So you’ve finally finished building your escape room business plan. Your games are set, location is locked in, and staff are on board. However, your work is far from over — you still need to introduce people to your brand and find customers.
Sure, you could develop a general escape room marketing strategy and attempt to target anyone who seems interested in your business. But casting a wider net doesn’t always mean getting a bigger catch. In fact, if you want to maximize resources and create a successful escape room business, you must be able to identify your ideal customer base.
For example, fashion retailers like Forever21 know that their marketing strategies are better received by young girls looking for trendy, affordable fashion. They don’t waste their efforts trying to attract women over 40 years old. Similarly, luxury appliance brand Dyson wouldn’t market their $1000 vacuum cleaners to high schoolers — it’s the working professionals and homeowners they want.
The reality is, not everyone who lives in your city will want to visit your escape room, and having a specific escape room target market doesn’t mean you’re excluding other customers. Instead, it helps you narrow down your message to an audience that’s most likely to spend their money on you than other groups.
With a clearly defined market, you’ll know exactly who to market to, where, how, and when. It’s a much more efficient way to do escape room marketing. If you don’t know where to start, here are some tips to help you find out your escape room target market.
Start with your business offerings
One way to know who is most likely to become a customer is to identify what problem your escape room solves. Say you run a healthy meal plan delivery service. The issue you solve is providing ready-to-eat meals for folks who are too busy to cook but want to eat healthy. This should tell you to look at working professionals, parents with demanding jobs, and maybe even university students.
Next, apply this to your escape room business. Your escape room exists to give people something fun and unique to do on weekends and other free times. Who’s most likely to seek fun and unique experiences? Families, groups of friends, and professionals who want to engage in team-building activities or want an alternative to movie night.
At this point, your escape room target market is still pretty general, but you now have a solid base to build on.
Conduct market research
Getting a good grasp on the market means going beyond customers. To gain a more comprehensive view of the entire marketplace, use analytics tools like Google Trends, BuzzSumo, Sprout Social, Pinterest, YouTube Trends, and more.
These platforms will help you identify what today’s consumers are interested in, study what other top brands are doing, and find ways to innovate your business. For instance, topics like Virtual Reality, pop-up escape rooms, and immersive escape rooms have all been gaining traction in the escape room industry. Knowing how to spot these escape room market trends before they get big and applying them to your business will put you at a huge advantage.
Your existing customer base is also a goldmine for valuable information. Consider creating surveys and focus groups, so that you can understand what your target market needs. Why do they visit your escape room? What aspects of your business are appealing to them? What can you improve on?
Check for common characteristics among your strongest customers. It’s highly likely that other people like them could benefit from what you’re offering.
Check out your competition
Of course, part of your market research should be scoping out the competition. Take a look at who they’re targeting, and what kind of customers walk through their doors. Although it’s tempting to go after the same market, you might have better luck targeting customer groups they’re overlooking.
Again, use the online tools we mentioned to get a better view of the competitive landscape. Perhaps that popular escape room in the next town only caters to advanced, adult escape room enthusiasts, when there are dozens of young beginners who want to try escape rooms but are being excluded.
Find them, and see how you can convert them into your customers.
Build your customer profile and market segmentation
Now that you’ve got some data to begin with, you can move onto building your customer profile and market segmentation. Here, you’ll be grouping prospective customers with common needs into several categories.
Don’t forget that you can definitely have more than one target market who respond to marketing campaigns differently, which is where the value of segmentation comes in.
Begin by analyzing their demographics. This describes the more surface-level, basic characteristics including: Age, Location, Gender, Occupation, Ethnicity, Income Level, Education Level, and Marital Status.
After, you can dissect who your customers really are using psychographics. Think about the more personal characteristics, such as: Attitudes, Values, Interests, Lifestyles, Personality, and Behavior.
Like we said, there are many ways you can extract this data. Use analytics platforms and social listening tools, send out surveys, explore open forums, and read articles that talk about your target market. The options are endless.
It’s critical to consider both demographics and psychographics to conduct a full analysis of your escape room target market. Only then will you be able to determine how your business will fit into your audience’s life.
When would your target audience want to visit escape rooms? Where do they learn about new brands and experiences (e.g. online, through newspapers, billboards)? How much would they be willing to spend on escape rooms? Through your customer profile, you can answer all these questions and come up with strategies to suit.
Defining your target market is one of the trickiest yet most critical parts of creating an escape room business. But once you know your audience, it becomes much easier to speak their language and determine the best ways to reach them.
Instead of spending on ads for every person on Facebook aged 12 to 50, you can simply target those who are actually likely to visit your escape room. Find out your escape room target market, and watch your marketing investments go farther.
Running an escape room business is far from simple, but SEO ORB is here to assist you. Whether you’re a new escape room business or have been running for years, we have all the tools and data you need to find and capture your market.
With our tried-and-tested growth acceleration framework, you can focus on doing the work you love and leave us to do the heavy-lifting.