The Impact of Digital Marketing on the Recruitment of Martial Arts Students: A Case Study of Trident Academy of Martial Arts



Conklin, James T

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There is a broad array of recreational and fitness activities and options in which people can participate, among these is the study and practice of a martial art. How does the owner of a martial arts studio differentiate his or her school from all the other choices, either from other activities or even other martial arts facilities in the area? Without students, there can be no school. Once there are students in the program, how does a school retain them? The purpose of this study was to determine what factors impact the recruitment and retention of martial arts students. Does the use of digital marketing and other more “traditional” methods impact the operation of a martial arts school? Do they help, hinder or are they a “neutral steer” (i.e., no effect) in attracting new clients and maintaining the current base. There is little research dealing with digital marketing and martial arts schools specifically, or traditional methods for that matter. This research employed a case study approach focusing on a local martial arts studio, with interviews of the owner and program manager to identify the digital marketing methods they have used to recruit students, and the results of those methods. The results of the case study indicated that further research is required to determine how, if at all, the student population was influenced by the methods employed.



Martial arts, Digital marketing, Social media, Recruitment, Retention