Knowing when the fruit is ripe for the picking!
Within our BOOST program, we work with a lot of course operators to handle all of their marketing. Nearly everywhere in the golf industry right now, at least as far as rounds being booked, we are seeing a very high demand. But with high demand, we typically hear the cardinal sin of courses feeling like it's okay to not pay attention to marketing as much because the tee sheet is full right now, and then when a time comes that there are gaps in the tee sheet they will want to push hard on reaching people to fill it.
THIS IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU CAN MAKE!
I know these things about this time:
- You're in season and the tee sheet is full and the days are long
- You may be short-staffed a bit or running everyone kind of thin
- Receipts at the end of each day look good, so it feels like your work is done and everything is hunky-dory!
If you allow yourself to believe you are "too busy" right now or just don't need to be marketing to these people, you could not be more wrong.
Marketing to your current customers is the most important marketing you can do for a variety of reasons.
- There are already engaged with you and your messages are falling on engaged ears
- They likely are having good experiences with you so are more likely to repeat
- The most expensive customer you have is the first time customer, they are harder to acquire and more effort goes into getting them
- While you have their attention, now is the time to make them loyal to you and keep them from considering the competition
- Often rewarding a repeat customer with a discount or some type of loyalty program reward is less expensive than acquiring a new customer
First, understanding the fundamental that when you are in high demand is the best time to market is key. Think about it psychologically - the best time to market yourself is when you are most attractive. It's like a single going to a nightclub in hopes of finding a date - he is going to make sure his clothing, hair, grooming, smell - everything is en pointe! Well in a time of high demand, you are at your most attractive. This is the time to reel them in and make them loyal to you, more than any other.
Second, and this one may sting because you are busy up to your ear lobes - don't get lazy! I know that saying this when you are likely working harder than ever might seem a bit insulting, but I am referring to going that extra mile during a busy time to really improve the overall performance of your business. A lot of times also, we see course operators spend their time on the minutia of operations at the course that doesn't do anything to produce more income. Those are items often best delegated in our opinion. Manage strategy, but spend your time where revenue can be built.
Here is a short list of things to consider to capitalize on a busy period:
Begin a rewards program and make sure it is well known to exist, driving loyalty among your customers.
Insist your staff is inviting every customer to participate in the rewards program.
Consider building a new membership or frequent players program.
Get their money ahead of time, asking for pre-purchased rounds for a discount, or just cash they can use with you at a discount, for example, "Receive a $225 credit for every $200 spent."
Advertise - while demand for golf is up, people are looking for it more. Consider this a good time to spend some ad dollars, and talk to me about creative ways to do that without breaking the bank!
Build competitions they can participate in that their scores improve with every round they play and award prizes. AND, if you don't want to build this, we have already built it for you!
These are all things we execute for our BOOST customers, so we have a lot of ideas and I am always open to a conversation. Feel free to reach out to me directly and let's talk about how to maximize this time of high demand. Also, CLICK HERE to learn more about how we can help customers with our BOOST program.
Vice President of Sales and Marketing