Using the Buyer's Journey to Grow Your Golf Course | Golf Industry Podcast Ep.11 with David Hope

Posted by Christopher Dagenais on May 9, 2019

In this episode, our guest David Hope talks about the customer buyer's journey for golf courses. We also discuss which touchpoints golf managers should take advantage of to bring more people to the golf course and to build relationships with golfers. Click on the player below to listen to the podcast, and check out some of the key takeaways in the notes section further down:

 

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Notes

Here are some key takeaways from this episode:

Key parts of a golf course's marketing strategy

  • Creating value for customers and a great customer experience are essential to your marketing strategy.
  • Golf managers should look to other successful industries, like hotels, to figure out what consumers are looking for in today's market. Don't be afraid to do research into general business practices and to try out new ideas. 
  • Gaining customers is important, but a huge focus should be placed on retaining current customers. It's much more expensive to acquire new customers, but returning customers will spend 67% more at every visit. 
  • Golf course marketers need to appeal both to the traditional golfer and to a new demographic that prefers online communication and are less comfortable with making phone calls and asking questions in-person. 
  • Online branding should reflect the golf course. There is room in the golf industry for courses that offer an experience based more on fun than on perfect conditions, but golfers should know what they're going to get when they book their round. 

How can managers influence the buyer's journey?

  • The buyer's journey is the process that a consumer goes through to initially become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to purchase a new product or service.
  • In the consideration phase, a golfer will be thinking about playing at your golf course. Golfers will think about cost, logistics, and how good they think their experience will be based on your online presence and what other golfers are saying.
  • Your website needs to be optimized to guide people to book their round. Consider using a web designer that can optimize your layout, page load speed, and design.
  • Use tools like Google Analytics to figure out where your customers are coming from online. With that knowledge, you can optimize your communication for those channels.
  • In those post-purchase phase, golfers have visited your golf course. A good experience may lead to online reviews or spreading the word to their friends. To ensure a good experience you need to offer an entertaining golf course, great customer service, and good post-round amenities.
    • If someone is a first-time buyer, they should be treated in a way that will make them want to come back. Your starter should be made aware that it's their first time so they can walk them through the first few holes and give them some tips for the course. 
  • In the re-purchase phase, golfers will be making their second (and hopefully more after that) tee time reservation. Rewards programs are a great way to promote loyalty and give back to the people that are bringing you the most value.
  • You can turn loyal golfers into ambassadors by asking them to leave reviews on third-party review sites, like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Many first-timers will turn to these reviews when they make their purchase decision, so having a positive standing will increase the amount of new customers you bring in.

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We’ve recommended Chronogolf by Lighspeed to a number of different operators. I feel very good about making that recommendation, you guys have done a great job of following through with everything that I told people you were going to do.

Aaron Gleason,
Walters Golf

Based on more than 100 reviews from operator wordwide.
Read them here.

Get a call.