COM0014-Blog#3, The Case for Golf

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Those who know me know that I’m a golf nut.  I love golf.  I love everything about it.  The time it takes to play, the interaction with your playing partners and the solitudethat you face when making that difficult put. Everything about golf appeals to me.  Needless to say when I saw the suggestions for this third blog post I thought immediately of golf and the importance of knowing your target audience when attempting any type of campaign related to the sport.

Golf has grown from its infancy in Scotland where old men whacked golf balls made of sheep gut around farm fields to one of the most financially successful businesses in sport.  A great deal of research and effort goes into making golf the great game it is today.  Research that involves listening, involvement and promotion as well as deep understanding of who the target market is and in fact creating new markets.  Golf’s markets move across all strata of today’s society. One of the key driving forces for success in Canada is CPGA which is the equivalent of the PGA in Canada.  In both cases there is a strong social media component to their strategies.  This component allows for interaction with the audience as well as, and probably most importantly, an understanding of the profile of their target audience.

Golf in North America was once considered the domain of the wealthy and played only by doctors and businessmen.  Through a carefully constructed campaign of marketing, advertising and social media, golf is now enjoyed by and played by men, women and children across diverse demographics and psychographics.

A simple google search of the term “PGA Demographics” or “CPGA Demographics” can take you into a realm of numbers and statistics gathered by groups that range from real estate services to psychologists.  I once thought Baseball was a stats game; it doesn’t even compare to some of the statistics that are out there related to golf.  Check out this link for a great example although, I must warn that this is a 29 page report: http://canadagolfs.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Canadian-Golf-Consumer-Behaviour-Study_english-FINAL.pdf

Golf in its various national or local governing bodies has taken great effort to involve itself at the physical club level as well as the national level in order to develop a great body of information and knowledge that can be utilized to help create a successful marketing campaign.  Here is an example of a local posting in my area http://www.mapleviewgolf.com/  Note that they have even linked to the Golf Channel to further promote the course to its membership.  Another local course has a Facebook page that allows patrons to post to it.  A simple review of posts reveals the range of patrons at the course, from children to grandparents and all stops in between .

With so many sources for information related to the game and its fans, players and employees, a marketer, especially a social media marketer has a veritable treasure trove of knowledge at their fingertips that they can make use of before launching their campaign.  Most courses have facebook pages.  Many of the course related facebook pages have groups that post to them let alone the comments from the various patrons.  Social media and other forms of electronic media allow the marketer to meet, listen to and interact at the ground level.  No more reading posts in newspapers (although you should include that as well)  its all there.  One would need to be very accurate in establishing RSS feeds or Google tracking.  Knowing what your target audience is and wants is essential in order to reach the rght strata with the right message.

Involved in golf marketing?  Get out there and walk the course both digital and physical.  It’s amazing what you can learn!  What are your observations on marketing and social media related to your favorite sport or hobby?

 

 

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