Golf Industry Central May 2012 - Page 17

RETAIN/STRENGTHEN THE CORE ENGAGE “LAPSED” GOLFERS RECOGNIZE WOMEN’S INFLUENCE DRIVE NEW PLAYERS REACH “OTHER 84 PERCENT” BETTER KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS Golf, PGA Professionals and golf facilities need to better know who our customers are - not just rounds played but total customers and how to segment them. Delivering different experiences to each segment and best practice customer service will protect this group from further erosion and give us time to grow new customers. This will be accomplished primarily through Member and Employer Education. Golf must recognize women as the most influential member of American families - women control 73% of household spending - and create an integrated marketing strategy to grow our participation rate among women. Growing the number of women professionals and alliances with the LPGA and other women sports organizations will be important to reach “Generation W.” Reaching families who are in the 84 percent of American non-golf households is key as they represent the “building blocks” of our future. As we believe that golf is a game that can and should be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere, we must employ tactics successfully used by soccer and other team sports to reach these households. For instance, alliances with major youth organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America are a key part of this strategy. NURTURE CURRENT CUSTOMERS Golf facilities must nurture our current customers and guide them to be our most loyal customers through the use of customer service techniques and affinity marketing. These “power customers” drive the majority of our facility revenue, and it may take 10 beginners to make up for the loss of one of these people. TARGET 90 MILLION LAPSED It is critical that we target various segments of the 90 million Americans who describe themselves as lapsed golfers, many of whom aspire to play again. How golf welcomes these former customers back is key, as it will set the stage for future initiatives to introduce brand new players to the sport. The current Get Golf Ready effort is ready-made to address this initiative. ENGAGE ENTIRE FAMILY With Generations X and Y exhibiting a more familycentric lifestyle than Boomers, golf must look at the entire family, not just Dad. Without an engagement of the family, Americans will look elsewhere to spend leisure time (and money). TARGET LAPSED SENIORS An aging Boomer population presents an opportunity to target lapsed senior golfers who have time and money and like the networking aspect that golf provides. ENGAGE MINORITIES The nation’s growing minority population represents both a unique opportunity and a unique challenge. Overturning the under-representation of African-Americans and Latinos in golf will require a concerted effort employing refined strategies. Access to demographic information and “knowing your customer” will be integral to success. I’M READY TO PLAY “I’m ready to play”... a simple phrase from a brand new customer that can create chaos on a busy day must be turned into an opportunity. How golf courses accommodat these new players with facilities and staff will be vital to growing beyond the current 16% of U.S. households playing golf. ENGAGE ELECTRONIC USES Not all golfers of the future begin in junior clinics and we need to engage with X Box, EA Sports and TopGolf, and the fun, technology-driven, interactive experiences they provide. Determining a role for PGA Professionals is key and finding gateways from these non-traditional experiences to green grass golf is just as important. FUNDAMENTALS FOR ALL STRATEGIES HIGHLIGHT VALUE OF GOLF PGA MEMBER EDUCATION AND TRAINING PGA Professionals and golf courses should highlight the tremendous value of golf. Golf must overcome a misconception of the high cost of equipment and fees, especially among families. Focus groups and quantitative surveys showed that former golfers and people who don’t play the game viewed the cost of golf 2-3 times higher