By Simon Towers, Head of Strategy & Communications

Everyone wants to attract new customers, and anything you try costs money and time. So how do you do it properly, and what are the mistakes that your competitor golf resorts or private clubs make?

Most people try to attract new customers by jumping straight to execution. They think they know their customers and what’s important to them; they want to communicate with everyone at once, so they talk about something they think people want to hear about.

Step 1 – Step back
This is the bit people usually miss: you need to listen to customers and non-customers, and accept that because you work for your golf venue you don’t see things the same way as your customers do. You know nothing.

So we have to admit and acknowledge that we don’t know what the customer is thinking or feeling. If we don’t do this, we’ll conduct research for the sake of it, and shoehorn it to fit our original beliefs.

If you don’t believe me, spend time with customers, or conduct focus groups. They’re a great way of demonstrating that the 5 things you think are most important, aren’t.

Now you’ve started marketing.

Step 2 – Market Research
Good market research, even on a small budget, is always a combination of qualitative and quantitative research. One of the most common areas that even big companies make is going straight to quantitative, but ask the wrong questions based on what they think their customers want; they haven’t done the qualitative part.

Put simply you need to learn what people are saying (qual), and then how many people are saying it (quant). Talk and listen to real people – you’ll learn loads of great information that will help you understand and attract customers. Then survey other people based on what you’ve learnt.

Step 3 – Segmentation
Segmentation is not the same as targeting as it has nothing to do with the company or brand. Market segmentation is all about the market, so it’d be exactly the same for your competitor golf venues, if they were as good at this as you are.

You’re mapping the landscape, rather than setting off on a journey. Most people have set off already now, and they don’t know where to go, so they’ll get it wrong as a result.

When this is done you’ll have the whole market in front of you, split into pots. You know how many people are in each pot, what they want from a golf resort or venue, and what their value will be. You give each pot a title which describes the people in them, and you’ll start to see the big opportunities for you to start attracting more customers.

Step 4 – Strategy
Target one or two of these segments to get the most bang for your buck. It’ll usually be obvious which ones to go for – you know what they want, what they don’t want, what’s most important to them and the channels they use. Perhaps the opportunity is male business owners over 50, or bringing in more young families, women and children.

Your brand
Look at your target segment and you’ll find that there’s another resort or club which owns it. These are your competitors, far fewer than the 6-10 venues you thought were your competitors. They’re the guys we’ve got to beat, but it’s much easier now because we’ve got an accurate group of people who all want the same thing.

Now you’re working on your brand, positioning your venue against your competitors and the rest of the market. Your brand will reflect what your target customer wants, what you can give them, and how you’re better or different than your competitor.

You’ll attract new customers.

Or

Step 1 – Contact us

We’ll do all of this for you.