Mountain Bike Retreat Event Launch
A Product Creation From Ideation to Launch
A Mount Hermon sponsored co-ed retreat bringing mountain bike enthusiasts together for a weekend focused on wellness, connection, and mindfulness in the Santa Cruz mountains.
Mount Hermon had offered select retreats in the past, but most were developed for a specific gender or created for couples. They wanted a retreat that would bring enthusiastic mountain bikers together to geek out over loamy trails at a world-famous riding destination.
The idea was to create an interest-centered retreat catered to a more millennial demographic (roughly 26-41) that could serve as a template for other new retreats in the future.
Digital Marketing Manager
Social Media Manager
HIGH LEVEL TIMELINE
8 months to event date
To develop & launch a brand new Mount Hermon retreat targeting a new demographic
As the Digital Marketing Manager, I got to influence the project from ideation to launch.
I had the privilege of heading up the user research, leading a focus group and conducted interviews to gather data about our ideal customer profile.
I acted as the Art Director and Director of Photography for the promotional photo and video shoot.
I created the social media campaign strategy for multiple channels and accounts, was responsible for paid campaign management, writing copy, directing content creation, and weaving the recruiting campaign into the existing content on the various channels.
UNDERSTANDING THE USER
*insert mountain bike lingo here*
At first glance, targeting mountain bikers seemed like a straight forward task: people who like to mountain bike. But, once we dove in, we saw that there were various categories that distinguished mountain bike enthusiasts. Besides age and gender, we noticed skillset and experience was a big identifier.
As this retreat is for intermediate to advanced mountain bikers, we needed clarity and intentionality in our messaging and advertising. In the end, we were able to narrow down our customer profile below.
Interest: Mountain Biking, Outdoor
Location: 8 hour driving radius of MH
busyness of life
building community in a post-covid world
capped out biking skills
Mountain bike, maintenance, parts
Safety gear – helmet, pads, etc
Trail guides & apps,
A working professional with limited time to dedicate to mountain biking. They want to explore new trails, sharpen their ridings skills, and connect with like-minded individuals.
ATTRACTING THE RIGHT CUSTOMER
As the mountain bike retreat is intended for more knowledgeable riders, it was important we were intentional in our messaging and communication.
BREAKING DOWN THE PROCESS
As this project was interdepartmental, cross-functional collaboration was crucial. As with most things, data, communication, and creativity drove us to the finish line.
Beginning with the research I led a focus group and gathered data on what kind of expectations or values each person would have if they were to attend an interest-specific wellness retreat. I followed up by conducted one-on-one interviews to establish a framework with our data – what is the story we're telling to influence a mountain bike enthusiast to attend the retreat?
After working with the program leaders to flesh out the retreat offering and schedule, we were able to build the promotional assets. Heading up the creative as the DP, I worked with local mountain bike pros and our in-house videographer to capture hero images and videos that were used for a the landing page and multiple advertising channels.
Partnering with the web designer, we utilized the visual assets from the promo shoot to create an informative landing page. Once the product was ready to release, I worked with the Marketing Director to build out the product launch plan. I created the social media campaign strategy for multiple channels and accounts, was responsible for paid campaign management, writing copy, directing content creation, and weaving the recruiting campaign into the existing content on the various channels.
FOCUS GROUP RESULTS
A consistent theme throughout the data was that opt-in community activities with plenty of downtown between rides was preferred. Guests wanted opportunities to connect with others without the commitment.
TITLE OF THE CALLOUT BLOCK
Within a few months of launch the retreat was filled – fully booked within target dates
Utilizing the data from the retreat attendees, we were able to adjust the initial assessment of the target customer. With an average age of 48, 30% of which were women, we were happy to see the average age was within target age if not somewhat older.
As for next steps, I would utilize the data and research framework to build a template for future program listing as well as utilize the feedback reports filled out by attendees at the end of the retreat.