Welcome to the Summer Camp Leadership blog. For those of us who lead summer camps, making a positive difference in the lives of young people is our passion. Turning that passion into a reality, however, takes more than the ability to lead songs, teach archery or plan craft projects. Creating camp experiences that truly transform lives takes leadership. Leadership that creates a vision for the future, leadership that inspires and engages others, leadership that remains focused and stays the course. My hope is through this blog you'll find ideas, inspiration and tools to help you be a great summer camp leader.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Need a Hole, Not a Drill

Is your camp's marketing effort focused on the right end product? It was well known Harvard business professor Theodore Levitt who summed up the problem with most marketing with his famous line "I need a quarter inch hole, not a quarter inch drill."

Most marketing is about the drill (the product) not the hole (the benefits) produced by the drill.  Marketers talk about the features of the drill,  how it compares with other drills, etc. Unfortunately they miss the key point. Most people don't care about the drill itself. They don't buy a drill to buy a drill, they buy a drill to make holes. What they care about is how the drill makes holes...is it easy, can I make different size holes, etc.

Often when we market camp we sound like drill salesman. We talk about the features of our camp...great facilities, awesome staff, delicious food, etc. The reality is, however, parents don't send kids for those features. Parents send kids for the benefits of camp. They want their kids to get something and are looking for the right tool.  They want to know if their kids will grow in independence, learn new skills, improve their social skills, etc. They care about what changes you will create in their children, not how many elements there are on your ropes course.

To be effective at marketing our camps we have to stop selling drills and focus on helping people create holes.