6 Reasons Your Golf Course and Club May Fail in the Roaring 2020’s

Golf courses spend millions of dollars to make and keep their courses and facilities looking flawless.  All that focus on design and maintenance detail, can make some stand out to make quite a name for themselves.  The sport isn't exactly declining... 

Then Why Are Such Well Reviewed Clubs and Golf Courses Everywhere Failing?

Here are 6 reasons your course and club
may fail like this one did...

1. Behind-the-Times Marketing and Advertising Strategy

The traditional ideas behind how you get the word out to people has evolved in so many ways. 

You need marketing content & you have to advertise - but how and where?

Now that technology has been integrated into every fraction of our lives, traditional ideas behind how you get the word out to people has evolved in many ways.

If you employ old and tired methods - you will get old and tired results.

There are much better tools in our modern arsenal to showcase and advertise unique properties and destination experiences - like Golf Country Club Communities or Golf Resorts.

In a recent shift, traditional media spending has started to decline and has given way to a huge boom in digital spending.

It's important to be sure your brand presents well on all relevant digital platforms and that it is treated with an equal amount of time and attention to detail as any other marketing strategies for your golf course, country club or wedding or corporate event facility rental.

Even if you don't advertise on the platforms, it's still very important to maintain a brand online.

EVERYTHING is at the tip of your fingers.

Most consumers (of ALL AGES) now have smartphones.

So why overspend on print and traditional when you can send a push-notification of text message?

Or simply sending direct ads in facebook messenger?

In the past, paper media, flyers and billboards and local PR have been the core of advertising.

Not that traditional channels don't still play an important role (there are plenty of good reasons to leverage a paper attack)...

But more money is wasted on traditional ads and placements in local magazines and TV when they fail to reach the right qualified market.

Missing the target is worse in advertising than golf because you don't tend to get charged extra money for each and every bad pitch or putt on the golf course.

HINT- It takes time and money to test and develop the right audience groups for each of your services and in addition, community/member audience groups for ongoing customer retention communications.

And that can be considerably frustrating if your'e loosing market share to a better digitally equipped and capable competitor.

Advertising is just the surface of why and how to build a good digital strategy.

You MUST HAVE a properly designed digital marketing and advertising funnel that automates prospecting, follow-up, customer journey, sales, and customer retention after the sale.  

Or it's like you're stuck in a trap...

2. Overflow of Low Quality or Boring Pictures on Google or Social Media

 

Unless a person is actually there - to experience everything with their own senses - a huge portion of the detail and beauty is lost in translation.

Most golf courses have great photographs of the greens, clubs and community when they start out...

...only to get drowned in terrible pictures added to Google or Social Media by people visiting.

Do they do the location justice or entice you to visit? Of course not!

The real beauty of the experience is lost in translation and uploaded to the internet without any editorial oversight.  You can't stop the world from taking and sharing bad pictures.

Don't let overgrown, ugly digital weeds
stymie your potential green profits!

You have to fight fire with content - really GREAT content that sets you apart from everyone else.  And I know that sounds difficult.

But, no matter what you want to highlight or feature, great images are much more effective.

You can express so much more with great images. When executed well, and used with compelling descriptions and enticing ad headlines, your marketing and advertising efforts will beging to quickly improve.

Make it a standard practice by creating a content editorial schedule for you location.

I bet you have someone working with you that loves to take pictures. If not, you can hire out a few times per year for the super-lux shots and have them on hand to deploy on a schedule.

PRO-TIP* Static photos only show one direction and can't give you the full expansion of how large the property really is.  Capturing the sky, broad rolling hills and lush landscape in high detail is a real challenge.

So now, specialist photographers like us, are capturing complete environments using equirectangular images to produce seemless 360/VR experiences. (don't skip ahead to #6)

The key to remember is to always be adding great picture and video content. 

It will give you a bonified edge in brand perception and distinct savings in advertising cost since great images will have a higher rate of attraction and engagement.

3. Unattractive or Outdated Website with Poor Search Results

Everything has a website, this is standard practice for any modern business that wants to survive.

If not adopted in an interesting way, people instantly lose faith in your credibility and doubt you're capable of delivering a truely first-class experience.

Way more often now, it could be the major thing that's holding you back!

Websites aren't like bad pictures - they don't pop up on their own.

Actually they're more like cars - every few years the new hot designs are making your older model less valuable.

Please understand, this is one of the technologies that changed the way sales-marketing and commerce is dealt with in general. 

The next generation will be an evermore digitally demanding and challenging market. Mostly due to the sheer dependency on tech.

The Problem - Background technology is constantly getting faster and more capable yet corporate websites usually stay about the same until an overhaul is due.

By then, it's already hurting you in several ways.  If you don't at least have something that catches the eye, keeps your user interested and coming back for more, then the website isn't doing it's job for you.

An alarming percentage of clubs haven't updated or renovated in years it seems... I'll show you in a moment why that's important to Google and other search engines.

All these sites once worked fine. But if your site is older than smartphones, then yes, it's definitely time to upgrade!

PRO-TIP* The trick is to do it right with a modern, mobile-responsive (looks great on any device) and dynamic site that is always bringing people back for more!

Great websites are like online magazines - always enticing and engaging with new content.

Consistently feeding their audience, keeping them interested and engaged.

Engagement keeps people on your site and gives them something to share socially.

Engagement is very important on the technical marketing side, here's why;

PRO-TIP* Google is keeping an eye on just how long your visits are staying and if they are exploring the site for value or getting bored quickly and 'bouncing' (yes, this is bad and more on engagement next in #4).

The 'bounce rate' in the image below is 84.20% meaning that's the percentage of people that pass judgement and leave in a matter of seconds.

Higher quality visits to your site creates an increase in rank that helps you appear when people are searching for golf courses, country club memberships, or event space rental.

4. Low Social Engagement

In line with the big step to smartphone hardware, is a GIGANTIC leap in social engagement.

Not only responsible for billions in commerce, it's clearly found it's place into how politics and governments campaign and news communicates.

Currently the mobile adspace is undervalued by about 7 billion dollars which means your dollar can go further if you're smart!

Services and products are not just sold, but brands are creating and maintaining relationships with their customers for life...

..IF THEY CAN CAPTURE THEIR ATTENTION.

Major companies have started leveraging the gripping power of social media and are making the customer experience live on and expand well beyond point of sale.

Generally major companies have started leveraging the gripping power of social media and are making the customer experience live on and expand beyond point of sale.

5. Not Knowing How to Identify, Segment and Grow Your Target Audience

Digital marketing has to come with proof that it’s working. Do it with data!

Metrics like reach, click-thru rates, and cost per thousand impressions can be really boring but it all points to the goal of growing the number of interaction opportunities within your target market.  

There are 98 personal data points that Facebook uses to target ads to you.

The major internet companies are valued in the billions because they’re good at collecting various meaningful audience data and then allow advertisers, agencies, or companies to exploit that data for advertising at a cost. 

 

These costs are always in the form of ad fees that are always in a competitive state of flux because they’re placement is being auctioned off to similar businesses. And competition is NOT slowing down.

Identification and segmentation of the proper audience groups will not only fill your social and web properties with quality traffic, but also keep your advertising spend more focused on real measurable results. 

These costs are always in the form of ad fees that are always in a competitive state of flux because they’re placement is being auctioned off to similar businesses. And competition is NOT slowing down.

Identification and segmentation of the proper audience groups will not only fill your social and web properties with quality traffic, but also keep your advertising spend more focused on real measurable results. 

6. Afraid to Adapt to New Technology

Many developers, course and club owners, or general managers are old-school and comfortable with the classic ways of doing business. That’s fine!

But, many are just too busy with operations to explore and deploy the most cutting-edge in content marketing or advertising techniques since it is insanely hard to keep up.

In just seven years we went from 150 companies to over 7,000 in the digital marketing space.

The landscape is an ever changing and fluid environment that advances faster than you can possibly keep up without a dedicated team.

To stay up to the times in this environment you have to adapt your strategy to align with what your customer is basically looking for but ALSO, what they’re being conditioned to expect.

So, what’s the next big thing?! How do we know what users are going to expect next?

We’ll one thing that’s not going away soon is the new SHAPE of content..

which is increasingly useful in advertising…

because it’s one thing Google and Facebook BOTH…

have invested billions into developing…

to serve the growing demand.

And in the next 5 years, this new industry is expected to grow by over 6,000%!

Square is OUT!

ROUND IS IN!!!

It’s all about increasing the ways businesses - Golf and Country Club Communities, can reach new customers and re-engage current membership in exciting new ways.

Everything is going into the great VR era of 2020 and beyond.

Images, Videos, Websites, Online Experiences and YES Golf & Country Club Communities are also getting less square, and more there -

Click above for an example of a recent project we completed for the University of Georgia.

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