The Comprehensive Master Plan Advisory Committee (CMPAC) met on October 11, 2019. At this meeting, among other items, HSVPOA presented their marketing plan and the CMPAC Marketing Subcommittee presented their Initial Recommendations. Speaking first was Chief Member Experience Officer (CMEO), Jamie Caperton. Subsequently, Chairman of the Marketing Subcommittee, Pam Avila, presented the subcommittee recommendations.
POA Announces New Marketing Plan
Caperton serves as a staff liaison to the Marketing Subcommittee. In this capacity, Caperton serves as a go-between for POA management and the subcommittee for the purpose of establishing and maintaining communication for mutual understanding and communication. (Please refer to the Marketing Subcommittee charter at the end of this article.)
Caperton gave recognition and thanks to the hard work done by the Marketing Subcommittee.
Some highlights of the marketing plan presented by CMEO Caperton are as follows:
- The Marketing Plan is flexible and we are starting at ground zero. We will analyze the marketing and results on a continual basis. Too often in the past, we waited the whole year before doing an analysis of the progress. “We are not going to do that anymore.” “An analysis will be done monthly, every quarter, semi-annually, and annually to determine how we are progressing towards our goals.” Adjustments will be made as we see what is working.
- The basis for the formulation of this plan was from the Village Mission Statement, the Strategic Goals of HSVPOA and from other data.
- The Subcommittee SWOT analysis drove the layout of the plan.
- Evaluation of who are our customers is important. There are many markets for HSV. Our primary alley is the 50 to 65 mark. People begin to evaluate retirement options between the ages of 40 to 45. The primary “middle alley” is 50-65, although there are people younger than 40 and older than 65 that still may choose HSV as their home. We need to target our sweet spot, which is the Gen G’ers. Gen G is defined as the most vital age group for the golf business, according to the National Golf Foundation. “While not technically a generation, the age cohort from 46 to 65 is the most vital group for the golf industry, accounting for the most golfers, rounds and spend in the industry – more than $9 billion in total annually. Gen G includes younger Baby Boomers (55 to 72 age range) and the older members of Generation X.”
- In the past, one of our weakest points was our research and data collection. We are trying to work with this now. Credit goes to the committee for helping us to realize we need to keep better records and analysis.
- Active lifestyle is the biggest criterion for our marketing. We also need to market to people with pensions, people who retire earlier (military, first responders, etc.), people who already own high-value real estate, and a $50,000 to $100,000 household income.
- The most important thing is, we need to be able to solve the issues of potential property owners. Future Villagers are often moving here to escape issues such as overcrowding, heavy traffic, bad weather and high cost of living.
- HSV no longer has the lowest home prices in the retiree market. This is a “good news/bad news story.”
- We want folks to see a strong branding strategy from the moment they enter the Village. In the past, HSV did not do a good job of achieving our brand promise. When we say, “Live your Dreams,” we need to come through with that promise. Caperton said, “We want everybody to have their brand promise.”
- Village Homes and Land office is closing and we will have a new sales and marketing team. We are changing our model to where we will be working directly with realtors and builders so we can reach the goal of building 2,500 new homes in the next 20 years.
- In our marketing program, we are not going to be “just concentrating on golf” – we are going to talk about pickleball, trails, tennis, bicycling, “pushing up all amenities.” We want to make sure that everybody that is moving here has what they need, whether it is “golfing or knitting.”
- Some of the strategic goals and objectives in the report are different than what you will see in the committee report. For example, the committee recommended growth of 5% new rooftops. Staff felt they needed to reach 2% growth in the beginning of the plan.
- We will analyze the marketing and results on a continual basis. Too often, in the past is we waited a whole year. “We are not going to do that anymore.” As mentioned above, the plan is fluid.
- We are using the recommendations of the Small Business Association guidelines. The recommendations are that 6 to 12 percent of the total budget should be spent on marketing. We subtracted public services from this amount.
- All of the marketing dollars have been consolidated from the many different departments and will be utilized in the Marketing Department.
Pam Avila, Chairman of the Marketing Subcommittee commented on staff’s use of the term, “Gen G”, as she felt that when people come across a term they are not familiar with, they will perform a Google search and the first three pages of a search of this term comes up as a lipstick item. This terminology may be confusing. Caperton stated the revised plan contains a definition of this term.
Furthermore, Avila clarified that the POA plan is “not the marketing committee recommendation.” Keck, agreed that it wasn’t. Keck said, “This [HSVPOA Marketing Plan 2020 Forward Together] is the plan that the POA staff presented to the Board.” The Marketing Subcommittee update is at the end of this article and these recommendations are not the final recommendations.
Click PDF Below to Read “HSVPOA Marketing Plan 2020 Forward Together” – This PDF can be enlarged.marketing-plan-2020-presented-cmpac-10-11-19
Marketing Subcommittee’s Initial Marketing Strategies Recommendations
Following Caperton’s Marketing Plan Presentation, Pam Avila, Chairman of the Marketing Subcommittee presented “Initial Recommended Marketing Strategies 2020, Phase 1”. (See document below.) Some of the recommendations are highlighted below, but to get the full understanding of the committee recommendations, please scroll down and view the pdf below.
The purpose of the initial recommendations by the marketing subcommittee was to provide an outline for the 2020 marketing program, pending approval of CMPAC, POA staff and Board of Directors. This subcommittee began in July and has only had three (3) regular meetings and three (3) workshops. They put in more than 200 hours since July, creating the recommendations.
- In the past 12 years, the Village has not been aggressively marketed.
- The Village is the “premier active lifestyle retirement community in the U.S. with 26,000 acres, 13,000 residents and more than 9,000 homes.
- In the past, the least expensive and potentially most effective marketing tool was “friends and family.” This has not been leveraged. In the present Village environment, this is often no longer a good tool.
- Coordination with realtors and the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center has also been lacking.
- Marketing efforts among different departments have not been coordinated.
- The POA hired a marketing firm that does not appear to be capable of the task.
- Village Homes and Land has been a point of great contention and Real estate agents are concerned leads are not being properly forwarded to them.
- Very little marketing background or experience in the POA.
- Advertising has been weak and results not tracked.
2020 Marketing Goals
- Increase POA revenue 5%.
- Increase residents by 5%.
- Increase amenity usage by 5%.
- Improve resident’s overall satisfaction.
- Improve the image of Village in surrounding areas/
2020 Target Non-Assessment Revenue Generators
- More new homes and lot sales
- Other amenities such as tennis, pickleball, etc.
2020 Target Markets
- Target ages 45-70.
- Golfers and people interested in an active lifestyle
- Those presently living in high-cost-of-living areas
- Those desiring a natural and serene environment
- Those with incomes greater than $50,000
- Military and First Responders
- Marketing states that should be included are Arkansas, Texas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.
Organizational Marketing Strategy
- Create a consolidated marketing team with an experienced marketing executive. Move Communications and Tourism Manager position into the Marketing Department. Also, move Group Sales Rep from Golfing to the Marketing Department.
- Close Village Homes and Lands [Note: this has been done.]
- Coordinate leads to local realtors.
External Marketing Strategies
- Continue to promote Discovery Packages, enhance the Ambassador Program and ensure that local realtors are available.
- Increase amenity usage by groups and organizations.
- Rethink how we advertise.
- Some of the points listed in this area are obtaining competitive advertising bids, using more digital advertising and promoting ALL Village amenities (both private and POA-owned).
- Publish human interest stories on the POA website and on social media.
Website Communications and Navigation
- Create a separate website for prospective buyers that is professional and easy to use.
Partner with Residents for Marketing the Village
- Develop social media content that Villagers will want to share.
- Develop a referral program.
Telephone Response System
Create a phone response program to prospects.
Partner with Local Realtors to Leverage their Sheer Numbers and Advertising Budgets
- Create a Realtors’ Partners Program.
- Develop an incentive program to reduce unproductive lot inventory and additional incentives for new home construction within a specified period.
- Pay minimum commission to the real estate agent for any POA lot sale.
Enhance Village’s Image
- Work to build our regional reputation and encourage guests to visit.
- Giveaways to charities of tennis court time, show tickets, twosome for golf, etc.
- Create a speaker’s bureau to visit civic organizations throughout the region.
- Ensure we are using our advertising dollars in the best way possible.
Sense of Arrival
Improve the welcoming experience.
Internal Marketing Strategies – Resident Satisfaction
- Improve communication of amenity information and encourage participation in programs.
- Ensure marketing and customer service works together.
- Make website more user-friendly.
- Have a weekly update on KVRE and HSV Voice to deliver information to the community.
Partner with Villagers to make a difference with more individual recognition, monthly “challenges” in newsletter with a prize and scheduling some committee meetings during evening hours so the working population can participate.
- Improve the quality of and access to amenities. Price increases have discouraged amenity use and this has not led to increased amenity revenue. Also, there has not been much success with marketing agreements with outside entities.
- Improve Annual Amenity Pass Program
- Create an Annual Pass incentive program.
- Create a Platinum All Amenities annual pass.
- Create a Gold Pass which includes everything but golf.
- Allow installment payments over four months.
- Create new events to encourage amenity use.
- Some examples of this are a three-day Village golf challenge, and weekend and evening events to encourage the participation of the working population.
- Have Green Market in early evening hours with simultaneous events in Grove Park.
- Make POA food and beverage operations more enticing to residents with promotions, incentives, etc. Improve restaurant quality. Add drink and snack carts to all golf courses and limit personal food and drink on the course.
Funding – Savings will be generated by:
Redirecting tourism efforts, reassessing markets, curtailing ineffective advertising and redirecting sales office advertising dollars.
The committee has a proposed marketing budget of $1,000,000 with $600,000 going to advertising and promotion, $240,000 for the website, $100,000 for trade shows and travel and $60,000 for group advertising.
- This is the initial step of which the strategies outlined will move the POA closer to a sound financial status.
- Limiting promotional opportunities or reducing the marketing program will effectively undermine the program potential.
The CMPAC will read and study the two documents before the November CMPAC meeting. Director Dixon said the HSVPOA Plan is the basic plan and that it is the job of the subcommittee to see where their recommendations fit into this plan.
Caperton said that the staff is working on implementing many of the things in the Subcommittee’s initial recommendations.
Click PDF Below to Read “Marketing Subcommittee’s Initial Marketing Strategies Recommendations” – This PDF can be enlarged.Draft-Marketing-Recommends-100719-pwa-db
Click PDF Below to read the CMPAC Subcommittee CharterCMPAC-Marketing-Subcommittee_6-19-19-charter
The CMPAC Marketing Subcommittee is comprised of Chairman Pam Avila, Vice Chairman Dan Aylward, Secretary Nancy Ornelas, Chuck Alvord, Ray Lehman, Chuck Miller and Diane Bielanski. CMEO Jamie Caperton is the staff liaison.
by Cheryl Dowden, October 13, 2019