Marketing to Millennials
It’s a well-known fact that 2017 (and even the few years before) have not been kind to golf courses, and millennials often get the rap for this. Many believe that this generation is killing golf, but they also get the blame for killing everything from napkins to starter homes. The truth is, courses need to be willing to adapt to their needs rather than stay entrenched in decades-old strategies.
The keys to reaching young golfers is a 3-step process: Be social, be mobile, and be an experience. Most courses have adopted the social, and even the mobile aspects of marketing to millennials, but in 2018 we need to take it up a notch. This generation who doesn’t necessarily connect with golf traditions or the old standards of the clubhouse. Marketing to millennials means challenging the status quo, being creative and selling the golf experience in a meaningful way. Don’t just sell them another game, try something new, like Night Golf, Foot or Disc Golf courses, or something as simple as interesting new targets on the range. Create an experience they want to bring friends to, and one they want to share on Social Media.
Speaking of creating things, if you aren’t already creating specialized content for your site, 2018 could leave you in the digital dust. We always talk about the importance of fresh and interesting blog material when we mention content, which is still a major factor. However, in 2018, we are expecting to see image and video content to be even bigger than it has been in recent years. Paying out for some nice professional photos of your course can help so off your #1 asset; the scenery! One of the more popular trends with courses today is drone filmed video flyovers, cleanly and beautifully displaying your entire property hole-by-hole with a bird’s eye view. These photos and videos can be used time and time again to create new promotional pieces for the course.
Bet on Brunch
Most courses today have some kind of food & beverage operation, whether it be a full-fledged restaurant, or just a small bar & grill. Whichever it may be, it’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of what should be a huge continued trend in 2018; the Sunday Brunch. 2017 saw the peak of the Sunday Brunch trend, and it looks like its popularity is only growing. With just a few simple dishes and mimosas on hand, you too can be a part of the sweeping obsession with Sunday Fun-day. A little creativity here can go a long way as well. A morning golf/brunch package is sure to peak some interest and may even draw a crowd. At very least it allows you to cash in on some extra revenue from your Sunday regulars.
Location, Location, Location
The ability to drive nearby potential customers to your site has become much easier and more readily available over the past couple years, and 2018 will see them reach even greater heights. Thanks to mobile devices and the rise of Location-Based Services (LBS), marketing to close by customers can be simple and lucrative. From on-site coupons delivered to their phone, to locally targeted display ads, tracking where users are and WHEN will be more important than ever in 2018.
Focus on Staff Training
A properly trained staff has always been an important part of every business. Today, however, your employees have a real ability to engage and connect with customers, and customers love it! When an employee creates an emotional connection with a customer it can have far-reaching implications for your course. A well-trained employee will know how to make the most of these personal moments and can engage customers, and customers who are engaged with your staff are more likely to engage with your business. I.E spend more, visit frequently, resist competitors and promote your course on social media. They are even more likely to forgive the occasional mishap in service. Preparing your staff to connect with your customers in a consistent and compelling way will be a big differentiator between the best and the rest in 2018.