Marketing in the Leisure Industry

The viability of any commercial leisure industry business (whether supplying a product or a service), depends heavily upon marketing.

The viability of non commercial marketing enterprises (eg. government funded facilities), are also increasingly reliant upon marketing. Continued funding more often than not depends upon a facility or service being used (hence being seen to serve a perceived purpose).

Goods and Services

What are we marketing then?

Marketing deals with either goods (tangible goods such as sports equipment, clothing, buildings, books), or services (intangible goods such as club memberships, coaching services, massage or consultation).

Target Marketing

Before deciding on a what product or service to produce to market, you need to:

  • see if there is a demand for your service or facility
  • identify the target market (eg. What demographic group)

This positioning guides all other marketing decisions eg. pricing, product assortment, advertising, services, etc.

If you try to have 'something for everyone' you can end up satisfying no market well. You may need to do customer research to find out their satisfaction level. You also may need to change your image or change your target market.

A business without direction can be likened to a ship without a rudder: it can only proceed in ever increasing circles, burning up fuel (costs) and going nowhere fast.

So ask yourself:-

  • What part of the market share are we asking for?
  • Are we growing the right range of product to cater for that chosen market share? Is our timing on target to gain a competitive advantage?
  • Are we just producing merchandise without a firm idea of where it may be sold?
  • Are we researching a market before commencement of production?
  • Have we got a high quality product? Can we command a premium price? Is the market saturated with stock of similar size and/or type?
  • Are we turning stock over quickly enough to avoid peaks and troughs on both production and sales sides.
  • Are we having to discount to obtain sufficient and regular cash flow? OR
  • Are we allowing too much credit in order to encourage buyers?
  • Do we keep sufficient records to enable future decisions to be made on fact?

The Marketing Mix and Managing the Marketing Effort

There are 4 'Ps' in the marketing mix. These include product, price, place and promotion. Although packaging is part of the product mix, it is an important 'P' in its own right - and is often called the fifth 'P'. The power of packaging should not be overlooked.

Publicity and Public Relations

Publicity is any free new story about a business’s products. It differs from advertising in that it is free and its timing is not controlled by the business.

As with any other form of promotion, the main aim of publicity is to enhance the image of the product. There are five main types of publicity.

  1.  Interviews. Private meetings of the business’s representatives with the media.
  2.  Captioned photographs. photographs plus brief explanation of a new product
  3.  Feature articles. Larger articles outlining the benefits of a product
  4.  Press conferences. Public meetings with the media where written and graphic materials are presented.
  5.  News release. A brief newspaper report sent to the media.

A business will use publicity to raise awareness of a product, highlight the organisation’s favourable features and help reduce any negative image that may be been created.

Public relations are those activities aimed at creating and maintaining favourable relations between a business and its customers. It is the role of the public relations personnel to design, implement and manage the publicity events of the business.


Learn More about Marketing in the Leisure Industry -click here