Marketing – stop trying to reinvent the wheel

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Many golf clubs think that marketing is all about being inventive, trying new things, creating some lovely posters and making their website look nice. They seek out different ideas to be seen unique and often lose sight of who their marketing is for. It is a cliché but the really is no need to reinvent the wheel.

There is a good reason that many of the more standard offers that golf clubs can promote have been around for ages – it’s because they work!

Golfers love 2 for 1 green fees. 4 rounds for the price of 3 will always get takers. A twilight rate is still ideal for those after work players who can’t necessarily get in the full 18 holes.

WHAT IS IMPORTANT?
There are several aspects of marketing that are vital and one more element which is top of the list, which isn’t even marketing.

  • Be clear on the offer – Don’t make it over complicated. If there is a deadline then be clear about it. If there are specific terms, then don’t hide them in small print. Be simple. Be concise.
  • Target the right people – know your audience and provide the right offer to the right person. The more knowledge you have then the easier this is. For example, if a visitor has always played your course at weekends then sending them a midweek offer as part of a blanket email campaign is probably a waste of time. People want offers they can use that show you understand their golfing patterns.
  • Timing – most clubs would like more green fees, but you might not want to fill up the course at peak times when your members are trying to get out on the course. Many members will play over 75% of their golf over the Summer months. Don’t get greedy and flood the course so 4 and half hour rounds become the norm.

The last point isn’t even marketing but is top of the list to consider in every case. Make sure they have an enjoyable experience at your club. Once you have them through the door, out on the course or in the bar it is all in the hands of your customer service.

Your marketing will only ever be maximised if people want to come back. A friendly greeting to visitors from members and staff, appropriate staffing in the key areas of the pro shop and the bar, a bit of interaction from the pro shop team when they sign in and a simple question about their round from the bar staff will go a long way towards encouraging a return. Keep it simple.

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Doing simple things and doing them well is more important.

For more ideas, go to the Golf Club Marketing Resource website.

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