Are golf brands fitting to mobile?


By: April 8, 2013


I have been watching people around me for a while how and what they have been using in their mobile. I noticed a trend. As people are getting familiar and comfortable with their smartphones (I hope soon I do not have to use this phrase anymore) they will use more + different mobile applications.

Today an average American mobile user is spending cca. 2 hours 38 minutes on his mobile and tablet on daily basis. It is simple and fast. Probably this explains the extent of our addiction to our mobiles and throughout it to mobile solutions and services (e.g. Troon Golf's). The following findings of Flurry confirms my assumption:

 

Mobile usage applications vs browsers

 

2012 was the first year when Android beated out, outperformed iPhone's iOS platform from the #1 position. However what I see in the golf industry is that golf equipment companies like TaylorMadeCobra Golf, Ping and Cleveland Srixon (other leading golf equipment brands are still not utilizing mobile applications) come out first with the iOS based mobile application and in later stage with Android version (Windows Mobile platform is totally neglected understandably). 

 

Mobile platform sales in 2012

So far none of these golf equipment manufacturers utilized their mobile application as a potential sales channel. This is why I was happy to find that Cobra Golf's latest mobile application Fit N Fly enables users to purchase directly through the app from Cobra Golf's new e-commerce website (you can find it on their website). 

Cobra Golf FitNFly mobile application 2
To some extent it is also a good idea (visibility point of view, easier to digest the content) to develop an iPad version. However who wants to carry an iPad during his game? To the best of my knowledge none of the existing golf trolleys are optimized for carrying iPads and other tablets.

What can Cobra Golf do to utilize their mobile app marketing?

  • To foster dialogue with golfers via their mobile app: enable golfers to ask personally from dedicated golf professionals and R&D team members. Let's engage with them in personal manner. The communication in this application is still in one direction only. By creating two-way communication channels within an app, we can make each and every consumer feel special, at scale. Crowdsourcing is still untapped in the golf industry and could be used for product development and to increase engagement with the brand and the company.
  • It is an application without a plan to marketing it. In other words, to think about how to promote your mobile application and make it easy to find on your website and in iTunes and Google Play. There are some great tools for app store optimization: https://www.mobiledevhq.com/httpss://searchman.com/.
  • Another recurring problem is the lack of engagement mechanism: why should user return to use our application after they downloaded. This was my concern (also) about the previous Cobra Golf app the Stylecaddie.

Finally, I assume the competitors will follow Cobra Golf's and TaylorMade's example in the near future. It will be a leap forward when these companies will come up with a solution that combines in someway the services of the selected golf courses or that moves beyond the "regular framework/boundaries" (see pharmaceutical companies' new services and compliance programs) of golf product services. As a first step I would initiate a cooperation with leading golf course management companies like Troon Golf.