I have always been a bit of a “compartmentaliser” (if that is even a word?) when it comes to planning and managing time and duties in my career or personal life. It’s so much easier for me to look and evaluate things if they actually have a specific place to fit. Basically it helps organise my brain when I have a jumbled mess in front of me!
The golf marketing process does not have to a daunting task as many clubs could follow this same simple process when formulating their club’s marketing plan. The planning process in many cases doesn’t have to be a major undertaking, though having thorough research and financial forecasting is essential for bigger strategic initiatives.
I take a very simple approach and break my membership marketing strategies into three distinct areas – Attract, Engage, and Retain. All are interrelated and dependent on the other being successful and they tend to feed off themselves in many ways.
Attract, Engage, and Retain is a simple way to “compartmentalise” and clearly look at the best strategies to grow your club membership, or a client base of any kind. We all know we need to attract new players/members and retain them longer, but we don’t seem to fully understand the “engagement” process well enough at the moment.
At last month’s Golf Management Australia conference, the theme was Bridging the Gap, which the speakers covered in a variety of topics.
Get to know your members, take care of the details, and make them feel a sense of belonging i.e. “engagement” were all common themes discussed during the conference. It’s a real new hospitality approach to our business in Australia and I believe is the one major missing part to the equation at the moment. Engagement is the bridge needed to cross the gap we need to fill in our club’s membership marketing.
Society is tired of being sold and promoted too! Telemarketers, advertisers and canvassers continue to encroach in our personal space and eat up valuable time- time that we all have less of at the moment. We must now have a two way dialogue and provide relevant information on a more personal level. Build trust with a reputable brand and you will have a loyal client forever. Break that trust and it will disappear quickly. Be sure to listen to the ever changing wants and needs and adjust your offerings accordingly.
Social Media has taken over as the way we must start communicating with our members and potential members on all types of platforms.
Now before we get started in writing a very simple marketing plan, be sure not to get stuck in the minor details when trying this process out. It’s best to get your crazy thoughts open and free flowing and initially just get all the ideas down on a piece of paper. Don’t worry about where the pieces fit how you’re going to do them, or costs etc. Just get some free flowing thinking going, and then come back later and start the compartmentalising process.
1, 2, 3 golf marketing plan
Step 1 – Brainstorming
Sit down somewhere that you will not be interrupted by phone calls, members or staff. If you can have a few people be part of your “think tank” you will create even greater ideas. (Optional: Have a couple wines/beers to loosen everyone up before starting!) Ask everyone to have a think of all the different ways that you could grow your membership if budget was not an obstacle. We tend to limit our thinking by budget, in this process, take budget out altogether.
Start talking about the various segments of your operation, the various revenue drivers, and ways to grow the membership as a whole. Keep digging for all the crazy and normal ideas, all ideas are good- don’t discount anything. One idea may lead to another and a fantastic hybrid “cracker of an idea” may appear.
Step 2 – Compartmentalise and prioritise
After you have made a full list of ideas, you will need to put each of them under one (or more) of the headings Attract, Engage, Retain. Once under each list you can then start the rationalisation of each idea and set them into sub categories of Yes, No, Maybe.
The priority ideas will be the ones you marked as “Yes” and will be your starting point for writing your 1-page marketing plan.
Step 3 – Implementation
Now that you have your marketing ideas all sorted, you need to now set some S.M.A.R.T.E.R goals for each. Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-based, and don’t forget Evaluate, and Re-Evaluate!
Without taking this final step seriously you are bound to have unsuccessful campaigns.
Good luck with the marketing plan and remember to keep it simple and have fun doing it!
Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 0415 682 259 if you want to discuss or need further assistance