Golf Course Marketing for Millennials

Golf Course Marketing for Millennials: The Ultimate Guide

1. Authenticity, be the expert!

Golf course marketing for millennials is about one thing: authenticity. If your advertisements don’t come off as honest or truthful you will lose the young audience immediately. Golf courses can prove their authenticity by showing their expertise, having a professional appearance, making use of their golf professionals, accurately representing their course in their pictures, and having an authentically fun and friendly demeanour.

Golf Course Marketing for Millennials

2. Be social

This may seem like a no brainer but many golf courses struggle with making use of social media to reach younger audiences. Your golf course at the very least needs a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter page. These pages should have weekly posts that encourage conversation and provide the opportunity for audiences to engage. Anything constitutes a good social media post as long as it authentically represents your course: a funny golf meme, course discounts, events, tournaments, even leader boards and award winners are excellent kinds of posts that show millennials that your course is serious about engaging its audience. Millennials want to collaborate and be included in your clubhouse culture, prove it with your social media content!

Golf Course Marketing for Millennials

3. Mobile, mobile, mobile!

It’s no secret that millennials are a mobile generation. For starters your course absolutely needs to have a mobile optimized website and mobile tee time booking. Search engine optimization (SEO) for mobile is key as well. Your course can help SEO ranking by registering on Google Maps as the owner of the maps location for your golf course. Doing this will make your course show up in mobile Google maps searches, and improve the overall SEO ranking of your golf course’s website.

Golf Course Marketing for Millennials

4. Reinvent yourself

Creativity is highly valued by Millennials who are unafraid of challenging the status quo, and don’t necessarily connect with golf traditions or the old standards of the clubhouse. Why not try something fresh and interesting like a Golf in the Dark evening at the driving range with glowing golf balls and fun targets? Even a simple tweak to your tired logo, modernizing your old website, hosting a charity tournament or a social event can help revamp your facility’s image and grab the attention of young golfers.

Golf Course Marketing for Millennials

5. Sell the experience

Golf course marketing for millennials means selling the experience in a meaningful way. They don’t just want to buy another thing or play another game. Instead, they want to experience a beautiful golf course with great views and manicured greens. Attention to detail here is key, to reach millennials club managers need to consider the experience start to finish: from the initial search for a golf club, booking tee times, arriving at the course and checking in and playing the actual game, to enjoying post round drinks and food at the 19th hole. How does the entire experience of your golf course stand out from the rest, how can it be streamlined and improved?

Golf Course Marketing for Millennials

6. Loyalty is a process

It’s very difficult to win loyalty with Millennials; they want to be free to experience everything possible so encouraging repeat visits is much more difficult to execute. The best way to encourage loyalty is to engage online and have the golf course brand and experience “follow them home”. This means that your course should collect their emails, make use of email marketing, follow them on social media, and offer a loyalty rewards program and promotional codes for future rounds. These activities not only engage millennial customers but actually delight them, make them feel valued and important, and demonstrate your golf course’s authentic care for their experience.

Golf Course Marketing for Millennials

 

Looking to attract a younger audience?
Start your free trial today, and see how Chronogolf PRO can get your course in front of millennials

switch over guide for chronogolf

Switchover Guide: Getting the Best Out of Your Online Booking System

  switch over guide for chronogolf

If you’re thinking of moving your tired online booking system to something new and fresh, you’re most likely worried about making the transition easy and hassle free. We’ve compiled a list of must-haves that any good club management software provider should address, in order to make your life easier when switching.

Seamlessly transfer your customer database

Your customer database is a major resource for your golf course. All the information vital to managing your valued members is in there. So, changing your tee sheet booking system must absolutely involve a seamless transfer. Losing members in translation is not an option. When switching over from your former software provider, make sure the information in your database (emails, phone numbers, addresses, etc.) is preserved and integrated into the new system.

Flexibility within the system

Not all club management software is created equal. Does your course need a cross-over setup? Do you have varying types of promotions, ticket books and golf packages? Do your members have different playing rights? Do you host events at your clubhouse? These, among many more, are questions any General Manager or Director of Golf want answered before choosing a new golf course management software provider. A good vendor should have a great degree of flexibility if they really want to have you on board.

Better integrations with better software

The best online tee sheet is integrated with the highest quality software. Modern advances in cloud-based software have allowed applications to interface with one another. A modern system should make use of industry-specific software to manage day-to-day operations like customer loyalty and email marketing by using best-of-breed software like Thirdshelf and MailChimp. Your software should also make use of powerful inventory management features that are expected with a cloud-based point of sale (POS) system.

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Simple interface for members and staff to understand

Software is only useful if it’s users can understand it. When assessing a new club management system to switch over to, you want to be sure that users of all ages can easily get a hang of it. Check that the tee sheet, golf POS, and booking system is understandable and easy to adjust when changes need to be made.

Unlimited customer support

There are numerous benefits associated with switching over from your outdated system, but like any changes, there are going to be bumps in the road. You want to be sure that when you have a question it will be answered. That’s why when switching to a new online tee sheet, make sure your vendor offers 24/7 live customer support at no extra cost. You’ll be glad you have it when that first week opens and you aren’t sure how to set up a shotgun start in your tee sheet. With customer support always there you can rest easy knowing someone can help you at any time.

Key Takeaways:

  • Out with the old and in with the new – old booking systems just aren’t up to date with modern cloud technology
  • A better user experience will improve operational efficiency while attracting more golfers
  • The pro shop wants an easy-to-use tee sheet booking system with flexible features
  • Your members want quick and simple online booking available on all devices
  • Switching is easier than you think if you pick the right club management software

Looking to make a switch?
Jump right in, and see for yourself how Chronogolf can simplify your golf operations.

Stop Theft at Your Clubhouse

The 4 proven strategies to boost sales at your club house restaurant

SUMMARY

To help you build a winning golf restaurant marketing strategy, we surveyed some of the top restaurants in North America and got them to share their secrets. The landscape of small business marketing has changed, and while restaurants face new challenges, they also have access to new opportunities.

Tip 1: Strong Online Presence (and a Great Search Ranking!)

 

Google is the new, free restaurant guide for anyone with an internet connection. Today’s customers turn to search engines and online maps when they look for somewhere to eat, or choose a venue for their special event. And don’t get it confused; the golf restaurant is in competition with other urban restaurants out there. Since virtually every person has access to a computer, tablet or smart phone, no business can ignore this marketing revolution.

GolfStatus - Ryan Cooper

“By not maintaining a web presence, or having a web page that plays poorly with search engines, you might as well be invisible.”

Be informative and interesting – It’s the mandate of every search engine to make the results they deliver be useful to searchers. As such, you can never go wrong by making sure that everyone who visit your website find informative and engaging content.

Have a dedicated section of the restaurant on the golf club website. Again, make sure your website is tablet and smartphone compatible!

“Also, beautiful pictures of your restaurant floor plan and dishes are the most effective way to drive customers to your place. A nice picture is worth a thousand words.”

Tip 2: Solid Marketing

Social Media refers to online based communities through web sites like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, as well as other participatory online communities. Post lots (and regularly). Frequently updating is key to making your social media accounts look alive, which attracts people to follow you. A dead account does you
no good, so don’t create social media accounts unless you intend to keep them active.

Online reviews are a major part of most restaurants’ digital presence. Gone are the days of relying on professional critics and food guides- now multiple websites enable your customers to rate their experience.

Newsletters and promotional emails. The key here is not just getting yourself out there, but delivering up content to people’s inboxes that make them want to engage with you and share. Promotional emails should offer something positive for the reader, maybe discounts, seasonal recipes, contests or information about events being held at your venue.

“Leverage the existing clientele of the golf courTargeted-Marketing-300x1-300x240se, by customizing tee-time confirmation emails to promote your restaurant and encourage golfers to swing by your restaurant after their game.”

 

Word of mouth is one of the best ways of attracting new customers. Thankfully, as a restaurant you’re an expert at taking an everyday experience like eating and turning it into something more than just an ordinary meal. As a service based business you’re also able to interact directly with your customers and you know how to make sure they have a positive experience worth telling their friends about.

Never Forget the Old Fashioned Secrets of Traditional Marketing. Before you throw all your time and budget into Twitter campaigns and website banner ads, take the time to make sure you understand the ways traditional marketing still works so you don’t accidentally limit yourself. Just remember, traditional doesn’t mean antiquated and obsolete. You can still have fresh contemporary design as sharp as anything else without getting rid of paper and in person communication.

Tip 3: Deal Sites – Worth the Time?

Deal Sites are one of the more controversial options for online marketing. This means websites like Groupon, Daily Deals or Living Social that offer steeply discounted vouchers for your services to geographically targeted audiences. Although these websites will pay you for the privilege of offering your deal, they will do their best to make a profit in the vouchers they sell. As such, there are many reasons to be extremely cautious when using this method to try to generate publicity.

Keeping your staff happy – Although deal sites encourage tipping in their instructions, many coupon purchasers may forget this step. If your employees are gratuity dependent, you may end up with unhappy workers.

It may not work anyway – There is little evidence deal site based customers turn into regular full price customers. Since new deals are offered every day, this encourages deal seekers to continue to shop around.

Timing – Steep discounts (sites like Groupon generally expect at least 50%) can mean you might make as little at 23 cents on the dollar on voucher customers. This might be fine for periods that you would already offer this sort of discount in, but vouchers generally don’t expire and may be used at times when you’d rather have room for full paying customers.

Tip 4: Use an Up to Date PoS

Whether you’re a big or small golf restaurant, make sure your business is taking advantage of the latest software and services. Gone are the days of clunky card processing machines or taking orders on scraps of paper. Today’s customer is device savvy and expects you to be too.

There are a huge number of POS options to choose from, but you want one that best fits in with the special needs of your restaurant. That means a fast, efficient service that’s completely customer friendly. You will also want to look at functions like portability and central tracking on all orders. Ideally, that also means one that works well with your other marketing efforts. Take the time to shop around and discuss features with your vendor.

“Look in priority for a cloud based point of sale system. For at least the same quality of service, it will generally cost you 4 times less than a traditional point of sales system. Also, you will have access to the system and all your metrics from anywhere and with any device.”

Lightspeed Restaurant_02 

MUST HAVE FEATURES:

Improves service and works seamlessly with your staff – A good POS system improves efficiency by being easy to quickly train on. Remember, no matter the bells and whistles offered, it’s not an improvement unless it makes your employees faster, more informed and better organized.

Table side portability, central information – While terminals and interface systems need to be completely portable, the best systems also let a central user track and easily pull reports, giving you limitless control over your operation, as well as letting you manage work flow from a big picture perspective.

Flexible hardware options – Rather than multiple vendors for different aspects of your business, a good POS system lets you decide how to customize it to your restaurant by letting you avoid the limits of proprietary hardware.

Offers an extra touch (or two) – Imagine being able to send receipts directly to customers by email, or maintain customer profiles in a central system, for a more personalized experience. With constant improvement in POS services, you get to ask more out of your system.

 


About the author:

JD photo

JD is a passionate golfer, entrepreneur and a sales & marketing expert. He writes to inspire, educate, and inform readers on all things related to how technology is transforming the way golf courses are operating.

6 questions to ask before buying a new golf POS

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Overview

Your golf POS should do more than just process transactions. It should follow your golfers, whether on-site or online, grow as you grow, build loyalty, increase sales and help bring in new customers. 

There are many golf POS systems on the market. But as a busy golf course owner/manager, sifting through an endless array of options is probably the last thing on your mind. Make things easier by remembering these six questions to ask when shopping for a golf POS.

 

1. How does the POS manage inventory?

Studies have shown that retailers can lose up to 14% of customers due to products being out-of-stock.

A good golf POS keeps your shelves well-stocked; it helps you forecast, automate, and consolidate your inventory management.

 

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What to look for:

  • Insight into stock levels
  • Reports on best selling products
  • Automated reminders when you are running low on stock
  • Easy workflow for making purchase orders

 

 

2. How does it enhance the customer experience?

Over 70% of today’s top retailers are deploying tablets in their stores to provide sales floor support. The right golf POS helps create an intimate, personalized shopping experience that builds brand loyalty.

 

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  • Support for iPhones and iPADs
  • Upsell features such as suggestions for related products
  • Customer database that tracks past purchases, preferred brands, sizes
  • Features for keeping special notes on customers

 

 

3. How does the POS sync with online purchases?

According to the National Retail Federation, 6 out of 7 consumers research products online before buying in a store. The right golf POS helps you build an online store and sell through both on-site and online channels.

What to look for:web

  • Synchronization between web and physical stores when it comes to inventory, sales, and order requests
  • Consolidated reports on total sales, sales per physical store, sales from e-commerce
  • Extending your retail presence with custom, branded templates

 

4. Can it help you create targeted marketing?

Research has shown that fewer than 1 in 10 new prospects will make a purchase, while more than 6 in 10 existing customers will buy again. As a result, today’s leading marketers are no longer sending out generic email blasts – they’re “crafting consumer conversations.” The right golf POS helps you get with the times and send relevant communications tailored to your customers’ preferences.

What to look for:Targeted-Marketing-300x1-300x240

  • Customer database for capturing name, contact info, preferred method of contact, favorite brands, walk-in or online shopper
  • Integrates with email marketing software, like MailChimp, for emailing customers and tracking click-through rates
  • Features for segmenting your customer database, and tailoring promotions to fit those segments

 

5. Does your golf POS provide helpful reports?

A good POS will show you how well you’re doing, and where you can improve.

 

What to look for:report

  • Reports that show tee-time utilization rates and revenue contribution per player category
  • Reports that show most profitable products, top-selling products, lowest-selling products, top-performing sales associates, busiest store hours, top brands, and online vs. in-store sales
  • Easy access to information for better decision-making, such as for purchasing and staff scheduling

 

6. Is training and support part of it?

A good POS vendor helps you figure out if the software fits your needs and if it will help your golf course succeed.

 

What to look for:

  • Multiple ways to reach the support team, such as over the phone, online tickets, and live chat
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  • Local channel partners — specialists who provide on-site consultation, installation and troubleshooting services
  • Variety of training materials, including online help, step-by-step courses, videos, webinars

 

 

 

Does this post pique your interest?
Jump right in, and get a glimpse of how Chronogolf can simplify your golf operations.


About the author:

JD photo

JD is a passionate golfer, entrepreneur and a sales & marketing expert. He writes to inspire, educate, and inform readers on all things related to how technology is transforming the way golf courses are operating.

Picture promocodes 180x180 - Top 5: Promote your golf course online

Top 5: Promote your golf course online

Overview

It can be very difficult at times to grow your client base when you are always targeting the same golfers, you know, the ones who already play at your course. Exposure to a new audience is a crucial part in growing your business. Most businesses will try to advertise promotions on third party sites. As great as these sites can be for consumers, they dont necessarily have a healthy data base of golfers and these sites can be quite costly to promote on which leaves you with little profit.

At Chronogolf we have been hard at work developing tools which allow golf courses to better promote their facility online. Here are our top 5 recommendations.

 

1. Don’t sell yourself short

A big mistake most companies make when advertising discounts or promotions is that they tend to discount their current product by too much. As a result, they end up hurting their brand. Statistics show that adding a free or discounted service/item to a regular priced purchase goes much further than liquidating a product just to move inventory. Don’t always discount your green fee, instead, add a discounted service or product to your regular green fee rate (free cart, sandwich or even a sleeve of balls).


 

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2. Always ask for an email address

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Capturing customer data is a crucial part to growing your business. Almost every golfer today has an email address and email marketing is your quickest and most efficient way of communicating with them. It is important to build on your existing data base at every possible opportunity as year over year you will lose clients and you want to make sure you’re constantly adding fresh contacts to your email marketing campaigns so you can keep your numbers moving up. When taking reservations over the phone, mention to your client that online reservations are the quickest and easiest way to book their tee time.

Ask for an email address, letting them know that a booking confirmation will be sent their way.

 

3. Stay connected through newsletters

There are a lot of free or cost-effective e-mail marketing tools out there. At Chronogolf we recommend and integrate with Mailchimp. Upload your list of customers and send them informative and relevant content through a bi-weekly or monthly newsletter. Keep it brief and aim for a click! Newsletters can create a deeper bond with your customers. Share upcoming events, course improvements, golf tips, photos, special promotions. Be reliable, constant and always enable your readers to opt-out easily. You don’t want to spam them!

 

4. Make sure your website is mobile-friendlymobile

Over 50% of Canadians access the internet through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets instead of personal computers. You probably already have a website. But is that site mobile responsive? At Chronogolf we use responsive web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

5. Capture smart actionable data

Are you tracking the utilization rate of your tee-times? Are you tagging each sale to a customer and player category? Are you managing your inventory? Capturing key data points will enable you to better understand your customers and make profitable business decisions. Your point of sale and tee-sheet system should provide you with detailed reports that will enable you to measure and adjust your buying and marketing strategies.

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Promocodes

Overview

Working with third party promotional channels to drive new business to your course can be a difficult and costly task. Chronogolf Pro offers an advanced Promotional code tool which empowers you to run your own promotions at no extra cost. This can be a very handy tool when trying to increase occupancy during those quiet moments of the week.

Caddy Tip

After creating your unique code, distribute it to your golfers using your pro-shop receipt, via your website, Facebook or even broadcast it on your online booking engine by pasting it to the news field found under settings in your tee sheet. This will help create awareness around this campaign.

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Walkthrough

  1. Click on the “Discounts” icon found to the left of your tee-sheet
  2. Select “Promo Codes”
  3. Generate new promo code or click on the blue plus button on the top right of the screen
  4. Enter a name you want to give your promo or let the system generate a unique code for you, example: PROMOTUESDAY132323
  5. At this point you, will be able to key-in the percentage to the product you are looking to discount. note: both green fees and carts can be added to the same promo
  6. Select the “Restrictions” tab to assign specific settings to your promo code, such as; start and end dates, specific days of the week, periods of the day and eligible player types.
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Why take email addresses?

Capturing customer data is a crucial part to growing your business. Almost every golfer today has an email address and email marketing is your quickest and most efficient way of communicating with them. It is important to build on your existing data base at every possible opportunity as year over year you will lose clients and you want to make sure you’re constantly adding fresh contacts to your email marketing campaigns so you can keep your numbers moving up.

KEY BENEFITS

  • Reduced call volume at pro-shop
  • Build a mature and complete database
  • Client segmentation for better email marketing
  • Online reservation for customer
  • Free Handicap calculation
  • Golfers can invite playing partners
  • Tee-Time reservation confirmations
  • Exclusive online only offers

CADDY TIP

When taking reservations over the phone, mention to your client that online reservations are the quickest and easiest way to book their tee time. If a golfer is already in your data base but missing an email address, entering it will automatically create a profile for them leaving them only to create a password via an automatically generated email the system will send them.

WHAT DO I DO NOW?

Want to export a list of golfers from your system based on certain conditions?

(Example: Public golfers who have played at least 5 times on my course this year)

See below for screen capture example, step by step instructions,

or click the segmentation tool button if you are already logged in to Chronogolf Pro

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WALKTHROUGH

Click on the statistics icon on the left hand side of your tee sheet

Select the “Segmentation” option

Click on “OPEN”

Chose your first condition (Ex: number of rounds played is equal to 5)

Add a second condition such as: ( Player type is equal to PUBLIC)

Once you have entered the proper conditions, client on “Apply Segment”

You will now be able to export this list in Excel using our export tool