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Club Marketing

Market Research

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It can be very powerful to use research, feedback and statistics when you are marketing your club.

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  • You should carry out research to find out more about both your potential and existing "customers" - these could include members, participants, volunteers, parents, sponsors, and partners.
  • This research can help you understand the type of people that are involved in your sport and what's influencing them to take part. You can use this to focus your marketing activities on reaching these individuals and encouraging them to be part of your club.
  • Use the information to improve the targeting and effectiveness of your club's marketing activity.

Research already out there

Before you start, you should see what research is already out there. Sport England has lots of research available on who's doing sport and activity and where. They also study what inspires people to get active - and to keep at it. They have insight available on specific groups, such as young people, women and girls, and disability, as well as tools to help you understand what's happening in your local area.

Your National Governing Body (NGB) may also have research available specific to your sport.

Do your own research

You may want to carry out your own market research to help you with your marketing. Research can help you answer important questions such as:

  • What is important to your members and volunteers
  • What other activities are competing with your club?
  • Why has membership fallen in the last two years?

You can collect this information by asking people directly, either informally at your club through ongoing feedback conversations or via more formal surveys, feedback forms, interviews or at member's forums. Check out our Understanding your Members section for more guidance.

Getting started with a market research survey

  • Decide what information you want to gather from the survey and how you will use the information. Doing this can help you structure the survey so you can collate the results in the most simple and manageable way.
  • Use logic. For example, before you ask someone how much they would pay for a new club kit, ask them if they have previously bought one.
  • Keep questions and sentences short and easy to understand.
  • Avoid asking 'open' questions that can be misinterpreted or ignored. Be specific.
  • Use ratings for example, ask respondents to give marks out of five, keep it consistent.
  • Test the survey on a small group of trusted people before its goes live, you might gain some good feedback
  • You can choose from a variety of pre-written questions or customise your own. The Club Matters Club Views Tool gives you the opportunity to develop an online survey for your club. It is free, quick to set up and lets you slice and dice responses to reveal what people really think of your club.
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