Having now reached the formidable age of somewhere between 18 and 35, millennials are experiencing a new stage in their lives where self-absorption is secondary to the responsibility of children, careers and/or other life obligations. This is mirrored in their consumption habits.
The golf industry needs to be privy to these changes as millennials are soon to enter into ‘peak influence’ as golf consumers.
Millennials have arguably already been the most influential generation in terms of marketing of all times, and are now bread and butter for the golf industry, as the older generation is ageing out. And as millennials’ consumption preferences are likely to continue to dictate the golf industry’s services for a long time to come, we have to adapt to their new needs.
Well-known to many clubs by now is that the younger generation doesn’t always have time to play 18 holes on the course and has asked for a shorter, faster and more efficient ways to enjoy the game. Playing nine holes has never been more in demand and clubs that offer such events are reaping the rewards.
At the Clubhouse the millennials have also said their piece: Aware of health, nutrition and the environment, they are demanding healthier options for themselves and their kids than the standard chicken parmigiana or snitzel for lunch. And remember, they much rather drink locally brewed beer over some cheap, imported, full-of-preservatives sort.
Their needs are imperative in your marketing, too.
With an appetite for technology, as they’ve grown up valuing cooperative environments, millennials have also insisted on Wi-Fi connections to be established at every venue, and if you’re not posting on social media yet you’re doomed!
According to SocialMediaNews.com.au, Facebook is the most widely used online platform in Australia, now with 12 million Australians logging in every day. It’s therefore important for golf courses and clubs to get Facebook savvy to be able to reach out to all segments of their client group and in the most effective way.
A generation that is defined by instant gratification needs actionable information and it needs it now. If your venue or business is unable provide information that millennials want, how and when they want it, they will abandon you and Google another business that can service them in the ‘micro-moment’.
So clearly, you either comply with their demands or you will have no money in the till.
By understanding the new expectations, pressures and preferences on our ageing millennials, the golf industry will be better placed to meet their needs – and meet those needs profitably.
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Mike Orloff is a marketing strategist for the golf industry and a US and Australian PGA Member with more than 25 years of industry-wide experience, including 18 years working in senior roles for two of the biggest international golf management companies in Australia and the USA – American Golf Corporation and Clubcorp.