. 

                        One of the things I've discovered is people focus very much on demographics, age and we've talked about young people.  They talk about income and they talk about things.  Those are called demographics, income, age, education.  What is far more important in the naturism is cycle graphics.  In cycle graphics is how you're thinking, your emotional state, what you like, what you dislike.  These are harder to measure, but they are far more indicative of what people are looking for and what's going to make them go there. 

                        For example, I'm sure you understand that people who are into alternative medicines or into certain spiritualities and things like that are probably more open to naturism than your traditional blue-collar worker who works a very steady 9-to-5 job and just believes, likes the standard football and standard all things that you expect in your typical profile.  Which is probably the mass of the population, this is probably the core of the population.  In that target, what are your cycle graphics?  How do you determine them? 

                        I'm not going to tell you what mine are.  It doesn't matter because different areas are different.  You might decide you want to target a different group.  How I do it is whenever there's new people, I go talk to them.  "Why did you come here?  How did you find us?  What made you decide?"  I love to have those chats with people.  That's how I get the insight about what to do next.  What's working, what's not working.  Not just as one or two questions, a real in-depth discussion.  You know I buy them a beer.  We sit down.  We chat.  Most people love to talk about it.  This is new.  They are excited.  They love why they are there.  So they love to talk about it, too, and I get an incredible amount of insight. 

                        Sometimes you might want to look at the people you don't want and find out why they are there as well.  We have people who are too loud.  Who come there just to party.  Who are not really interested in naturism, they just were looking for a place in that particular situation to have their party and not be disturbed.  They didn't want to take their clothes off.  I'm trying to understand where they came from and why they found us is important as well.

                        I will give you one warning with regards to listening to people.  People don't always know what they want.  For example, if you ask people, "Would you like to pay more for the same service?"  The answer is always no.  In fact, most people would like to pay less and get more.  That's normal so do I.  You can't always ask some of these questions.  In terms of pricing, some of it is a bit of an experimentation in trying to understand what you're trying to influence.  For example, we raised our day-visit last year, significantly about over 20%.  The reason for that is a lot of people were not taking out memberships and because it was cheaper to just pay by the day and then you didn't risk paying when the weather was bad.  We needed to make it so they paid more than their fair share of the operations and of the cost of maintaining the place.  We raised the price significantly.  I knew this was a problem for a few years, but I did not want to discourage new people and if the price is too high, I thought I might discourage new people. 

                        What we offer now is in the month of June, we're offering a free day-visit and we will give people who come for their first time often a 50% off coupon if they return.  So we are encouraging trial by offering something now of even more value because a day-visit is even higher than it used to be.  We are encouraging the ones who were regulars and love the place to take out a membership and we've had no resistance.  Going from about $40 to almost $60, a little less than $60, $50 did not cause as much backlash I even expected.  That's how you have to figure out.  If I had asked people, "Do you want me to raise the rate?" 
                        The answer would be no.  We saw that there is in what economists call "price elasticity" that there was some room to grow that pricing in there. 

                        Also when you ask people, Apple knows very well.  Apple knows that people don't always know what they want because they have never seen it before. 
                        The Apple, the iPhone, I have an iPhone.  I have an Apple computer.  When Steve Jobs decided to revamp Apple and decided to make candy colored computers, I can tell you there was no research that said that people wanted computers that were fuchsia and lime green and all these other colors he came out with.  Yet those were incredibly popular and successful because of his insight and understanding that a lot of the existing Mac users and the people who were passionate about that brand were design people and they were interested in looks and what it said about them, as much as anything else.

                        Similarly, when Apple came out with the iPad, I had an iPhone and I had a computer.  Somehow, I didn't think I needed a third device and yet, Apple convinced me that yes I needed to buy a third device that was neither a phone nor a computer and it was somewhere in between.  Yet, I probably still needed the other two items.  So now I have three Apple items.  That's what considering that your target market, your consumer does not always know what they want.  In the services you offer within your club, your park, your resort, your camp that's something you have to think about.  That's where you have to do trial and error to try to understand what things drive people and what things don't.  What programs attract them? 

                        It might be an event.  People don't always know which events they are looking for.  You try an event and one successful and one is not.  We didn't know how much demand there was for yoga, but yoga has become quite popular.  A lot of the people who were taking yoga, I know were not the ones who were looking for that program, but it was there so they were interested in it.  If you want to target youth, I won't talk about that anymore here, we have two podcasts, which I'll reference in the show notes, where we talk about youth and youth talk about youth where we discussed what is the way to target them and the key to reaching them.  This is about the marketing themselves. 

                        No matter what you do don't blame the customer.  That's in your target market and you are deciding what they want, the biggest trap I see people get into is blaming their customers for not wanting what you think they should want.  You know what?  Naturism is not the way it used to be.  If that bothers you that much that you can't adjust to it, then you should stop being in the business.  Pass it to someone else or sell off or close the door.  The days of people, for example, volunteering all the time, unfortunately they're gone.  We get a lot of volunteers at Bare Oaks.  I'm not saying that.  There was a time where people had a lot more time to volunteer.  Now people are willing to pay. 

                        Now people, when they come, expect to have a restaurant because they don't want to make food or a picnic at a time.  It's too much work to make food ahead of time for people.  Their lives are too busy or they're not used to it.  They're not in the habit or maybe, they're even too lazy.  Lazy's a judgment.  I'm not here to judge them.  I'm here to provide a service that fits with what they want and that's what they pay for.  Then, in terms of your pricing, you were not selling the cheapest, you're not selling the least expensive, which is a terrible business to be in.  You're selling what they want at a value and a price that they are willing to pay.  That's how you become successful.

                        The next part I'm going to talk about branding.  Branding is a very, very important part of marketing.  The branding of naturism has suffered.  The brand that is naturism is viewed by a lot of people now as old, fat, lazy, sitting around drinking beer.  It's not the image of naturism from 100 years ago when it was all about health and thickness and sunshine and a better way to be.  Some of that imagery from the 100 years ago or even the 60s or 70s was driven by the exploitative naturist press and media that was showing only young people.  It is true though that the beginning of this philosophy, it meant a lot more than it does now.  There are lots of clubs where it is still a true philosophy of health and a better way of life. 

                        Unfortunately, there's also a lot of clubs that make it into the news that are nothing.  That are just places where you can be naked and mean nothing and you may even have some swinging happening or lingerie parties or things that don't seem to be consistent with any kind of naturist philosophy about rejecting clothes as a way of putting yourself above others or adding status or using clothes for sexualities.  If all of that gets mixed up, the public sees these stories, they see the reports and it confuses the brand of naturism.  Unfortunately, we can't control the brand.  We cannot control the brand of naturism, but you can control the brand of your club, park, resort, whatever it is because that is your name.  Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park is the brand that we have been developing and it stands for something quite intentionally.  The brand is far more than the logo.  People often think of the brand as in branding as in a castle branding as just a logo, but the logo is simply the representation of the brand. 

                        I think the person who said it best is Michael Eisner.  He was the CEO of Disney for a long time and he said, "A brand is a living entity and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures."  There's a lot in that sentence.  There's a lot and it is very important.  "Enriched or undermined," that's the thing.  That's what we talked about.  Naturism as a brand has been undermined over time.  It takes time.  Time's key.  You cannot build a brand in a month or with one ad. 

                        You cannot destroy it either, but whichever direction you go in, you build momentum and to reverse that momentum in case of negative brand attributes or negative brand experiences is a very difficult thing to do.  It's a train and it's hard to stop it.  It's a living entity because it is very much like a living entity.  I'm going to play this clip describing BMW as a brand.  Everybody knows BMW cars as a brand, but let's listen to them explaining their brand.

Male:              Welcome back to Detroit here in the BMW stand.  Today's guest is Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes Senior Vice President Marketing BMW.  Torsten, what is it that makes the BMW brand so special?

Torsten:         That there are many things around which makes BMW special, but take a look at our stand here in Detroit.  You see it's again very typical BMW.  It's modern.  It's exclusive, innovative and also highly emotional.  As an example of how we define emotion, just take a look at the Z-4 Roadster Coupe concept here in Detroit that we are showing for the first time in the US here in Detroit.  Another example of the variety of our M-cars, the M-5, the M-6, but also of course, the M-3, perfect examples for the highly emotional substance of BMW.

Stéphane D:  You see it's about our human relationships.  It's about, we have a relationship with a brand that we like, the same way we do with a person.  The logo is like the face that you recognize the person, but the person is a lot more than their face and their picture.  It is their personality.  It is the experiences you've had with that person.  With a brand it's exactly the same thing.  The more positive experiences you have with a brand, the more you begin to trust that brand. 
                        If you heard in the BMW clip, they talk about emotions.  They talk about feelings about the brand.  So trust is a feeling.  It's really ridiculous. 

                        People say they trust one car company versus another.  I trust Chevy trucks over Ford trucks.  General Motors is this massive company with tens of thousands of employees and one truck is designed by a completely different team probably than the other team and it's built by subcontractors.  It's almost ridiculous when I think about logically to trust a large corporation and yet we do.  We do based on our experiences.  If we have bad experiences with a Chevy truck and we have more problems and we have bad experiences with a dealer, which is scary for GM because they are very dependent on the faces of the dealerships.  If you have a bad experience with a dealership, then you will hold that against Chevrolet if that's the brand you are dealing with. 

                        The components of the brand is things that make them like a person that gives them a persona, yet they are not a person.  They are things like trust, loyalty and connection that you make with a brand the way you do with a person.  When you find a person you like because of their style, their personality, then they become your friend and brands in some ways, you can connect to them.  People are very loyal to brands.  Coke versus Pepsi or certain beers because they also identify with them.  It becomes part of who they are.  It's very powerful.  The components of a brand are, of course, the product or service that you are providing and that's fairly obvious in the case of naturism as well. 

                        It's also the target market or the customers.  It's who's there and that's where we get into the issue if all you see are older people and you are trying to target younger people, but it's also who you are talking to.  In all the messages you are sending out there in your online presence, as Felicity was talking about, and in your website and on Facebook and your advertising and your marketing in general, who you are talking to is creating an aura or an image around your brand and your target market, your customer.  It's obviously the communication is what you say, but most importantly, it's the experience. 

                        The experience is everything and people forget that.  It's what it's like in the washroom.  It's the invoice you get in the mail.  What does it say?  How does it look?  How does it make you feel?  Every time you get an invoice it makes you feel bad?  Then you start to feel bad about the brand or the brand has to make up for that in more and other things.  You have to consider all these issues as you do your marketing and as you are planning your brand.  There is no detail that's too small.  Let me just played this clip here from Michael Eisner again.

M. Eisner:      Our willingness to be leaders and ignore what the competition was doing extended to every level, even to the bathrooms of our ships and hotels.  I'm sure many of you travel extensively and have taken showers, only to be greeted by something like this.  Your hair is wet.  You rated poor on the shampoo, but the words on that little shampoo are so small and even with your glasses on and,
                        of course, they're sitting across the room, you cannot read what it says.  Is it shampoo?  Is it conditioner?  Is it poison?  What is in that bottle?

                        Now if you stay in a Disney resort, a cruise ship or any of our hotels, these amenities, which even are farsighted guests will be able to decipher, they can be seen.  When you get in the bed, I insisted that there be lights that are actually bright enough to read, unlike the 25 W bulbs that some hotels seem to favor and it is annoying you all admit.  Let me make it clear, while I advocate this micromanagement.  I'm not suggesting that one person should decide at a big institution all the ideas.  Nothing can be further from the truth.  Although, I am pretty proud of those shampoo labels and reading lights. 

                        The key is to act on an idea, to see something that's not right and to say something to somebody to do something about it, whether it says big as they knew, business venture or as tiny as a shampoo label.  When one of these great movies comes out everybody says, "I had that idea.  I had the same idea.  It was my idea.  I'll sue you," but the movie got made because one person, not that  person, had the idea and then actually made it happen, knew how to function in a organization that could take a good idea and nurture it to completion.  It's fundamentally about keeping your eyes open.

Stéphane D:  I love Disney World for that.  At Disney, no detail is too small.  At Bare Oaks, Disney World is my model for Bare Oaks.  Not because I want to be an amusement park, but because I want to reach the same level of attention to detail because that's what makes Disney World.  There is no detail that is too small.  You heard Michael Eisner talking about their shampoo bottles and things like that and that's the thing.  You have to experience your club and your park from the eyes of people who are going there for the first time, which can be very difficult.  Because we are so mired on the day-to-day basis with the pump that's broken or the toilet that's overflowing or the misbehaving guest in the back or whatever it is.  We forget to step back and as part of our marketing and our planning to look at our park and see what are we missing? 

                        Just today I was at the park and I was at my trailer and I had some dishes to do and I didn't have any dishwashing soap.  I needed dishwashing soap.  I thought I'll get some from the store.  We don't carry dishwashing soap.  We should.  We're going to.  Tomorrow I'm going to buy some stock of dishwashing soap because the stuff that people are looking for that's part of your experience.  Look, they have what I need.  Our store is very well-stocked, not because we make a huge amount of money on this stuff, but because it's part of the experience.  When people are having a negative experience because they forgot something, their razor, their comb, whatever it is if we can fix that, we are improving their experience.  We are solving their problem. 

                        When I was in the Disney, I will go through Disney World.  I've been going to Disney World since I was a child and I would go through Disney World looking at it totally differently.  It could be Disneyland as well, but California is a little too far for me.  When I go to Disney World in Florida, I walk through it and I can just enjoy looking at how everything is put together.  The cast members, as they call them, the staff there just appear.  You don't see them going back and forth from work or having a break.  You don't see garbage bags because they all disappear into the middle of the night.  They have these underground passage ways to maintain the experience that the magic of being there. 

                        If you look at the details, in Adventure Land, the garbage cans look a certain way and Frontier Land they look a different way, in Epcot they look at different way.  They are designed, painted to fit into the environment so they don't break the experience.  They don't break the fantasy that is being built, the show that is being put on.  I was in one of the restaurants in, I think it was in Frontier Land and it was a naughtically-themed restaurant and everything was ship-oriented and they were serving fish.  As I'm sitting there eating my meal, I'm looking around and I look on the wall and up on the wall is the emergency light.  Every building has to have emergency lights.  If you go by an emergency light and most anywhere they come in one color, beige.  They're all beige.  A base emergency light, especially tucked way up in the corner would have looked just fine, nice, clean, new, no problem. 

                        Except, this beige emergency light was not beige.  It had been beige, but somebody made it look like wood.  So I went to look at it closely and there is no other way to do this.  It was hand painted with a wood finish to fit with the wood paneling on the wall.  That's an awful lot of detail.  Somebody said, "We can't just put a beige light up there."  Then they decided to get somebody to paint it.  They had to find somebody who had the talent to paint wood grain on beige light.  They had to get the paint and they had to get it done.  That was probably expensive, but that's the kind of attention that Disney has.  That means that your entire experience is reinforcing the brand.  They avoid all these little things. 
                        It's the little details that can break that fantasy of or experience or that you are in.

                        I want to do the same thing.  I am nowhere near that, but you never stop. 
                        You should never be happy.  I don't know how you could ever be satisfied that everything's perfect.  There's no such thing.  It doesn't mean you're always mad at people or yelling at anybody or trying, pushing people.  It means that you are paying attention as the leader, as the marketer to always finding ways to improve the experience, improve the environment so that your guests have a better and better experience because that's what selling and that's what your brand is.

                        There's an individual called Terry O'Reilly that I used to work with.  When I worked in the advertising agency world, he had a company.  I think it was called Pirate Radio even at that time and they did radio commercials.  Mazda was my account and we did a lot of work with him.  He's a brilliant radio audio advertising guy.  A few years ago he started creating a radio show for CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, on advertising.  It was called "The Age of Persuasion."  If you want to keep thinking about how to market and how to speak to people and how others do it and get your brand going, this is a great show to listen to.  I'll put a link in the show notes so you can go and listen to the archives because there's a lot of really great stuff there.  He, of course, talks about branding.  I want to play this little clip.

T. O'Reilly:     Starbucks is another great experienced marketer.  Joseph Pine, co-author of "The Experience Economy," puts it this way.  "A cup of coffee is only worth a few cents, but when packaged and sold at a supermarket, it is now worth $.25.  If it's brewed and served by a wager, it's worth two dollars.  But if you were allowed to design your own coffee, it is brewed in front of your eyes and you can enjoy it in the setting of a Starbucks café, it easily sells for five dollars.  The experience of Starbucks, the coffee theater of Starbucks makes a product worth more to the customer who is willing to pay a premium.  Experienced marketing creates word of mouth.  It's someone saying to you 'You have to experience this yourself.  You have got to go.'"

Stéphane D:  So you see when you are selling coffee or whatever it is, but when you are selling something beyond just a product, beyond the basics of a commodity, you realize that you are selling and experience.  As human beings that's what we enjoy.  We enjoy an experience and is there any more powerful things than naturism for being an experience?  We don't just like shake people up by changing their environment of their vacation.  We shatter what they didn't know.  We do change how they look at things, their bodies, themselves, others.  It's an incredibly powerful experience.  It's so much more than just selling water hookups or electricity or dances on Friday night.  We are selling something that is massive and we have to remember that in our marketing.

                        At Bare Oaks, customer service and staff is one of the most important things.  We have a great staff, but we spend a lot of time doing customer service.  Anybody who's listening right now who runs a club, whether you are the owner or the operator or the manager it doesn't matter.  How much time do you spend with your staff teaching them how to handle customers?  When you bring the summer staff in, when you have people behind the front desk, how much training?  You may not be qualified to do it.  That's Okay.  You can find some.  There's customer service training, the interaction, it's the first people they deal with when they come into your place is going to set the tone. 

                        I said in the "Why Clothing Optional Doesn't Work" if the first person they see in a naturist club is a dressed person, you are setting an interesting tone.  In our club at Bare Oaks, the first person you see at the front desk is nude because that's what we believe in and that's what makes them both uncomfortable and comfortable at the same time.  What I mean by that is it makes them uncomfortable because they are dressed and it makes them comfortable taking their clothes off which is why they came in the first place.  If they came there to Bare Oaks to keep their clothes on, they should leave because that's not what we are about.  Why the hell are they coming to our place for that?  I mean it's crazy.  I keep saying that.  People say, "Can I keep my clothes on?"  Why would you want to?  99.9% of this world you can keep your clothes on.  Why are you coming to our place to keep your clothes on, just to challenge us?  That's rare.  That's not what most people want to do. 

                        Terry O'Reilly, obviously agrees with me in terms of Disney because in one of his most recent radio show, which is also a podcast, the newest show you had to I think four years of the Asia Persuasion he starred in a new show called "Under the Influence" which is a very similar theme, but a little broader in the terms of marketing discussions.  One of the more recent ones, he had "Tales of Customer Service," and I want to play one clip from that.

T. O'Reilly:     The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is a model of customer service.  This attention to details comes, not surprisingly, from the founder.  Walt Disney's mantra was "Give the public everything you can give them."  From that simple statement, everyone at Disney strives to exceed customer expectations every day.  MSNBC.com did an interesting article on Disney World titled "What Time is the 3:00 Parade?"  I'll explain that title momentarily.  Customer service at the Magic Kingdom is both an art and a science.  For example, Disney houses its lockers and wheelchairs to the right of the park's entrance because they have long observed that the majority of visitors go to the right when they come through the gates.  A Disney study showed that people who bought hard candy with a rapper took about 27 steps before tossing the wrapper on the ground.  So Disney put a garbage can every 25 steps. 

                        Another of their key philosophies is "It's not my fault, but it's my problem," which means even though visitors may approach a Disney employee with a random question or a predicament, the employee is taught to own the problem and stay with the customer until it's solved.  When visitors ask, "What time is the 3:00 Parade," Disney employees are never sarcastic, but answer, instead by saying …

Female:         "The parade starts at 3pm at Frontier Land, but it will be at Main Street USA by about 3:20.  You can wait here in the shade if you like." 

T. O'Reilly:     Every ride, show and train at Disney runs right on time.  If the train is a second late leaving the station, the conductor gets on the speaker and explains why the training is delayed and how long it will be before the train gets going.  Disney staff are trained to be assertively friendly.  In other words, they are encouraged to seek contact with visitors.  For example, they will actively approach someone who looks confused, instead of waiting to be asked for directions.  Disney's grasp of customer service was so exemplary, their customer satisfaction rating so high that other companies began approaching Disney for instruction. 

                        In 1986, the Disney Institute was born.  It's a Florida based division of the Walt Disney Company that teaches other companies how to exceed customer expectations.  Those companies have included Delta Airlines, IBM, General Motors, Chrysler and even the IRS.  The basic message at the Disney Institute is something that Walt Disney, himself, discovered decades ago that people remember people, not products.  The key is to encourage employees to be consistently attentive without seeming overly rehearsed or robotic.  For example, the Miami International Airport came to the Disney Institute for help.  Surveys ranked its customer service among the nation's worst.  Now you might think that an airport and Disney World don't have anything in common, but when you think about it, both companies have millions of people waiting in line for a ride every day.  400 Miami airport staff learned to put "It's not my fault, but it's my problem," into action.

                        The Disney Institute's lessons are transferable to any industry.  For example, a Chevy dealership in Massachusetts watched as their customer satisfaction levels jumped to 90% after studying with Disney.  A staffing service company took the course and saw their revenues double in one year's time.  A hospital in rural Wisconsin took Disney's customer service lessons to heart and its customer satisfaction scores soared to 90% and employee turnover dropped by half.
                        By implementing Disney's best practices, the Orlando Magic basketball organization introduced a new service oriented culture to its staff and its customer satisfaction levels jumped above the 90th percentile.  The list is endless, when customer service source so does profit.

Stéphane D:  If you don't know how to do customer service and you haven't trained your staff and you should obviously because it's such an important part of the experience that people have, not just their first experience, but their entire visit, you can go to the Disney Institute.  The Disney Institute is several thousand dollars per person.  It is for three, four, five days or you can do what I did.  You can spend $20, I think it was about $20, and buy a book called "Be our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service."  I'll put a link.  You can buy it on Amazon.  I'll put a link in the show notes so you can go and buy it yourself.  In that is the same material that they teach in the Disney Institute for several thousand dollars.  The thing is here is you have to be disciplined enough to spend the time reading it, making notes and making your training plan based on that.  It's an easy read and it's a fun read.  So if you want to learn a bit more about customer service, it's easy.  Just go buy the book.

                        What do we do in our training, at Bare Oaks that is?  First, the very, very first thing that we do is we talk about and this is with every staff member, not just the front desk, but every staff member that the folks who mow the lawn, the folks who are out there.  They are dealing with customers all the time and their job is just as important from a customer service standpoint as the front desk staff and that's what you see at Disney as well.

                        I was once at Disney and I rented a bike because as I have said, I like to look around and I rented a bike and I'm biking around areas where guests don't normally go on bikes that often.  I'm going on a bit on the outside in the fringes.  There was no sign saying I couldn't be there.  It just was not typical.  As I'm passing underneath the monorail, I stop and say, "I'm going to take a picture of the monorail as it goes over me."  I'm not there five minutes that a little Disney security van shows up.  Obviously, they've got surveillance equipment and I'm going, "This is going to be interesting." 

                        Out comes a guy, Disney security guy and I got to tell you.  It's hard to be tough when you've got a name badge that has ears on it, but he wasn't trying to be tough.  He was friendly.  He said, "How you doing?"  I said, "I'm good.  Thanks."  He goes, "You know …"  This was just after September 11.  He said, "You know with all the problems in the world, we have to be a little bit more careful and concerned."  He goes, "This is a little unusual to see a person here.  What are you doing here?"  I was like, "Just taking a picture."  "Yes, no problem.  We love you taking pictures, no problem, but we just got to check you out and make sure you're supposed to be here."  I said, "Yes, no problem."  "So where are you staying?"  So I tell him.  Show him my card and he just goes, "Okay.  I just confirmed that." 

                        He radios in and while he's waiting for a response he says, "Where are you from?"  I go, "I'm from Toronto." He goes, "Yes, yes.  I have a friend who lives in … What is that called?  Missisaga …?"  I go, " Mississauga."  He goes, "Yes that's it.  That's it," and he starts chatting.  I'm realizing after a few minutes that he's interrogating me in a way that is incredibly friendly and fun and comfortable, unless of course, I'm a bad guy.  Of which case I would be nervous, but I wasn't.  After a few minutes, he is satisfied.  He gets the answer he wants.  He says, "I hope you get a good picture and enjoy your day." 

                        That kind of training, I wish all law enforcement people would learn that kind of training because I think it's far more effective because you let your guard down and you might say something you're not supposed to.  That's what I mean.  Everybody gets trained for customer service and everybody gets trained about we're about and what we're selling.  Back to my first point, we tell every staff member, it's part of the staff manual that they get and they have to read it when they first start that there are three objectives at Bare Oaks, three business objectives that is.

                        Objective number one is the promotion of naturist values.  That's what we're here for.  That's what we're in business for.  Number two is ensuring a delightful experience for our members and visitors, which is what we've talked about. 
                        The experience that's what the brands about.  Number three is profitability because we're a business and we have to make money.  Then I emphasize that it's in that order and why is it in that order?  If, a guest as we said before, wants to come and keep their clothes on, we won't allow that because our first objective is a promotion of naturist values.  Why?  We have to maintain an environment.  People come to us, the vast majority, because we are a naturist environment. 

                        If we allow people to keep their clothes on and do things that are inconsistent with naturist values and philosophy, then of course, that breaks the experience, that breaks the fantasy, if you will, of being in a naturist only world.  You're shattering the glass.  We're trying to create this quite truly abnormal environment, abnormal because it's not at all like the real world.  People are coming to us because they want to break from that.  The whole world was naturist and open and we didn't have to worry about it, then there would be no reason to do this.  But we are creating in a place like Bare Oaks and this is true of any naturist environment, you are creating something special, something different.  So it is a bit of a fantasy because it is not real.  The real world is what they are trying to escape.  That's why we've created this environment.  If you don't fight to maintain that environment, then you are shattering the experience you are breaking it and it's not as positive or powerful of an experience and it hurts your brand.

                        To ensure the delightful experience for our members-visitors does not take precedence over the fact that first and foremost, we are doing the promotion of naturist value.  Similarly, profitability is not always the first consideration and an example for that is we do things inefficiently.  If we are halfway through a project and the day is over, we put everything away and we close things as much as possible, which just means in the morning we have to bring everything back out again and open things back up.  Why?  If we were Disney, you wouldn't even see it because we could somehow hide it in the backstage.  We don't have that luxury.  We still try to maintain when the guests are there during the day the perfect environment.  They don't want to know about our having to fix the septic system.  They don't want to have to see the things apart and bits and pieces everywhere.  As much as possible, we put things back together and take them apart again.  It's not efficient.

                        When we do garbage, we don't just leave garbage bags everywhere.  The garbage bags get tucked in one corner and then when they have all been assembled, then they all get taking out to the bin.  We don't leave garbage bags laying around while we wait for something to be picked up.  We try to hide that practical stuff as much as possible.  It's not profitable.  It would be more profitable to do it an efficient way, but that would take away from the experience.  That's why they are in that order.

                        They are not extremes.  They are not black and white or absolutes I guess is the right word here.  Obviously, everybody would have a much more delightful experience if I provided a Butler at every single campsite, but that would not be cost effective.  People wouldn't want to be paying for that.  There is obviously some give and take and some adjustments.  There's a limit to everything.  It's important for people to understand, for your staff to understand when they make decisions, do I do my job the most efficiently or do I make sure that this customer has a good time?  Hopefully, after our training and understanding our priorities, they will ensure the customers has a good time, even if it slows them down a little bit during the day.

                        The power of all of this is the emotional connection so that they get loyalty, loyalty to your brand and to your club.  If you do, the power is they will forgive mistakes and you will become very hard, if not impossible, to compete with.  The true emotional brands have no competitors.  The inverse, of course, is a negative image at which is challenging to overcome.  Unfortunately, we have that, as I said earlier, with naturism and its image.  At Bare Oaks we are building an image of naturism the Bare Oaks way, if you will.  Like the Naturist Living Show is part of that.  We have an idea.  We are trying to reinforce it.  That's what we talk about it in Naturist Living Show and that's why we created the show. 

                        We're trying to be more than just a park.  We're building a strong brand.  Most people now have heard probably if they're into naturism about Bare Oaks, at least in the English world.  The word's gone out.  That's because we've had articles everywhere.  We've been in magazines.  We're on the Internet.  We're everywhere.  It's part of the marketing communications, the advertising.  We're going to get to that later.

                        You have to ensure a consistency of your message in your branding.  If your brand is naturism, as it is with us, we ensure that everything fits.  So we don't have lingerie dances.  I don't know why people want to have lingerie dances in naturist clubs.  I'm sure it's a lot of fun, but the imagery goes against them.  We had some members from the previous club, the previous to Bare Oaks club, the one that we bought, who they used to have a leather and lace dance.  The first thing I did was say, "No, that's not happening anymore."  They said, "Nothing happens.  There's no sex or anything.  It's just fun.  It's like dress up for kids, except for adults."  I said, "I'm sure it is."  I believed them.  There was no reason not to believe them.  I'm sure it's a lot of fun, but that's not what we are about.  We're a naturist club and the image from the outsider is terrible because they will assume something is happening. 

                        Secondly, it just doesn't fit.  It doesn't fit with the brand.  It doesn't fit with the image.  It doesn't fit with what we are doing.  People can go and have a leather and lace dance at their house or they can go and haul somewhere else.  It's just not consistent with what they are.  Just like swinging, I have no problem with people who want to do that.  I don't get it myself, but if that's what people want to do that's fine.  But you can't connect it to naturism because it's not naturism.  The two have nothing to do with each other.  In fact, if they often do get connected unfortunately, and that just reinforces the general public's belief that you can't just be nude without sex.  You've got to keep those things separate. 

                        Single women come to Bare Oaks.  I had one just a couple weeks ago.  I think I told the story in a previous podcast.  They come and they stay because they're comfortable.  They come because they read on our website and they hear on our podcast and they've seen videos what we are like and it gives them a sense of comfort.  When they are there, they are very comfortable because we truly have naturist values and we are truly about respecting ourselves and others.  It's something that people want.  There's a whole episode on the show on women and naturism and I won't belabor that point. 

                        Only by building a strong brand and a strong philosophy around who we are are we able to do that as well as we do.  Don't let your business operation hurt your brand, remember that.  Don't let it hurt you, either.  Remember that you are not in business to operate water plants or pools or septic system.  You are in business for naturism or whatever.  Perhaps you are listening to this and you are not even in this business, but market is the same for everybody.  Remember what you are in business for.  Sometimes the small problems just drive you nuts and it makes you crazy. 

                        One of the examples is have you ever been to some place and there's a sign that says, "Keep this area clean?"  Whoever put that up has lost.  They lost because their experience, the customer experience is being driven by the operations. 
                        It won't work.  The people who make a mess, they don't care about your sign.  The people who care about the sign, they didn't need the sign in the first place because they already probably kept the place clean.  Everybody knows you are trying to keep the place clean.  The sign is just pollution.  It's a little insulting to the user and it takes away from the experience.  It suggests that there is a problem with cleanliness in the area or with people being unclean. 

                        I bet you, if you actually did a survey, whatever the problem is, but let's say the problem is in the washroom that 99% of people are not a problem.  Usually, it takes just one.  One person, but because as operators, as managers, as people who deal with this stuff all day, day in and day out because we only see the problem, sometimes we start to see everybody as being the problem.  We have to always remind ourselves, the problem is not everybody.  The problem is a very minute percentage and we're handling them so that for the majority, they don't have to deal with the problem, so that the majority has a delightful experience. 
                        I think I will bring Terry O'Reilly one more time to give, what I think is a perfect summary of what branding is all about.

T. O'Reilly:     In this world of abbreviated marketing messages and campaigns designed to last weeks, rather than years, advertising and marketing have shifted from long-term relationships to a series of the speed dates.  While I do believe that in the era of the MTV effect, audiences can take in a lot of imagery in nanoseconds, but that's not the same as persuasion.  Persuasion takes time.  As ads get faster and as people are handed more ad-avoidance technology, I think marketing that involves experience is good, in that it slows the process down.  It invites people to engage and interact with multiple touch points to multiple senses. 

                        It's a lesson taken from the experiential brand giants: theater, the movie industry, novelists, the tourism sector and one of the mightiest among them, Walt Disney, who turned amusement parks into branded adventures.  Brand experience creates impact, giving people a memory that can be stored and retrieved.  When you think of a brand, the feeling of a great experience washing over you that is marketing nirvana.  The time may be coming when you no longer buy groceries, instead you experience them in the age of persuasion.

Stéphane D:  Now let's talk about advertising.  As I said at the beginning of this show, advertising and marketing are often confused.  Marketing, we've talked a lot about now, we're going to talk about advertising.  Advertising is how once you've determined all of your marketing components and you know who you are that's how you get your message out.  John Wanamaker is credited with this quote. 
                        He was a US department store merchant from 1838-1922.  According to the lore anyway, he said, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted.  The trouble is I don't know which half."  That's very true.  In order to succeed in advertising, you have to keep trying.  You have to see what works.  It's obvious when it works because you are getting more people.  Thomas Watson, who started IBM said, "If you want to succeed, double your failure rate," because if you don't try, in other words, you are never going to succeed.  You're not going to get anywhere.  You're never going to invent and discover what works. 

                        Advertising is all about getting an appealing message to the right person.  As I said here, there's two components in what I'm saying.  There's the message, what we're going to say and there's the right person that's the target group.  I'm not going to go back there because we talked about that extensively earlier in this show.  We understand what target group is.  We've determined who our target group is.  Now, what is the message to them?  Presumably, we understand our target group so now our message is going to be tailored to them. 

                        With the message, with the advertising, there are two key components: reach and frequency.  Reach means that you get your message to them.  You reach them, but just reaching them once is not enough.  You need frequency.  You need to reach them many times.  Marketing, advertising, it's a marathon.  It's not a sprint.  You have to take time.  People who don't understand, often say,
                        "I placed an ad.  I didn't get any response."  Well, one ad doesn't do it.  In the case of Bare Oaks, almost everybody says they come to us because of the Internet. 

                        I'm sure the Internet's probably near the end, but here's how it probably works.  They might drive.  We have signs on the highway and they might drive by to and from work and they see the sign on the highway.  They just see the Bare Oaks name.  Then they see a listing in a directory they picked up.  Maybe one of those booklets where Orinda talks about things you can do on the weekends or campgrounds in the area and they remember that's the place I've seen on the highway.  Then one day as they are driving back and forth to work, they are listening to the radio and they hear an interview about Bare Oaks because we do a lot of PR and a lot of media. 

                        Finally, they say, "I'm going to look into that because I keep seeing their signs on the highway."  They go to the web and they find it and they learn more about it, but they still don't do anything because, as we said earlier, this is a very high involvement decision.  It's not something you make very easily, at least most people.  Then, suddenly, because you went on the web and maybe you signed up to be on the mailing list or you decided that you favored it to Facebook page, you find out there's a promo or a special events on a weekend, volleyball tournament.  Something to give the person the excuse to come, so then you visit, right? 

                        It's the combination of many, many different touches, many different points to build the awareness.  It's to reach and the frequency.  In that message, always strive to sell the benefits and not the features.  The benefits of naturism, they are everywhere.  People are not coming to Bare Oaks because we have a pool.  The pool is nice.  That's why they stay.  That's why they enjoy themselves, but they are coming for far more than that.  Even if you were just a regular camp ground or park, you still wouldn't sell the pool.  You would sell the experience, the relaxation, the fun, the pleasure that you have when you visit the place. 
                        You want an evocative message.  That means something that stirs emotion.  Fortunately, for naturism that's incredibly powerful.  You can talk about the mess that the world is making.  You can talk about how you can get away from the over sexualization of the human body, the objectification, the incredible reliance on fashion and rank and style, the impersonal nature of the world and that's the negative side.  You want to focus on the positive.  Naturism solves these problems.  Naturism gives you a positive experience.

                        Let's talk about medium.  The medium is now that we've talked about the message, where are you going to put them?  You have the traditional ones.  You have print.  You have broadcast.  You have outdoor.  Some of it, you still need to do.  You still need brochures.  People like to take things away.  We get visitors all the time, "Can we take some away?"  They pick things up if we leave them in places.  Most of us can't afford to be doing television advertising or outdoor billboards or any of that.  You can't just buy one ad.  You can't buy one billboard for one week.  You can't buy one television spot.  You need frequency.  That's not a practical one.

                        Starts with your basics.  Start it with the easiest stuff.  Make sure you have nice brochures that people can take away that explain who you are.  Make sure you have nice business cards.  Make sure you have your basics, your website and all that stuff.  Start with the easy stuff.  Consider then using promotions as well.  Do added value offers.  We talked about how we offer free first time, first trials.  You can try discounts.  You can try contests.  What's your objective in a promotion?  What are you trying to do? 

                        We're offering high-value cash prizes this year because for the top volleyball team because we're trying to bring higher talent.  A high cash prize is not going to attract the novice people because they know they don't have a chance.  By having higher talent and better volleyball to watch in between, it gets the younger ones, the more novice players all excited about the sport and maybe they learned something and it adds more energy.  To attract everybody, we offer that if you organize a team, the organizer plays free.  We try to encourage people to put a team together so don't just get one, get six or seven. 

                        By far, though, the most effective tool is PR and I don't understand why clubs don't use it more.  They do it such basic press releases.  We have an open house.  There's so much stuff to do.  The press picks up three different types of stories:  news, controversy and human interest.  It's so easy to come up stuff for this.  Last year we had a heat wave so I sent out a press release that we had free visits for first timers to get away from the heat.  The best way to beat the heat is not have to wear any clothes.  Did a press release about the fact that most people in society suffer from fear of nudity, gymnophobia.  We did a clothing drive.  We did a press release about that.  They don't all get picked up massively, but every year one of those gets pick up every massively and every release gets picked up at one point or another.  It's free advertising and it's more effective than advertising because people listen and pay attention to the editorial content far more than they do the advertising. 

                        The downside is you don't control the message as much, but if you are good at the interviews and that's something you can practice or you can find somebody who's good at it, if you are good at interviews then you can manage that message and you can make sure it's done.  As I always say though is I do all media interviews.  I don't care who calls.  I don't care how negative they're planning on being because if I don't do the interview, then they will still do the story without me.  At least if I do the interview, I have a chance to win the reporter to my side, make sure they understand my point and a chance to say what I have to say.  Sometimes it doesn't work out, but I would never say no because saying no doesn't get you anywhere for sure.  It's guaranteed. 

                        As part of PR, don't forget your community relations.  You have a lot of people in the area.  You hire the locals, join a local chamber of commerce.  Part of that is to get business, but part of that is to make business easier because we are well known in our community.  We are great supporters of our community because that's how we get along.  That's how we ensure that there's no concerns.  If they don't know, if we are a very secretive society, they'll make up their own stories and they will be a little bit leery about anything we need.  So when you need to expand, when you need to get an authorization, when you need to do stuff, the stories will get out and you might not get what you want.  It's no longer a world where they'll tell you to your face because we're far more subtle about it, but it's the fact that things just don't happen the way you want them to. 

                        I also joined all kinds of associations.  Not just naturist associations, although I believe that everyone should support a naturist organization and association somewhere.  I've said this before.  These folks are often volunteers who are promoting our brand, who are promoting naturism.  If we don't support them, nobody will.  You may not agree with everything they do, but at least they are trying and if you support them, then you get to have a say and hopefully, influence them a bit.

                        Other association, we're part of the camping association.  We're part of a bunch of tourism association, local business associations.  Not only do we learn and meet people, but we help promote naturism in areas that aren't traditional naturist clubs.  I'm not trying to, again, market to existing naturists.  I'm trying to market to people who will be interested in naturism but are not there yet and there are tons of those.  Our surveys suggest that and our success proves it.

                        Events, I think events are also very important because they help encourage trial.  People need an excuse.  They may be planning on coming to your club and they've been planning for two years.  They just need an excuse to come.  Some people have success by doing open houses, free-days.  Sometimes it's a tournament lot, like we're doing a volleyball tournament, it's a great trial opportunity for people to try and come in.  It can help with PR as well because when you do an interesting event, you can do a press release.  They add value to your customers. 

                        You were talking about places being boring and nothing happening, if you have events, you do special contest and festivals and tournaments then that adds interest and value to your customer.  It doesn't have to be complicated.  It can be a horseshoe tournament.  It can be a mini golf tournament.  You can make something out of almost anything.  Even a kids' weekend doesn't have to be complicated.  Kids like simple games.  Parents like it when you make their children happy.

                        Finally, I'm leaving the most important say to last because online is where you have to be.  We're right back to the beginning in what Felicity said.  You need to be online.  You must have an excellent website.  Not one that just shows your basic features, but really talks about who you are because people, again, are not trying naturism because of your swimming pool.  They want to know what you stand for.  They are slightly suspicious because they've heard it really is just about sex and so you have to repeat that it isn't.  Remember, everyone who comes for the first time is new.  They're learning.  You may have said it a thousand times, but that first timer has not heard it.  So you have to say on your website. 

                        There are endless free directories out there.  Want to list them yourself? 
                        You just go and you sign up and you list yourself.  I do something online, I do something every week.  I add myself somewhere.  I do an improvement somewhere.  I do a little something every single week and I've been doing it for six and a half years.  It builds up.  It's like putting a dollar in a jar every day. 
                        At the end of a year you have $365.  It builds up.  One doesn't make a big difference.  Every directory helps with your Google rankings.  With Google, I could do a whole show about Google.  There are so many features, so many different things they are offering. 

                        In fact, very shortly you're going to see that you can take a street view tour of Bare Oaks on Google Street View.  That was a service I contracted this year because I think it will make people more comfortable.  They'll be able to see where they are going before they get there.  It's not because that's really the problem.  It's because when people are nervous about trying naturism, because they are nervous about taking their clothes off because it's been beaten in their head that it's wrong to take their clothes off and emotionally they just can't do it.  Sometimes they need to have all the other concerns that are simple handled.  It's a nice-looking place.  It's a clean looking place.  Okay, I can go and I can bring my spouse so it's not a problem.  They need to see that, we need to address these things.  We need to talk to them nicely and know they won't have a bad experience.  Really, the issue is the nudity, but the excuses come from everywhere else and you have to help address them and I think Google Street View will help with that. 

                        There is all these other Google features.  Our blog is through Google.  The Naturist Living Show website is done through Google, blogger site as well with a custom URL.  It's endless.  If you search for Bare Oaks though now after all these directories, after all the things I've done.  For example, did you claim your listing in Google?  You know you can have a free place listing?  It's free.  There's no charge.  You just confirm you are the owner or the manager.  They do it through a phone card or they email you a postcard for free and then you are confirmed and then you have the power to control what's on there.  Then they allow you to put pictures and videos and all kind of information and pricing all free.  When you do that, of course, you show up on the map and that improves your ranking. 

                        All that social marketing as well that I do through Facebook and Pinterest and just look on the bottom of the page of the Bare Oaks' website.  You'll see all the places that we're involved in.  All that combines, especially after six years of doing it, to give us incredibly high rankings.  So if anybody types in the words naturism in Toronto because we're near the city of Toronto, nudism in Toronto, nudist, naturist or Ontario, we are in the top three listing every single time, top three.  I didn't pay anybody to do that.  We did that through a lot of effort over time.  You as a listeners helped because many of you have shared and commented and you keep listening to downloads, to links, to clicks.  It all adds up. 

                        Social marketing as Felicity said, you've got to do it.  It's very important.  You may not understand it.  That's Okay.  Find somebody who does, who by the way is not necessarily your teenage son.  Your teenagers are users of the technology.  That does not make them marketers.  Just because they wear running shoes doesn't mean they know how to build one.  To be an expert in marketing and an expert in social media is a skilled in itself and it's not necessarily a young person.  So make sure you find people who actually understand social marketing in order to do it.  It's not about technology and it's not about being a user.

                        You'll note that I have talked mostly in this episode about branding and about the target group.  Then that's because if you understand the person that you are trying to reach and influence and remember we are a niche so we are not trying to reach everybody.  You need to understand that small group that is key to who we are.  That small group that is so passionate or will become so passionate about naturism that you'll never lose them.  That's a very powerful business advantage.  Never mind that we're trying to promote a philosophy here.  You have to succeed in this world because it takes money to survive and it takes money to keep going.  So you have to have a successful business.  If you understand your target group and if you've developed a strong brand, if people come to your club or your resort or your park and have an incredible experience, then selling it will be obvious because the marketing of it is all about creating the service in this case and targeting it to the right people.  The message in your advertising will flow out of that, unless, of course, you want to make sure that when they finally come, they are not disappointed and they have a fantastic experience while they are there.  If you understand your brand, if you develop a strong brand, if you develop an incredible experience and you know who you are talking to, the message will be obvious.

                        This was a long show, a lot of points, a lot of discussions about marketing and advertising.  For today, that's more than enough for this episode of the Naturist Living Show.  Thank you for listening.  Thank you for sticking to the end of this particular episode.  My name once again is Stéphane Deschênes and I'm your host for this podcast and the owner of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park.  You can find links to all the items we talked about in the show in the show notes on the website at Naturistliving.bareoaks.ca.  That is B-A-R-E, Bare Oaks, O-A-K-S.ca because we are in Canada.  Keep sending your suggestions and your comments. 

                        I received a number of suggestions of things I wanted to include in the show, but I decided because it was going to be this long, I will save it to the next show.  This one is strictly marketing and advertising and that's it.  Some of these other things that you guys have sent me, we'll make into a future shows coming up in the next month or two.  I really appreciate getting them so keep sending them. 
                        The show's email address is Naturistliving@bareoaks.  That's again that's B-A-R-E again, BareOaks.ca.  Join us again in about a month for the next episode of the Naturist Living Show.

Female:         This episode of the Naturist Living Show was brought to you by Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park.  Traditional naturist values in a modern setting it traditional values means that naturism is more than taking your clothes off.  It is a life philosophy with physical, psychological, environmental, social and moral benefits.  Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park strives to promote those naturist values in a modern setting that provides the amenities and services that our members and visitors expect.  Free your body.  Free your mind.  Learn more at www.BareOaks.ca.

Links to items mentioned in the show:
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