Getting to know your current members and getting a greater understanding of their needs and aspirations is an essential component of marketing your judo club effectively.
The members are a club’s customers and by understanding your customer and trying to cater for them, you are more likely to increase satisfaction and retention amongst your membership.
You can make your club more appealing to retain current and attract new members by investigating the following:
- What are their motivations? – Do they want to get fit, stay healthy, build muscle and strength, obtain a black belt, compete in judo competitions, or socialise. Remember that every member is different so find out where your current and potential members interests lay.
- What are their barriers? – Does school work, injury, work commitments, transport or other sports get in the way of them coming to your club to do judo? Find out what barriers are and now they can be addressed.
- How to reach them? – Find the best ways to communicate and get their attention – this could be a club notice board, informing the students (pre and post session), informing the parents, newsletters (handouts and online) to parents or emails to parents etc.
- When is the best time of the week for them? – Are Tuesday evenings a more convenient time for sessions than a Friday night? Get to know your members schedules to determine the best times of the weeks for club sessions and meetings to maximise attendance.
Overcoming the Barriers
It is important that you understand the barriers that are hindering your club from attracting more members. Once you understand them your club can put actions in place to overcome them and make joining your club easier. Consider:
- Financial constraints – Are people able to commit to annual membership or afford kit? Contact the British Judo Trust or visit the Funding page for more information on potential financial assistance. A possible alternative could be discounted club fees or introduce monthly standing orders so the parents/individual can budget easier.
- Transport – Are people able to get to your club easily? Avoid promoting your club to people that live too far away from your venue. Could you introduce a car share scheme amongst your members? Does the club have good public transport access that you could promote or car parking facilities?
- Time – Are people able to balance their time to attend your sessions? Where possible try and adjust session times, make sessions longer or provide more sessions.
- Family commitments – If you have the space consider running parent and child sessions at the same time. Invite parents to come and watch or assist in the running of the club. Educate the parents on judo so they can understand and enjoy it more.
Key motivations for young people
Young people make up a significant proportion of the British Judo membership, so it is important to understand their motivations for taking participating in the sport.
- Socialising with friends – Introduce a ‘bring a friend free’ deal/if you bring a friend you will get a session free, to attract friends of current members who are not already doing judo to your club.
- Fitness and strength – Highlight the importance of fitness in Judo. This may mean that members join to take part recreationally, provide sessions specifically focused on improving fitness (Judo Fit, Strength and Conditioning sessions, SAQ).
- Enjoyment – Ensure that you provide fun and engaging sessions which are not too serious. Provide drop-in randori sessions for your club and local clubs.
- Friendship – Judo is a great way of make new friends particularly for those that have recently moved into your area. Consider different types of social opportunities that you can provide throughout the year e.g. BBQs in the summer, Christmas parties, fun days, community demonstrations in schools and festivals etc.
It is important to regularly survey your members so that you are aware of any trends that may impact on your membership and your club. This could be an informal show of hands at the end of a session or a more detailed online survey.
Survey Monkey is an online platform that allows you to create online surveys free-of-charge.