April 11, 2019, Phil Lemler presented a HSV Marketing Seminar (Workshop). There were more than 50 Villagers in attendance including one sitting Board Member, Cindi Erickson. Also present were Tormey Campagna, Diana Podawiltz and Dick Garrison, the newly elected, but not yet seated Board Members. Thank you, Cindi, Tormey, Diana, and Dick for attending this very important workshop.
Four P’s of Marketing
The workshop was presented in a typical classroom style with Phil Lemler using whiteboards and the audience asking many varied and interesting questions. Lemler began by explaining the four P’s of marketing which are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
- A lot of people think marketing is only about promotion, explained Lemler. It is not. The first building block is Product. Product involves who we are and who we target.
- The second P of marketing, Price, is something that is not under our control. That is not to say the reasonable costs of living in Hot Springs Village should not be mentioned when marketing the Village. The reasonable costs should be used as a tool, but the price of homes, utilities, cost of living in Arkansas, etc. are items which are not under the HSV marketer’s control.
- Place, the third P, is a matter of getting the product to the customer and includes sales or prospect management. Prospect management means grabbing the attention of the prospect on the first call and understanding who they are. The ultimate goal is to get people here. Once we do that, people will fall in love with Hot Springs Village.
- Lastly, Promotion refers to advertising by direct mail, website, brochures, social media, etc.
HSV Perceived as Retirement Community
Phil Lemler said that we are perceived as a retirement community and customers buy on emotion. It is a psychological response to the advertisement and perception is the product, not the product itself. We are perceived as a retirement community and that is not going to change, at least not quickly or easily. Once we try to communicate to the marketplace that we are something other than a retirement community we erode our brand. The perception of the product determines who we are.
Determine Target Market
We must determine our target market. That does not mean people other than our target market cannot live here. We welcome everyone, but our advertising dollars should be used to pursue the target market or we are casting too wide of a net.
For example, Lemler stated that Burger King targets 18 to 35-year-old males. They realize that targeting everyone would be too expensive. This does not mean that a 40-year old woman would not be welcome at Burger King. Burger King welcomes all business but targets a large enough and specific segment of the market they feel they can most easily attract. This should be the same principle used in Hot Springs Village when we market.
Lemler explains that there are a lot of retirement communities and active lifestyle communities. If we present ourselves as being those, we are a small fish in a big pond. “ However, if we position ourselves as “an active lifestyle retirement community that has 9 championship golf courses”, we rise to the top of the options and have very little competition.” This is our product. It is who we are and tells us who to target.
We have a big lead on the marketplace because we have so many championship golf courses. This makes us different and places us at the top of the marketplace. The CMP is built on an ineffective marketing strategy, which targets many diverse groups, of all ages and interests. While we do welcome people of all ages and interests, that is not where we should be spending our marketing dollars.
Ron Tetu Explains Financial Future of Hot Springs Village
Below is a pdf in which Ron Tetu, Hot Springs Village Property Owner, supports Lemler’s position. In this document titled, The Financial Future of Hot Springs Village”, Tetu also talks about “potential revenue possibilities.”Ron-Tetu-The-Financial-Future-of-Hot-Springs-Village
Much Appreciation to Everyone
We would like to thank Phil Lemler for his well-thought-out and interesting marketing seminar. Thanks also to Ron Tetu for taking the time to produce this document and sending it to POA Management and all Board Directors.
Appreciation to videographer, Joe Dowden, for recording this session.
Special mention and thanks also to Gary Ketteler, Manager of the Coronado Center and his staff for their hard work in setting up the room.
All-in-all, the marketing seminar was a triumph!
Written by Cheryl Dowden —- Photography by Joseph Dowden