20 years ago Golfers were paying $10,00-$20,000(or more) a year to be a member of a Golf Club-people were queing up and the waiting lists were as long as 5+ years…or sadly you had to wait until a member passed away. People would also spend large amounts on new or updating their golf equipment. Most Golf courses were private, Most players were members and you could only buy your golf equipment from a retailer or Pro Shop
Fast forward 20 years and “oh my” how things have changed! People do not want to be members or pay exorbatant rates for NO Value! Golfers prefer to play around and save thousands of dollars whilst doing so! Social Players outnumber private members of a course 3 to 1.
Golf equipment can also be purchased online at much cheaper prices nor golfers come in-store to bargain! Yes, statistics prove that 40% of shoppers will check prices online” whilst they are in your store!
For Golf courses-It’s sad that most Golf Clubs still have not embraced Social Media, Google or Email marketing(the latter dying very quickly). 67% of B2C Companies have acquired a customer through Facebook-If this stat does’nt poke a hole in the ‘Facebook is not useful for Businesses” myth, I don’t know what will.
For Golf Businesses- The answer is Google-Google is the new “Business Card”. Some companies are still burning money on Adwords..Organic SEO MUST be seen as an assett to your Golf Business. Implementing Organic SEO will be there for years to come. Switch off your adwords campaign tomorrow and guess what-no increase in rankings, no customers-zilch!
Why is this happening? Fortunately Golf is and will go through a change in demographic for its own good-This must happen. The society we live in today is fast paced, it must be attention grabbing and cost effective for consumers to make split decisions. Consumers(Golfers) know what they should be paying, know how they should be treated and most importantly want value for their buck!
What then – Sit back and think how you can market your Golf Business effectively to cater for tomorrow’s golfer-Yes, the Golfer that will check his emails on his mobiles, check into your business via his phone app, Find you on Google or “Like” you on Facebook!
Its not just about your stagnant website that you’ve spent thousands on-Yes, your website should be updated more often as your Board meetings, Its about being found on Google, Yahoo or Bing. It’s about being “liked” or followed on Twitter. Communicate with your members through emails, social media and sms marketing(very cost effective)
The Golf Industry in Australia can be marketed very successfully if we could all just work together-network, educate and support each other. It’s an industry that unfortunately does not do this very well, and if it can embrace this thinking and target a new demographic it can only thrive.
Andrew Small, Account Manager
Golf Marketing Australia
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