Total Immersion Forums  

Go Back   Total Immersion Forums > Links and References
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 12-20-2011
drmike drmike is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 31
drmike
Default TI customer base

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post

What's our goal? To understand the most common and compelling needs, desires, problems and conundrums of adult swimmers ...
Terry - On 25 Feb Suzanne posted a poll on shoulder pain and swimming, and of the 69% of respondents (52?) who confirmed shoulder trouble, several said TI had helped reduce pain. It might be useful to include a similar question in your mass email, which will draw more replies; the possibility of relearning to swim FS w/o exacerbating shoulder troubles was a major appeal of TI to me (and I'm a paying customer).

Mike M.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-20-2011
dshen dshen is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Posts: 200
dshen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
2) Our short-term goal is to grow as a company to acquire the resources to achieve broader influence. We can best do that by providing better service to the people we already know are most likely to respond positively to our message. And make sure more people like them know we exist.

What I especially love about the adult-onset swimmer I described at the top of this thread is that they come with no preconceptions and generally don't have coaches. They appreciate the common sense aspect of the TI Method and value the holistic approach. If I spent the rest of my life serving such people, it would be a very good life indeed.
taking the second comment first, yes then your described demographic is perfect for this.

however, i would suggest adding another target demographic: the triathlete. while a lot of triathletes are older, there are many who are younger as well and it's still a very strong trend that's spreading throughout the US and world. most of these people are swimming either for the first time in their lives or returning to swimming and all are competitive and willing to figure out how to swim faster in the most efficient way possible and pay for it. as Shinji and Dave Cameron have noted, many of their students are triathletes, especially those that come to the workshops.


Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
1) I strongly believe TI's broadest principles -- pursue harmony with the water and pay attention to what you're doing -- can improve any form, use or objective of swimming. Thus my dream is to see TI influence and imbue all aquatic teaching and practice, for all objectives. However . . .
for this broader goal (which I love by the way and glad you said it), might i suggest adding two more:

1. under-21, or still in school (ie. kindergarten to college including grad school which probably means under 21 slides to early-mid 20s)

these are characterized by swimming mostly for competition or because their parents put them on swim team. i think you be hard pressed to find young swimmers who just swim for the love of it; i think that most are swimming on teams. they most likely have little or no money themselves and parents pay for most of what they do - slightly less true in the latter half of this age group but still money is tight. they require specialized training techniques, and also require mktg to high school and college coaches to train them in TI techniques for youths and teens.

2. after graduation, until about the bottom of your original target demographic around 40 yrs old.

now people are busy. they are working. but they have more disposable income and are starting to workout for health and fitness, even as some find time to compete (so crossover to triathletes, and the competitive race in masters meets). some want to take up swimming, some have been swimming since their younger years. they are starting to develop the mental and emotional awareness that doing things for internal growth is good, although external growth is still dominant.

now having not sat in on your web design discussions - it is my belief that you can create 1) a message that can encompass all 4 target groups, and 2) design/experience of the website and your other materials that support that message, and 3) thus aim TI towards your loftier goal beyond your short term goal.

my fear is that if you focus on that one demographic, that what you create will pigeonhole TI into only a swim method for old guys who have never swam before or similar which we all know is not true, but coaches all like to bash on one each other and that bashing can get out to the general public which will affect who seeks out TI.

our message and branding is something we want our swimmers to align with and hopefully feel great about themselves that they are aligned with TI. we don't want them to feel any negativity from brand alignment, and the right message you craft, as well as the services you provide to support that message and mission, will drive customers to you because they seek the positive alignment.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-20-2011
ScottMT ScottMT is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 60
ScottMT
Default

Yep you nailed me in the demographic and I'm a customer.

But I'll propose a different question and suggest my answer. Who is the ideal customer to make the world/neighborhood a better place? Kids and young adults.

This is my pet peeve, but it pains me to see so many kids (especially my children) fall in love with swimming, start club swimming because they love it, then high school swimming, and then poof they are done with swimming for good because either a) their shoulders are toast or b) they are sick of the typical, no pain no gain, race-focussed workouts. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with racing, it just seems that they lose the love of the process (swimming) in trying to achieve the goal of a good time. How can we turn this around and keep these kids swimming and healthy for life?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-21-2011
Mike from NS Mike from NS is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 551
Mike from NS
Default

David,

I was with you all the way ..... but as an "old guy that never swam before" finding Total Immersion, I can't see why you have any fear as you pointed out.

..... "my fear is that if you focus on that one demographic, that what you create will pigeonhole TI into only a swim method for old guys who have never swam before....."

We old guys are a huge demographic of the population of Mother Earth .... who happen to like most 50's - 60's music as well as a solid method of swimming. (One of us old guys had to say something.) ;-)

But seriously, I'm sure your fear is ill founded. Careful planning now will produce a site with appeal to anyone interested in learning to swim regardless of their age group. The greater problem, I expect, is in getting the younger people's attention for the exact reasons which ScottMT pointed out. There is likely resistance from school / university swim coaches to alter preaching the "kick and pull harder" philosophy that they grew up with as well. Only when the TI style becomes recognized and visible on podiums will this change. And isn't this starting to happen now?
Mike
__________________
If you're not swimming; then you should be skiing......
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-21-2011
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
Coach
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,453
CoachSuzanne
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dshen View Post
taking the second comment first, yes then your described demographic is perfect for this.

however, i would suggest adding another target demographic: the triathlete. while a lot of triathletes are older, there are many who are younger as well and it's still a very strong trend that's spreading throughout the US and world. most of these people are swimming either for the first time in their lives or returning to swimming and all are competitive and willing to figure out how to swim faster in the most efficient way possible and pay for it. as Shinji and Dave Cameron have noted, many of their students are triathletes, especially those that come to the workshops.




for this broader goal (which I love by the way and glad you said it), might i suggest adding two more:

1. under-21, or still in school (ie. kindergarten to college including grad school which probably means under 21 slides to early-mid 20s)

these are characterized by swimming mostly for competition or because their parents put them on swim team. i think you be hard pressed to find young swimmers who just swim for the love of it; i think that most are swimming on teams. they most likely have little or no money themselves and parents pay for most of what they do - slightly less true in the latter half of this age group but still money is tight. they require specialized training techniques, and also require mktg to high school and college coaches to train them in TI techniques for youths and teens.

2. after graduation, until about the bottom of your original target demographic around 40 yrs old.

now people are busy. they are working. but they have more disposable income and are starting to workout for health and fitness, even as some find time to compete (so crossover to triathletes, and the competitive race in masters meets). some want to take up swimming, some have been swimming since their younger years. they are starting to develop the mental and emotional awareness that doing things for internal growth is good, although external growth is still dominant.

now having not sat in on your web design discussions - it is my belief that you can create 1) a message that can encompass all 4 target groups, and 2) design/experience of the website and your other materials that support that message, and 3) thus aim TI towards your loftier goal beyond your short term goal.

my fear is that if you focus on that one demographic, that what you create will pigeonhole TI into only a swim method for old guys who have never swam before or similar which we all know is not true, but coaches all like to bash on one each other and that bashing can get out to the general public which will affect who seeks out TI.

our message and branding is something we want our swimmers to align with and hopefully feel great about themselves that they are aligned with TI. we don't want them to feel any negativity from brand alignment, and the right message you craft, as well as the services you provide to support that message and mission, will drive customers to you because they seek the positive alignment.
Dave, the suggestion of nailing down the main customer is simply to help focus a marketing message...yes there are other demo graphics and each of them should have their own specific avatar and access to / a built in pathway to the right swimming education for them, and of course, ultimately a sale.

Terry has been working at crafting this type of "how do we reach everyone" categorization as well and has couple different draft versions of it.
__________________
Suzanne Atkinson, MD
Level 3 USAT Coach
USA Paralympic Triathlon Coach
Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-21-2011
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dshen View Post
i would suggest adding another target demographic: the triathlete.
We certainly will include triathletes. They're a subset - and at this point probably the most important/numerous one - of the Adult Onset Swimmer demographic.
One thing we've learned about triathletes is that those who are most open to the ideas we advocate - particularly a focus on ease rather than speed in the tri swim leg - are Adult Onset Swimmers. And they're also often desperate for help and solutions.
Triathletes who swam in their youth are (1) seldom desperate and (2) often under the illusion they swim well enough already and only need to get in shape again.

As for youth swimmers, it pains me just as much to see the massive waste of time, energy and, well, sheer human potential that occurs in the average age group and HS training program. It also pains me to see how many get burned out or turned off to swimming while still young, and have little desire to return to it as adults.

I promise it will be a personal crusade of mine to try to influence the swim coaching community. And the TI web site will definitely include resources for swim parents and coaches, and we'll create some learning tools for coaches too. But the exercise of defining the Ideal Customer Avatar is by necessity one in which you have to be highly disciplined and selective in determining where you will place your primary emphasis.

For the reasons I cited - massive numbers, health-seeking, uncoached, and open-minded - that will be Adult-Onset Swimmers.
__________________
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-21-2011
dshen dshen is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Posts: 200
dshen
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
We certainly will include triathletes. They're a subset - and at this point probably the most important/numerous one - of the Adult Onset Swimmer demographic.
One thing we've learned about triathletes is that those who are most open to the ideas we advocate - particularly a focus on ease rather than speed in the tri swim leg - are Adult Onset Swimmers. And they're also often desperate for help and solutions.
Triathletes who swam in their youth are (1) seldom desperate and (2) often under the illusion they swim well enough already and only need to get in shape again.

As for youth swimmers, it pains me just as much to see the massive waste of time, energy and, well, sheer human potential that occurs in the average age group and HS training program. It also pains me to see how many get burned out or turned off to swimming while still young, and have little desire to return to it as adults.

I promise it will be a personal crusade of mine to try to influence the swim coaching community. And the TI web site will definitely include resources for swim parents and coaches, and we'll create some learning tools for coaches too. But the exercise of defining the Ideal Customer Avatar is by necessity one in which you have to be highly disciplined and selective in determining where you will place your primary emphasis.

For the reasons I cited - massive numbers, health-seeking, uncoached, and open-minded - that will be Adult-Onset Swimmers.
all good and awesome - as i mentioned, i didn't know the full process you were following so just checking on your thinking. Thanks for the clarifications and explanations!
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-21-2011
dougalt dougalt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Posts: 79
dougalt
Default

Terry:
First, it is very impressive about the quality and thoughtfulness of the replies to your post. It is a distinct pleasure to to be associated with a process that has such cerebral adherents.
Second, I am in the "adult-onset" category, and your TI approach to swimming has been a change-of-life experience for me. (Not that I am setting an Olympic records, or anything...)
PLEASE, do not worry about what others may say, including as part of "surveys" of various kinds - stick to your instincts... what you are doing is Right On The Money!
Your expression of frustration about age-group and high school swimming programs really struck home to me - just yesterday, I was observing a high school swim team "workout" in a local pool. Amidst all the energy expended in kicking drills, with boards, and other "drills", one female swimmer caught my eye: she, alone, was cruising along in very "TI" fashion, just eating up the laps efforlessly, while everyone else was beating their bodies to a pulp. It was clear that the "coach" was not noticing her capabilities, and, she appeared to be very bored/frustrated with the coach-imposed kicking drills.
The target market for Total Immersion is... every swimmer!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-21-2011
dougalt dougalt is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Posts: 79
dougalt
Default

"Values or Priorities 80% or more are Healthseekers - including the majority of new triathletes; 10-20% are Achievement seekers. More likely to describe self as 'active' than athletic."

This is an interesting statistical break-out...

I personally feel that "Health Seekers" actually ARE "Achievement Seekers" – "Health Seekers" have taken some kind of measurement of their current or prior condition, and have made a decision to change the numbers that they have come up with! And, they have set some kind of goal(s) that they wish to move toward. Thus, they have set some kind of achievement that they want to seek.

Part of the beauty of TI is that there is a continuum of objectives and goals that can keep one endlessly occupied.

By the way, have you watched Cesar Milan's "The Dog Whisperer" on TV? As swimmers, we could benefit a lot from the concept of "being in the moment", which Cesar promotes, both for the dogs, AND their human owners.

"Being in the moment", and experiencing the flow and efficiency of TI is what it is all about, as opposed to the "no pain, no gain", age-group, high school, and college competition crowd.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-21-2011
CoachBobM CoachBobM is offline
Coach
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 647
CoachBobM
Default

Quote:
Age: Baby Boomer - between mid-40s and early 60s.
If I were in a mood to admit to having an age (which I rarely am), I'd admit to being in this age group.

But my impression, when I first attended a TI weekend workshop as a student in February of 1999, was that the vast majority of attendees were in their 20s or 30s, two were in their teens, two were in their 40s, one was age 9, and one was in his 50s. I admit that I'm only certain of the ages of the three youngest participants, so it's possible that some attendees may have looked younger than they were. But I'd be surprised if the average age of workshop attendees is really 55, as you seem to imply.

Quote:
Gender: Somewhat more likely to be male than female - in part because a lot of our early 'customer acquisition' occurred when triathlon was over 70% male.
I'm obviously male, but it has never appeared to me that either sex is more likely to want TI training.

Quote:
Household Income: upper-middle, between $70k and $125k
As a self-employed person, my income has varied widely from year to year, but it's probably been in that range during my better years. I think it's a combination of household income and how much importance a person attaches to excelling at swimming.

Quote:
Well-educated, intellectually curious and open-minded,
This is definitely true, though I have to admit that my own open-mindedness came after I tried some more conventional approaches and didn't succeed in achieving my goals.

Quote:
Swimming Experience: 75% less than 3 years; 95% 'adult-onset' swimmers
As worded, this is ambiguous. I "learned to swim" when I was 7 years old, and thereafter perceived myself as "knowing how to swim." But I had been focusing on trying to improve my swimming speed for less than 3 years when I went to a TI workshop.

Quote:
Support?: Self-coached.
Yes. But I should add that this wasn't entirely by choice.

I was referred to TI by the head coach of the kids' swim team at the Y where I was swimming at the time. To some extent, this was because she had a good opinion of TI, but to some extent, it was because they didn't want to deal with somebody like me. Their basic premises appeared to be:

- you can't train adults and kids together, even if they want to learn the same things

- we don't have enough time and staff to separately train both adults and kids in competitive swimming

therefore

- we'll only provide competitive stroke training for kids, and forget about the adults.

Edwin H. Land once said that it's great to be doing business when you have no competition. And he said this because he was the inventor of the polaroid camera (which took pictures and developed them on the spot), and for a couple of decades he held patents which gave his company the exclusive right to produce polaroid cameras and film for those cameras. The main reason that most of TI's students have historically been adults is, I believe, because most facilities that offer swim training offer only (1) training for kids, and (2) training for adults who don't know how to swim at all. Most facilities have simply ignored the needs and desires of adults who are trying to achieve loftier goals in swimming.

Quote:
Goals: Modest. Swim with comfort, ease and enjoyment. Understand enough to make sound choices and use time well. Be able to swim a mile or more continuously and feel good - ready to swim another - upon finishing.
When I attended a TI workshop in 1999, I said that my goal was to become a competitive swimmer. What I didn't admit at the time was that my goal was to become fastest in the world, since I thought everyone would think I was crazy if I said that.

But the goal isn't really crazy, as long as you realize that the vast, vast, vast majority of swimmers who have that goal don't achieve it, and that starting at the relatively late age I did is an obstacle that most of them don't have to deal with. I set personal best times this year in 5 of the 8 events I swam, which puts me closer to my goal in those events, and I'm already thinking about how I might do even better in 2012. And whether I ultimately achieve my goal or not, the available evidence suggests that striving for it will keep me fitter and healthier than I would otherwise have been!

Obviously, many TI students are interested in pursuing triathlons rather than competitive swimming (that was true even at the 1999 workshop I attended). But I doubt that many people put in the time and money needed get TI training who don't have some kind of ambitious goals (though they may not have admitted this, even to themselves).

Quote:
Values or Priorities 80% or more are Healthseekers - including the majority of new triathletes; 10-20% are Achievement seekers. More likely to describe self as 'active' than athletic.
I'm not sure you can distinguish between the two. I began swimming regularly for health reasons, but I didn't become interested in Total Immersion until after I began pursuing specific goals as a swimmer.


Bob

Last edited by CoachBobM : 12-21-2011 at 04:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:42 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.