The Sport Effect

5 inexpensive marketing ideas for clubs

5 Inexpensive Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Marketing for clubs does not have to be expensive. We have compiled the five most important tips for you, with which you can position your association in the long term against the voluntary competition. However, marketing is not only based on the assertion on the market – also classical public relations and the strategically planned Internet presence fall into this area. Here you will learn in detail why marketing is indispensable for clubs and how you can guarantee success with individual measures that do not cost much.

Why is marketing important?

The following applies to companies: If you want to position yourself in the market, you have to know the needs and expectations of your customers and stakeholders. If the wishes, interests and demands of the target group are taken into account and fulfilled by the company, the company’s competitive situation can be influenced to its own advantage: Accordingly, marketing addresses and includes the strategic and target group-oriented focusing of all corporate activities on market needs. Marketing is also useful for associations and volunteers.

Why an association needs marketing

How does marketing benefit you as an association? Marketing measures like Vereinswerbung help you to be successful: This already starts with the fact that you as an association depend on sponsors and financial supporters. And you must first approach them and convince them of the purpose of your association. This leads to the keyword public relations. In general, it is necessary to apply the individual measures sensibly and adapted to the respective club. For this you must know what you want to achieve with the association.

A good image: Nothing comes from nothing

Image building is a typical marketing goal. You want your image as a club to be perceived positively? To achieve this, you must consciously invest in measures to gain the approval of those around you.

Member recruitment

An association lives from its members. So that tasks can be divided meaningfully and nothing remains lying, you should constantly strive for the recruitment of new members. For the recruitment you can also use marketing measures.

Clubs also compete with each other

As an association, holding your own against the competition – this is not primarily about increasing sales – associations are competing for other goods: you need to find sponsors, recruit new members and publicize your own events. Because you want people to visit your events and not those of the competition.

As an association, you’re not selling a product in the classic sense, but you’re selling yourself as an honorary office that’s worth getting involved for. And for this you need the same tools that companies use to establish a brand. Here you can find out how it works.

The problem with budget

Association marketing presents its members with several difficulties. It starts with the problem that, as sponsor-supported organizations, associations have a much smaller budget than for-profit businesses. However, this is no reason to throw in the towel.

If you want to market effectively, you don’t necessarily have to spend enormous sums, because marketing starts in the club itself.

No motivation without reward

It is not to be forgotten that planning, conversion and continuity of all marketing measures lie with the members themselves. Since it is in the association usually no payment, which induces to the membership, other factors must come, which make the commitment in your association worthwhile. Emphasize what your club brings to its members. This can range from a general sense of satisfaction, a feeling of doing something good for society, to an increase in your own career opportunities. It’s important for the board to continually communicate this added value to members.

Who to address – The mix of target groups

Associations often deal with a wide variety of target groups. Sponsors, potential new members, friends and relatives of active volunteers, interest groups and many more – you need to know your addressees exactly in order to reach them meaningfully with marketing.

Marketing in the association – how does it work?

So far, you have learned why marketing is essential for your association and which specific hot spots may exist. How can you realistically implement marketing in your club and which measures can you use for this? In the following, you will find five tips that will help you.

Tip 1: Define your club

Sounds simple? It is, but it often fails to clearly define the image of the club and its unique selling proposition. Both are essential, however, so that you can market your association meaningfully.

Association mission statement

The knowledge of the self view and the own value conceptions of an association are indispensable, in order to promote it. Therefore, you should develop an association mission statement and make sure that the association members know its content. Classical marketing distinguishes between guiding ideas and guiding principles.

Under the guiding principles, you define the purpose of the association and explain the benefits of the members for society. Depending on the association you lead, this will look very different. In the guiding principles you concretize ideas and visions. These can be recorded within the framework of so-called “core statements”.

The guiding principles and key ideas together form the image of the association. The association’s image should be written down and made available to members and the public at all times. It should therefore be clearly visible on the association’s website!

Unique selling proposition

As already mentioned, as an association you fight together with other organizations for presence, members and sponsors. This implies that you should ideally stand out from other, similar associations. If you know what makes you special, you can communicate it.

Your club will be remembered if you integrate your unique selling proposition into your logo and communicate it to the public, for example with lapel pins or patches.

Tip 2: What goals are we talking about?

Simply creating a profile on Facebook and hoping for new members will not work. The magic word is “communication goals.” The concrete formulation of these goals and the target group will determine which marketing measures come into question for their implementation. Always reflect on what is feasible for your association and prioritize accordingly.

A typical marketing goal is to generate media coverage: you want to be heard and seen. This often also involves expanding this media attention. It is important to market your own events so that the great effort pays off in the form of many visitors.

Within the club, identification is desirable: those who identify with the club will also show more commitment and often participate in club tasks. A simple tool for this is club clothing: With uniform T-shirts or sweatshirts, you strengthen team cohesion.

Tip 3: Creative and appropriate measures

Are you promoting a city trip for students, a party event, a soccer match or a social justice day? Different disciplines of the club should each be communicated separately and specifically. The requirements of each area vary and so does the associated communication strategy! You can bring a lot of creativity into play here. Lively and authentic messages that create a certain mood go down well with stakeholders.

For a party event, for example, you can work with flashy posters and supplement the communication with activating posts on Facebook to generate attention. The communication can be designed in a casual way. After all, it’s about an evening in which the visitors celebrate extensively and have fun.

A political or social topic requires special sensitivity: The style used ideally appears serious and yet appealing – here it is more about informing about the content. Serious does not mean boring. It may be possible to work well with emotionality here.

Tip 4: The magic word social media

Social networks are a miracle tool for addressing target groups. People can be reached and retained over the long term through high reach. At the same time, the online performance of associations on social networks requires hard work: only by posting regularly will you keep people interested in your association and motivate them to get involved. However, marketing via social media by no means replaces classic marketing measures such as posters.

Tip 5: Take care of your sponsors

Your sponsors enable you to run your club. Let them know that you value their commitment. You can do this by hosting sponsor evenings or issuing VIP cards for partner and cooperation companies. Give your sponsors a space on your website and mention them in your posts on social media. You can also score points with club giveaways.

Away from Internet marketing: classic advertising media

In addition to the possibilities of Internet marketing, you should also use advertising materials to strengthen the image of your club. Specialized suppliers offer a wide range of products with which you can equip your club individually.