How shall I say it? An old habit of golf club managers and marketing/PR managers to think about being ranked on the list of leading golf magazines (in this case Golf World) will help them to promote their golf clubs and resorts?
Yes, it might help (if measurable at all!!!) golf clubs and resorts that are in less known golf countries (e.g. Hungary) and eager to get and find social proof. I don’t say that well-known golf resorts and golf clubs should not participate in such ranking, but in their case, it has less importance.
This came to my mind when I checked the latest Golf World TOP 100 list. The European Tour Properties can be really satisfied as three of their golf courses were in the TOP 20:
- PGA Catalunya Resort – #7 (see picture below)
- Terre Blanche Hotel Spa & Golf Resort***** – #15 (designed by Dave Thomas)
- TROIA Resort – #17 (designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior)
How can we strengthen and improve our golf resorts’ & clubs’ image and perception?
We can all agree that today’s customers are much more informed and educated than ever before. This is why I think it is not enough or let’s say much less important to be ranked in the list of leading golf magazines (e.g. Golf World) nor in World Golf Awards.
Their skepticism about such rankings that is hurting the value of such achievements. In my previous post I wrote about the importance and the usage of social proofs, In that post, I mentioned that it is important to highlight these awards’ badges on our website.
I think it can still work in B2C communication if you highlight that you are a member of the European Tour Properties/Destination, IMG Prestige, World of Leading Golf, GEO certified, The Leading Hotels of the World etc.
However, if golf tourists cannot get answers to their questions on your website or in your offline materials then you are in trouble. It means that you will have much fewer chances to convince them to visit and stay in your golf resort/club. What you have to do is to show them your golf resort’s story and culture and not just tell it.
I am sure golf tourists will ask these questions:
- What can you offer? – How would you solve their golf holiday planning?
- Reviews: We are hungry for advice! They will check on Leadingcourses.com and other review sites other golfers’ opinion. Such reviews have much bigger impact on customer decision and perception of a golf resort/club than being ranked in a leading golf magazine’s list.
- Comparison: you can be sure they will compare your offer with your rivals
- Best in class: they will also look for the best golf resort in a specific region, country, city. Google says that in the last 3 years there is a huge growth in mobile search for “best of X”
This requires from golf resorts to invest in content marketing and content development. Sooner or later most of the marketers will become a media company. If golfers cannot find sufficient and convincing information about your golf resort you are simply out of their consideration set. It means that you also have to invest in content distribution and influencer marketing as well.
Above I wrote that you have to come up with a compelling and authentic story about your golf resort. Influencer marketing can help you to create authentic content and story and drive engagement around your golf resort. For this reason, I put together my list of TOP 10 golf travel blogs in the last month. I hope this will help you in your influencer marketing program.
What you can do more to improve your golf club marketing is to move toward real-time action and act on digital and social signals. Nothing is more impressive when a customer gets a very quick answer from a brand/golf resort/golf club in an email, on Facebook and on other social media channels and platforms. To understand your customers and prospects you should also integrate your customer information. This will also help you to give them customized offers.
A well designed and managed customer experience can save you a lot of expenditures and generate more guests and loyalty. This is why worth also to invest in Voice of Customers (VoC) surveys. The insights you can gain from VoC surveys can be used for:
- Customer Experience improvement
- Brand and reputation management: improve satisfaction, retention, and loyalty
- Market and competitive intelligence
- Product/service management
As you can see there are many lucrative solutions that can generate you tangible return on investment than the accolades of leading offline golf magazines (e.g. Golf World).
Last, but not least, do not forget to measure the performance of your tools, actions, and campaigns.
Can you measure the impact on your revenues, customer acquisition, and retention, such accolades like being highly ranked in a golf magazine’s list (e.g. Golf World)? If yes then share with us! If not, then why are you keep on doing it? How do you measure the impact?