Friday, January 9, 2009

Marketing a Running/Cruise Vacation idea

This is an idea that has been percolating for a number of years. It involves two of my loves: running and travelling. At its core, the idea is to appeal to runners who want to take a cruise vacation and give them something extra: escorted runs on each island stop. I called it the 'Caribbean Marathon': 4 stops, approximately 10 km at each stop = Marathon.

Pitched the original idea the 'old school' way to The Running Room. Not interested at the time. I let it slide. As the economy has become more challenging over the past few months, the idea came back to me as a way to generate business for not only the cruise lines but for sponsors who want to target runners.

This time I am experimenting with 'new school' marketing: exclusively using social media. And the response after day 1 has been interesting.

Here is what I have done so far:

The message in all of these postings was to ask for advice on how to execute this idea. Did not try to sell anything.

First response:

  • What a great idea. Here are my comments:
    -Will you have an attraction on each run? Maybe a little tour or information when you get to each attraction.
    -Make a scavenge hunt and have the runners take a picture of the item.
    -Arrange strength workouts for runners in the gym when not on an island.
    -Get the runners to be able to dine together at the meals on the cruise ship.
    -Don’t run laps on the cruise ship as a group. BORING!
    -What about a contest of some sort. Guys vs gals…number of miles run during the cruise.
    -A raffle for running stuff. Or an auction of running stuff and proceeds go to a running organization like Girls on the Run, or some organization that helps kids, people get into running.

Second response:

  • I have seen your note prosted on Linkedin.
    I really like the idea on running a caribean marathon. In Europe there is a concept like this, see, maybe you can take a look at this website (this is a four day run on 1 island, most people combine this with their holiday or even honeymoon!!!).
    I would add some extras to the trip like while you are on the ship some presentations about running you could invite some experts who do a presentation about topics that are related to running.

For me, this is excellent. Targeted message, asked for something specific, got response that I can use.

My next steps are to post the above responses on the Facebook group, continue to monitor feedback, refine the concept, identify sponsors and think about how to promote and sell the trips.

Stay tuned...

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