What we’re trying to accomplish at SEO ORB – you and me – is to increase bookings at your escape room and thereby boost your bottom line via a well-planned digital marketing campaign.

As you must be aware, there are various aspects to this – ranging from domain and hosting to link acquisition to managing adspend and tracking return on investment.

A question may well arise – what exactly is the difference between advertising and marketing and where does one end and the other begin.

Is this an academic question?

Yes, for the most part.

And while I don’t advocate ignoring something just because it’s academic, the answer to the question – what’s the difference between marketing your escape room and advertising it – will throw up an importance practical issue.

So, what is escape room advertising?

Escape room advertising is the process by which you would ensure information about your escape room(s) is being sent (and hopefully received) to potential players.

Think about what you aim at when you start an Adwords campaign.

Obviously, you want your ads to flash up on webpages like escape room blogs. You wouldn’t want your ads to be placed in a webpage about assisted living facilities, would you?

Why is that?

Because you know that potential players are much more likely to be found on escape room blog pages than on assisted living facility webpages.

And your advertisements are aimed at reaching out to them and communicating information about your escape room facilities to them hoping they’ll be impressed enough to take a look.

And those are the basic steps involved in the advertising process –you identify what channel is the most effective at reaching out to potential players* and you create a suitable program (this would be the advertisement) in that channel aimed at your likely players.

How do you know who the potential players are? Read on to find out.

And what is escape room marketing?

Well, according to the American Marketing Association

Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
(Approved July 2013)

Sounds awfully similar to advertising, doesn’t it?

But it isn’t.

Imagine for a moment that there exists an escape room ‘exchange’/market similar to the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges.

When a player enters this escape room market what happens?

Are they being targeted with Adword campaigns?

No; here they’re reading up about the various escape rooms, how many rooms there are, what are the themes, what’s the admission charge and so on.

And based on that they’ll decide which escape room to try out.

Here escape rooms are trying to convince people to whip out their cards and book rooms. All the information about their rooms, their social media presence and so on is presented as they try to convince players their rooms are the best.

Advertisements announcing discounts or extra time to finish a room are just one part of this marketing process.

For the bigger escape rooms, marketing would also involve other steps like research to select the key demographics that would be interested, public relations and so on.

Remember in advertising I mentioned you, as an escape room advertiser, already know who your potential players are?

It’s market research that identifies them.

What’s the key takeaway from all this for an escape room owner?

Many businesses separate advertising and marketing into different departments.

In my opinion that’s a mistake.

Advertising should be a part of your marketing campaign; not a siloed-off operation. It’s only with a smoothly flowing marketing process that you can hope to reap maximum dividends out of it.

I wish you all the best in your escape room business.

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