Golfers…like no other consumer…are inundated with pitches, questions, come-on’s and..yes..the perpetual ‘Great Deals’… thrown at them daily by the golf industry. Its no wonder why there are so many golfers telling me they see no value to most of the golf related products or services they see online. But, yet, the golf businesses just keep churning it out thinking someone will buy.
What’s the deal? Why are golf businesses not realizing what the consumer wants? Do the golf businesses know how they look to the consumer? Is it so hard for the golf industry to realize things have changed in marketing? Or, is change something Golf is having a hard time dealing with?
Golf Consumer Mindset
It is very clear what the mindset of the golf consumer is today. As the cost of Golf moves further and further away from the recreational ability to afford to play golf more of them are going to just drop golf all together. This represents the large largest section of the golfing population.
As the business golfers continues to feel the pinch from the resettling of the failing economy the cry for the ‘ROI from golf’ gets louder. As more and more golfer business owners reach out to marketing businesses outside of golf for help in surviving a greater apathy there being a real solution to developing their business begins developing. Traditional marketing/PR tools offered golf businesses turns into nothing but a hammer they use on the golf consumers in an attempt to persuade them to spend the money they don’t have. So the circle continues to worsening within the rank in file golf consumer’s who are just not interested in spending anymore money than they have to for golf.
The mindset of the golf consumer is framed in the negativity developed from the economy. Job loses, cut backs and other forced changes businesses have had to make over the past few years has placed the consumer’s interest in golf very low. Bad marketing from golf businesses does not and will not help push the golf consumers out of having that mindset.
What Are Golfers Looking For?
What golfers are looking for today is not even close to what they were looking for pre-2008. Before, a golf consumer would stretch their discretionary funds so they could play golf regularly. Today, just take a look at any golf course and you can see the golf consumer’s interest to play golf regularly has declined.
On the most part, today’s golfers are wanting their old economy back. What golfers are looking for are the bargains and deals. However, what opens the door to today’s golf consumer to pay attention to the bargain and deals is TRUST.
"When someone likes you, they will listen to you. It’s only when someone trusts you that they will do business with you." – Zig Ziglar
What Gets Golfer’s Attention?
To get the golf consumer’s attention businesses have got to build trust. The more trust built the more business. Golfers find it real easy to turn away from anything…and everything..that has any feel of lack of trustworthiness. Golfers instincts are acute to anything that does not feel good…if it feels like a scam it must be a scam. This makes getting the golfer’s attention very hard.
You can give out all the free gadgets you can afford in an effort to gain to captured the golf consumer’s attention, but at the end of the day the cash register just is not ringing. What captures the golfer’s attention the most is knowing who it is they are doing business with. This one action of a business owner reaching out to their consumers can result in more trust developed than any marketing campaign. In the golf industry the market is scattering and scrambling away from making purchases they feel they do not Need or Want to make. Getting the attention of that fragmented market is going to require a change in thinking.
Where the Change Needs to Be Made
Making a change in any business is not easy or, more probable, not wanted. Change is naturally…instinctively..stressful. Why? Making change opens up a ‘can full’ of Unknowns. Anything unknown is not understood and when someone…a human in this case..is confronted with not understanding something the flight instinct kicks in..fear takes over. Humans have a tough time making a change, especially when they don’t want to change.
Unfortunately, for golf and its related industries..yes, the big boys of golf as well… a change in how Golf is marketed to the public has to be made to move to a more personable approach. The case studies are out there and new ones are being made each day showing the companies that make the change to building trust with individuals in a market have greater long term profitability results than full blown media blitz style campaigns that is focused on hitting millions.
The way to a golf consumer’s check book is through giving them the feeling they just had coffee with the owner of the business. That feeling will develop into trusting they have made the right decision and will kill that fear of the unknown. Change..a tough pill to swallow, but building trust is why you have to take the pill.
Let me know how I can help.