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Thread: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Bartholomew View Post
    The problem with busks etc is you need a good base of dancers to do them with in the first place.
    Very true.

    When I opened up my 1st venue the area only had a couple of existing clubs and they are not all that close (IE no immediate competition) - so this may be getting a little off topic...

    I got local papers, radio and other businesses involved. Leaflet drops and lots more... I trained a brand new crew for 2-3 months before opening night. For obvious reasons, I didn't organize a busk...!

    The opening night (end of March this year) was a complete sell out with the vast majority being brand new people and many still coming to this day - so I must have done something right!

    I'm now about to open up a second venue and all the above marketing activity with, this time, yes - busking as this time I have the base of dancers and support to pull this form of promotion off... Opening night is 6th Oct: Will let you know if the marketing activities work or not.

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Gus View Post

    My point is it will be interesting to see how a new club tries to break into an established market. To be honest, I'm a little uneasy with the tactics so far as it feels like they have targeted the Ceroc club, even setting up on the same night, which is an odd approach.
    Ceroc were new to Southport, I heard they gave half the tickets away and sold many at 5p so numbers were kept up

    Now they are 'sold out for October.

    I bet half of those attending have never been to a John and Wes event at Southport

    They were attracted by price the rest is history

    You may not like their tactics but lets nor forget these are businesses

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Hey Ho ... well they boasted a 'Top DJ', they trumpeted 'Advanced Lesson' and they use Facebook for all it was worth ..... Now they've gone bump

    I tghink they lasted a bit longer than the eight weeks I originally gave them, but there must be some learning points.

    Anyone want to start a thread as to "How Best to take on a Ceroc Club and Win"?

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Gus View Post
    Hey Ho ... well they boasted a 'Top DJ', they trumpeted 'Advanced Lesson' and they use Facebook for all it was worth ..... Now they've gone bump
    The question is, did they deliver?

    If so, 'then' the questions can be asked!
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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Gus View Post

    Anyone want to start a thread as to "How Best to take on a Ceroc Club and Win"?


    The main reason new venues seem to fail in my part of the world
    Is poor choice of venue e.g.

    “Bad part of town”
    Too far away from were most singletons live
    Poor difficult parking

    So to win you need

    Good music
    Excellent sound system
    Clean toilets
    Nice big, smooth, clean, floor
    Plenty of, lit, free, on site, parking
    Right part of town
    First rate teacher, who has more than 3 jokes
    Smiley person doing the “meet and greet”
    Classes run to time
    Correct mix of lesson and free style (60/40)
    Up to date web site
    No last minute cancelations or changes
    Subtle lighting
    Atmosphere
    Teachers prepared to dance with punters
    Sensible price

    No need for marketing. If you have a first class product, at a sensible price, the world will beat a path to your door

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    Registered User ChrisU's Avatar
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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Cj_Baker View Post
    Do you not think it's a little unfair to directly target another venues dancers??? Especially on the same night within a 20min drive...
    Personally no. The dancers will go where there is the best night for them. "Advanced Dancers" are a small minority in comparison to most general clubs. so "Advanced" teaching always looking at a limited market.

    "Advanced Dancers" will go to advanced classes, but often with a limited crowd so they pick and choose.

    General dancers are also looking for good dances, but often a Social Night out with a wide range of people to meet. A good general club has new people throught the door every week to mix up the event.

    Good teaching for all who come (New to advanced), Good music, friendly well run event for me every time.

    There is a place for everybody.

    ChrisU

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    Commercial Operator Gus's Avatar
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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by philsmove View Post
    [STUFF]No need for marketing. If you have a first class product, at a sensible price, the world will beat a path to your door
    Some good points but I could point out many clubs that have few of those items yet still prosper .... and I've seen some clubs with many of the above fail....

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by todd View Post
    I'm now about to open up a second venue and all the above marketing activity with, this time, yes - busking as this time I have the base of dancers and support to pull this form of promotion off... Opening night is 6th Oct: Will let you know if the marketing activities work or not.
    So ... has it gone well?

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Chef View Post
    If you go back to look at the thread where all the discussion about Ceroc taking over the Southport Weekender venue from Jive addiction one thing I took exception for was being considered as one of Cerocs dancers. I got the impression that Ceroc considered that because I had learnt at their venue I was one of the dancers that they had got into dancing. The truth was that I started dancing at one of their comeptitors and then started going to them as well, some four months later. I had paid for my training and if I was anybodies dancer - I was my own - having paid for my training from a whole number of organisations.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadful Scathe View Post
    Well, that was Rockys argument - and although we have joked about it - Rocky has said quite clearly that he does not speak on behalf of Ceroc. I wouldn't assume Ceroc official policy from anything posted on this forum .
    I think this is the most popular misconception regarding anything Ceroc related. Not at any time has anyone from Ceroc, myself included, said that Ceroc owns their dancers - it was never said or inferred and I challenge anyone to find a post that says this. Even at the time when this issue came up I asked people to point to any post that said this and no-one replied.

    It really is an Forum myth.

    I've talked a lot about loyalty, because I believe in loyalty, but completly accept that loyalty and respect has to be earned. And quite rightly if an organization is not delivering on what they should be doing in regard to providing a service to existing and new dancers then one cannot expect dancers to be loyal to them.

    But even then dancers are rarely loyal, and that's not because they are bad people, but mostly it's because where people dance is governed by social networks - if your friends are going somewhere, for whatever reason, it's likely you'll follow. And that really is a bitter pill to swallow if you're doing the job right. But then as an organizer I accept that there are fashions and trends, new venues, new teachers and organizations, and dancers will naturally want to experience different things. The only way to grow a business is to do as Lee says below...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Bartholomew View Post
    Also I think aiming to take other venues dancers is a dangerous game. A more solid approch is to bring new beginners in. If you offer a quality product, the more experianced dancers will also come. .
    Quote Originally Posted by stewart38 View Post
    Ceroc were new to Southport, I heard they gave half the tickets away and sold many at 5p so numbers were kept up

    Now they are 'sold out for October.

    I bet half of those attending have never been to a John and Wes event at Southport
    This was my biggest problem with JA, in that they did not grow the dance community by actively bringing new people in - now lots of people argued that they were providing something different so why should they, but it's just not a sustainable business model because the moment things change you do not have a way of replacing customers that you are losing elsewhere. And I hate to say I told you so (well obviously I don't..) but I said on this forum probably 18 months ago that JA were very vunerable if their core customers were given other opportunities because that had no way of generating new customers that they could direct to their business.

    And WCS will go the same way in this country unless the organizers actively promote their business to new customers - but that's another story...

    And this brings us to both Lee's and Stewart's points, which are related. Ceroc can succeed in the w/e market because it doesn't solely rely on existing dancers. New dancers are being brought in all the time and they actively promote those w/e's to these new dancers - that's why it works.

    Many of these dancers won't look elsewhere because they trust the brand, they like their franchisee (not all are likeable obviously..) and because they have thanks (loyalty if you like) to a company that nurtured a need in them to learn to dance and promoted and advertised their business to bring it to their attention in the first place.

    All you can do with a new venue is to promote it to EVERYONE - existing dancers and new dancers alike and run the venue to the best of your ability. People will naturally move even if you're doing a great job because their circumstances change and there's nothing you can do about that. But what you can do, is to commit to a program of a advertising, promotion and new customer generation on an ongoing basis because that's the only way to create a business with longevity.

    And let's not forget that Ceroc have been doing this for over 26 years now and continue to grow their network on a year by year basis - so we know it works.

    No-one owns the dancers in the dance community, but if you're doing the job right you can give them a feeling of ownership in where they dance - and that's far more powerful..

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Gus View Post
    .... and I've seen some clubs with many of the above fail....
    OK, but have you see a club that provides everything on my list fail

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by philsmove View Post
    OK, but have you see a club that provides everything on my list fail
    I've never seen a club provide everything on your list full-stop, not even my own ....

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    I think this is the most popular misconception regarding anything Ceroc related. Not at any time has anyone from Ceroc, myself included, said that Ceroc owns their dancers - it was never said or inferred and I challenge anyone to find a post that says this. Even at the time when this issue came up I asked people to point to any post that said this and no-one replied.
    I'm sure I replied at the time but you didn't want to listen. I think you mean "implied" rather than "inferred", and several people did infer from your complaints about Jive Addiction "stealing" dancers at their weekender, that you at least thought that all modern jive dancers somehow belonged to Ceroc in some way. Otherwise, how can they be "stolen" ? Of course, you ignored me and others then, and you'll ignore us again now - all the better that you can help us forget all about it so that it dissappears into forum myth.

    It really is an Forum myth.
    ah, clever!

    But even then dancers are rarely loyal, and that's not because they are bad people
    Well of course it isn't, but by suggesting it at all - you make it sound like they are a "little bit" bad.

    This was my biggest problem with JA, in that they did not grow the dance community by actively bringing new people in - now lots of people argued that they were providing something different so why should they, but it's just not a sustainable business model because the moment things change you do not have a way of replacing customers that you are losing elsewhere. And I hate to say I told you so (well obviously I don't..) but I said on this forum probably 18 months ago that JA were very vunerable if their core customers were given other opportunities because that had no way of generating new customers that they could direct to their business.
    And i don't think anyone disagreed with you either. The question 18 months ago was whether JA should "actively bringing new people in" and the answer clearly is "if they want to try". And try they did, just not with MJ class nights. If they didn't manage to increase numbers, and there are arguably better weekenders - thats life.

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    Commercial Operator Rocky's Avatar
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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadful Scathe View Post
    ..from your complaints about Jive Addiction "stealing" dancers at their weekender, that you at least thought that all modern jive dancers somehow belonged to Ceroc in some way. Otherwise, how can they be "stolen" ? .
    Was never said, implied or inferred - find the post(s) and I'll apologize unreservedly. What you wanted to read into anything I have said is a different matter and I'm afraid I can't be held accountable for what goes on inbetween your ears.

    What I said was that IMO, JA had a parasitic relationship with regard to Ceroc because their business would not have had the scale it had without the 100's of 1,000's of dancers Ceroc have introduced to MJ over the last 26 years.

    You may disagree, but either way it's not an expression of 'ownership'.

    This left them very vulnerable because they had no existing, or potential, grassroots brand loyalty - and look what happened..

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    ...
    This left them very vulnerable because they had no existing, or potential, grassroots brand loyalty - and look what happened..
    Probably rather more to do with the venue than anything else.

    They may not have had much 'intro to dance' grassroots brand loyalty, but it would be difficult to argue they lacked brand loyalty in general.


    Even for Ceroc at the current weekender scale I doubt 'grassroots brand loyalty' is considered really effective.

    If it were really thought effective why the measures, outside of competing on product, to avoid the 'grassroots loyal' having a choice.



    Not having the direct cross selling/marketing opportunities of a continual flow of beginners, obviously makes it difficult for an independent to ramp up a weekender quickly, even if offering a better product.

    Ceroc's actions do rather imply the understanding that over time 'word of mouth' matters.

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    What you wanted to read into anything I have said is a different matter and I'm afraid I can't be held accountable for what goes on inbetween your ears.
    I don't want to read anything - i am just telling you what it sounded like to me. And any time I say "it sounds like you think Ceroc claims some ownership over its members" you disagree and then immediately imply it again - sometimes in the same post...


    What I said was that IMO, JA had a parasitic relationship with regard to Ceroc because their business would not have had the scale it had without the 100's of 1,000's of dancers Ceroc have introduced to MJ over the last 26 years.
    So no ownership is implied - but here you are yet again implying that the dancers that go to JA events, because they mostly started at Ceroc, therefore, by association, cause JA to owe Ceroc in some way. If "not letting them out of your sight" is not a subtle claim of ownership - then what is it? The dancers do NOT carry such baggage just because you say they do and if they DO go to a non Ceroc event, that event does not owe a debt of internal gratitude to Ceroc. Also, i don't understand why you still go on about this when Ceroc now DO compete nationally in the weekender market and have done so successfully for a good while.

    You may disagree, but either way it's not an expression of 'ownership'.
    It comes across like one I'm afraid. And you are the only one that does it .

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadful Scathe View Post
    Yawn...
    Whatever DS..

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    In the recent posts I wouldn't say that Rocky implied/inferred/infeared that ceroc owns its customers, but it is something you hear from lots of franchise and business owners, (not just ceroc and not just modern jive). Saying things like 'so and so has been taking our dancers/customers' etc. I don't think its a myth that this outlook exists among some people and that some of those people work with ceroc.

    The parasite argument initially makes sense, as its true that a business that only provides events for existing dancers is dependent on dance schools to create those dancers.

    But equally, you could say that most MJ organizations are dependent on other organizations to build or maintain venues. (Whereas many ballet schools own or permanently rent and maintain their own.) Its unrealistic to expect every business to create a customer base when one already exists, or to take care of all their needs. For example, dance shoe companies are also dependent on dance schools for creating a customer base. If Ceroc created their own brand of dance shoe would you see other brands who sold to Ceroc dancers as parasitic?

    In an advanced economy all organizations are dependent on the existence and success of many other organizations. In most cases this is probably mutually beneficial rather than parasitic, although every individual case is arguable.

    In many other dance scenes you don’t have the same organization run local classes, weekend events, holidays, performances etc. They are all run by different people who are mutually dependent and who mutually benefit.

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Amir View Post
    In the recent posts I wouldn't say that Rocky implied/inferred/infeared that ceroc owns its customers, but it is something you hear from lots of franchise and business owners, (not just ceroc and not just modern jive). Saying things like 'so and so has been taking our dancers/customers' etc. I don't think its a myth that this outlook exists among some people and that some of those people work with ceroc.

    The parasite argument initially makes sense, as its true that a business that only provides events for existing dancers is dependent on dance schools to create those dancers.

    But equally, you could say that most MJ organizations are dependent on other organizations to build or maintain venues. (Whereas many ballet schools own or permanently rent and maintain their own.) Its unrealistic to expect every business to create a customer base when one already exists, or to take care of all their needs. For example, dance shoe companies are also dependent on dance schools for creating a customer base. If Ceroc created their own brand of dance shoe would you see other brands who sold to Ceroc dancers as parasitic?

    In an advanced economy all organizations are dependent on the existence and success of many other organizations. In most cases this is probably mutually beneficial rather than parasitic, although every individual case is arguable.

    In many other dance scenes you don’t have the same organization run local classes, weekend events, holidays, performances etc. They are all run by different people who are mutually dependent and who mutually benefit.
    Rocky, don't argue with Amir, after reading his post, I think he's doing Philosphy, economics and Law at Cambridge

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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Amir View Post
    In the recent posts I wouldn't say that Rocky implied/inferred/infeared that ceroc owns its customers
    I think its not so strong an implication to be fair. I could look up his rather more blatent ones from the past, but that would be pointless - he would still see no implication. I do, others do, but it doesn't really matter does it.

    he did say this...
    What I said was that IMO, JA had a parasitic relationship with regard to Ceroc because their business would not have had the scale it had without the 100's of 1,000's of dancers Ceroc have introduced to MJ over the last 26 years.
    ...which we could simply take to be factual and not an implication of anything else - JA did indeed provide a product for many hundreds, if not thousands, of modern jive dancers who learnt at Ceroc. I never argued with this fact, but i wondered why it mattered? Its a business supplying people what they want, now that Ceroc have chosen to expend into the weekender market more, people do find that they are getting what they need from Ceroc. So now Ceroc is in the position of, particularly because they have the Southport venue, of having a parasitic relationship with JA. JA provided and built a successful weekender market that Ceroc are taking advantage of. Oh the Irony.

    Its unrealistic to expect every business to create a customer base when one already exists, or to take care of all their needs. For example, dance shoe companies are also dependent on dance schools for creating a customer base. If Ceroc created their own brand of dance shoe would you see other brands who sold to Ceroc dancers as parasitic?
    If Rocky is not implying that Ceroc have some sort of hold or ownership over the dancers that learn with them, then it makes sense that yes, he would see your shoe example as equally parasitic - he is merely pointing out a factual business reliance after all. With no other baggage or politics attached. None whatsoever. Oh no no no. None. (someone even agreed with Rocky on an old thread and furthered with the suggestion that Jive Addiction PAY Ceroc for use of their dancers. Nice one! )

    In an advanced economy all organizations are dependent on the existence and success of many other organizations. In most cases this is probably mutually beneficial rather than parasitic, although every individual case is arguable.
    Yes, I prefer "mutually beneficial" to "parasitic". I think that is true in JA's case, they provided a popular weekender, only popular because people wanted it. I know for me; weekenders, and the blackpool competition, kept me interested in dance generally when otherwise I may have drifted off. So I think mutually beneficial is accurate in most, if not all, cases of dance class/weekender/competition. Thats not forgeting the teachers; its teachers like Nigel and Nina, Amir, David and Lily, Taz, Jordan and Tatiana that are truly memorable and transcend any tawdry weekender they may be part of

    I like that most of us are adults and can just, you know, discuss this like adults

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    Commercial Operator Rocky's Avatar
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    Re: Hard core marketing - taking on an established Ceroc club

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadful Scathe View Post
    . JA provided and built a successful weekender market that Ceroc are taking advantage of. Oh the Irony.
    Well you can hardly credit JA with building the weekender dance market. Caister Soul weekenders have been running for 30 years and Franco ran Jive weekenders long before JA did - JA saw an opportunity to run them in the North, but as with everything else, it was not a business idea they created. Introducing WCS on a w/e event? Nope, was done years before. First to book J&T in the UK? Nope, was done the year before at Rebel Yell..

    If your point is that they put SP on the map as a dance weekender venue, then yes they did. But they made the mistake of viewing SP as a short term cash cow which meant that they did not expand their relationship with Pontins to take on other venues, and they did not leverage the goodwill generated from SP to create their own customer base.

    As I've said before, they were the architects of their own downfall.. simples (squeak)

    But anyway, the JA things been done to death (literally) so I'm sure every one's sick of it

    Quote Originally Posted by Amir View Post
    In the recent posts I wouldn't say that Rocky implied/inferred/infeared that ceroc owns its customers, but it is something you hear from lots of franchise and business owners, (not just ceroc and not just modern jive). Saying things like 'so and so has been taking our dancers/customers' etc. I don't think its a myth that this outlook exists among some people and that some of those people work with ceroc. ..
    And most Independent MJ organizations too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amir View Post
    Its unrealistic to expect every business to create a customer base when one already exists, or to take care of all their needs. For example, dance shoe companies are also dependent on dance schools for creating a customer base. If Ceroc created their own brand of dance shoe would you see other brands who sold to Ceroc dancers as parasitic?..
    Yup, but then we're just talking semantics. As regards your first point:

    Many niche businesses exist solely for the purpose of providing a product or service to someone else's customers. Whether that's viewed as parasitic or mutually beneficial is actually pretty much irrelevant with regard to this discussion (other than for pushing the emotional response button). This thread is about creating a new business and about giving that business credibility and longevity and on that basis being a 'piggy back entrepreneur' has its attractions, but they're all short lived. Sure, you can survive without creating your own customer base, but you'll always be looking over your shoulder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amir View Post
    In an advanced economy all organizations are dependent on the existence and success of many other organizations. In most cases this is probably mutually beneficial rather than parasitic, although every individual case is arguable..
    Absolutely, but the strongest organizations in any market economy and the ones who survive, are the ones who are the least dependent on a multi-faceted infrastructure. If you have a quality brand you can leverage your position to either white label products and services which are not cost effective for you to produce, or conversely step into a 3rd party opportunity if the numbers add up. Either way that long term strength and assuredness can only come from creating your own customer base. If you don't go this route, you can still make good money and if you've got any smarts you'll sell out before your S curve flattens - if you don't, then get ready to answer to The Man 'cos he's coming and when he does you can play the victim all you like, but he's not responsible for your short-sightedness, you are..

    Quote Originally Posted by NickC View Post
    Rocky, don't argue with Amir, after reading his post, I think he's doing Philosphy, economics and Law at Cambridge
    You missed out flower arranging..

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    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 2nd-December-2008, 06:00 PM

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