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The ice tower at B.C.'s Big White resort.
The ice tower at B.C.'s Big White resort.

Grow: Mia Pearson

Marketing lessons from the ice tower Add to ...

While snowboarding with my class last weekend, I had the opportunity to chat with a group of wonderful mothers who all had one thing on their minds: what to do with their kids for March break.

I’ve written about how important it is for businesses to connect with mothers. This is especially important for companies that are marketing vacations – a big purchase decision for which mothers are fast becoming the key influencers.

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As a result of the growing flurry of conversations online, companies are quickly seeing the effectiveness of a strong message delivered through strategic social-media activity to get people excited about their products and services.

So while chatting with this group of mothers, I considered this lesson: when spreading the word about your product or service, it is just as important to promote all of your ancillary offerings as it is to promote your key features. Companies often promote just the core offering, but when selling to mothers, it is often the broader offer that will activate the sale.

Take British Columbia’s Big White Ski Resort. I took my two kids there just before Christmas, and we had an incredible experience. It wasn’t just the “Okanagan champagne powder” and the diverse ski and snowboard terrain that excited us, it was all the other stuff – the tubing, dog-sledding, sleigh rides, and much more.

My seven-year-old daughter strapped on ice-climbing boots, a harness and a helmet, grabbed an ice pick, and ambitiously tried her hand at climbing a 60-foot tower of ice – the largest of its kind at any North American resort.

As a mother, I was amazed. As a marketing professional, I realized the potential. And when I returned to Toronto my suspicions were confirmed: the photos that received the best reactions were those on the ice tower. It was a unique offering, and a huge differentiator for the resort.

When I’m looking online for great places to snowboard, the marketing is always focused on the mountain. But Big White markets to families and speaks directly to mothers. Both online and offline, this resort shares a story that paints a picture of a broad range of services that will make you and your family’s overall experience memorable and unique.

We know that the Internet is having a huge impact on everything from shopping habits to marketing practices – the hurdle is to capitalize on these changes and not get lost in their dust.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have opened up a whole new world of opportunities to promote everything that is special about your brand: whether it is the extra family features of a vacation, or the unique functions of a new smartphone hitting the market.

Differentiating your business from the rest is simply a matter of sharing the whole story.

Special to The Globe and Mail

Mia Pearson is president of the Canadian region for Fleishman-Hillard Canada and its sister company, High Road Communications. She has more than two decades of experience in creating and growing award-winning communications agencies. Her experience spans many sectors, including financial, technology, consumer and lifestyle. She works in partnership with her clients to build brands, mitigate risk and shape communications strategies.

Follow on Twitter: @miapearson

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