In the 2021 March/April issue, we spoke with Latitia McCree, the senior vice president of communications and marketing at the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, about marketing strategies.
What are the Detroit YMCA’s most effective marketing strategies today?
I would say our most effective marketing strategy is word of mouth. Everyone loves to share stories about how the YMCA improves lives of all ages. And secondly, I would say the Y experience markets itself. Once people come to our facility and have a Y experience, that seals the relationship.
What works better for your association: traditional marketing or social media? Which do you prefer?
I’ve found it’s not a matter of one or the other, it’s both. Traditional and social media have their roles. Traditional broadcast media is still very effective because it helps validate, and when paired with social media, it heightens awareness. Social media allows us to affordably tell our story daily. We use traditional media for special promotions and projects, so radio and TV complement our social media marketing.
How do you think marketing in the community recreation industry will evolve in the coming months?
Organic marketing will be at the heart of any successful campaign. The community wants real people with real stories who are relatable. Building and maintaining trust is essential when it comes to any type of marketing. I believe we will see that showing images of cleanliness and safety will be mainstays moving forward.
Do you have any tips for engaging members through marketing?
I would say encourage active members to share their joyful and rewarding experiences with your organization. These stories can be shared on various social media platforms, blog posts and so much more.
It is also important to speak about our work as a community health benefit and as an essential component of healthy living, not just a disposable add-on. Healthy people are better able to cope with the onset of illness, a growing concern amid the pandemic.