Children under 13 represent the majority in our field and offer a greater revenue opportunity than adult students. But closing a sale with this group can be challenging. Children don’t make purchases, parents do. This article is based on a recent cutting-edge study on parent-purchase motivation. The author provides insight to attract more students and close more sales.
When making a sale we are faced with many challenges, including a perceived value, ability to use services and convenience. We must also know our customer. In the martial arts industry, children 13 and under represent the largest and most profitable market. These children represent more than 60% of the martial arts student base. However, children don’t make purchases. Their parents do. This article is based off the 10 reasons parents buy (called purchase motivations) identified in a recent study.
#1 Physical Fitness
Physical fitness has always been a core benefit of martial arts. In the study, parents expressed an appreciation of general fitness and health, but several expressed an appreciation for the way that martial arts helps enhance fitness in a unique way – flexibility. Parents said the development of flexibility is a huge value and often ignored in other sports.
Parents find self-discipline an exceptional value of martial arts training. In addition to having the discipline to work hard at physical training, parents also value the personal restraint to handle and de-escalate conflicts verbally without physical confrontation. Parents said that self-discipline allows their children to refrain from using their martial arts skills inappropriately.
Self-defense is a primary skill that many students look for when pursuing martial arts classes. Parents are looking for an activity that improves physical fitness and agility. However, they also want their children to gain the skill, confidence and spirit to handle themselves during altercations or times of need.
#4 Media Influence
Films, television and media influence also proved strong influences on purchase decisions for parents. Many parents cited their child’s desire to emulate martial arts stars like Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a strong enticement. The nature of many martial arts shows offer wholesome messages and portrays martial arts training as a strong tool for character development. Parents see these as healthy role models and good examples for children to follow.
#5 Bullying Prevention
Another element is bullying. It’s a serious problem that can greatly harm a child’s self-esteem and future. The effects of bullying can be extreme, resulting in physical injury, self-harm or even death. Even though this social problem has seen dramatic increases in public awareness, the issue has yet to be abolished. Many schools offer anti-bullying programs to assist students, and interviewed parents expressed appreciation for these offerings.
#6 Alternative To Team Sports
Parents expressed alternative to team sports as a strong purchase motivator. Many children have negative experiences with team sports. Some children sit on the bench and don’t receive much play time. Others don’t receive much attention from coaches. Parents also touched on the pressure to practice or compete in other sports and the value of individual achievement in martial arts.
#7 Ease of participation
Ease of participation is another new reason for parents selecting martial arts. Participating in a competition cheer squad or soccer team can be an exceptionally demanding commitment. Practices are at very specific times, there are severe penalties for missing practice, and there is no flexibility for game times. These challenges and demands on time can make team membership and participation difficult, even for children who enjoy and excel in team sports.
Cost is a factor in all purchases, but a newly identified one for martial arts lessons. Parents expressed how expensive after-school activities are becoming. One parent stated that participation in the school band cost upward of $3,000 per year with heavy travel commitments. Another spent $3,500 and over 200 volunteer hours to support his daughter’s swim team participation. These parents find the more modest monthly tuition for martial arts training very compelling.
#9 Goal Setting And Attainment
Parents value the process of goal-setting and attainment inherent in martial arts training. Parents appreciate the belt-testing cycle that comes with rank progression in the martial arts. Parents observed that setting short achievable goals and then being measured on performance was meaningful.
Last, convenience proves a strong purchase motivator for parents. Today’s world is fast-paced, and children have a tremendous amount of academic school and non-school activities. Meeting all their obligations is difficult for parents to manage, especially in homes with multiple children or a single parent.
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