Sponsored story: An app aimed at marketing to nomadic golfers

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 26, 2018 22:13 Updated

A new app has been launched that is designed specifically to help golf clubs market to nomadic golfers. We detail how it works

Whatever the merits of GDPR there is no doubt the new regulation has caused widespread frustration among businesses and consumers alike.

The golf industry is not exempt from the new rules – as any manager will know – and one negative effect is that it is now harder for clubs to harvest and hold data relating to existing clientele and potential new customers, particularly those nomadic golfers who provide a valuable source of income.

Data is the king for golf club marketing. For every piece of good data a club collects, it incrementally starts to reduce marketing costs and thus make money for the business.

A free tool launched exclusively by Pro Golf Digital, in the form of a bespoke app for mobile phones and other devices, provides the perfect answer to the dilemma created by GDPR.

Designed to provide easily understood answers to all the questions a golfer might need, it works because it becomes almost addictive. Once downloaded by the golfer, they tend to use it regularly, enjoying being connected.

The app includes a fully interactive GPS facility, 3D flyovers, a live leaderboard, a digital scorecard which links to performance data and the ability to incorporate any tee time booking system or members’ platforms so the golfers have one access point for all the clubs information.

Heidi Bohrn, director of Pro Golf Digital, said: “These features are a great benefit to all golfers but particularly the nomadic golfer. If they enjoyed their round at your course, the likelihood is they will be more engaged in your course and in the game of golf and increase the probability of them visiting you again.

“We designed the app all around the golfer’s experience. The golfer needs to feel connected, once downloading the app onto their smartphone the golf club then have the marketing suite right at their finger tips allowing to promote to a captured audience 24/7.

“We know it’s imperative for clubs to drive revenue, so the backend CRM system allow the club to set up different loyalty programmes. In-app special offers, Geo-messaging and push notifications can be used at any given point and the club can view each performance.”

The opt-in push notifications – text messages sent to the interface of the users’ phones – allow for precise advertising, green fee, pro shop and catering offers or course updates.

Heidi added: “What’s interesting is that the app, provided by Pro Golf Digital, take push notification to a whole different level, allowing golf clubs to segment their audience by user profiles and interests.

“Each end user of your app needs to enable which relative notifications they want to directly receive; this then makes the app completely GDPR compliant as the end user has total control. Plus, sending targeted messaging based around specific customer criteria reflects in higher open and conversion rates, which can be as high as 29.5 per cent.”

Horsham Golf Club in West Sussex was among the first to adopt the app in an attempt to improve its customers’ experiences while attracting and retaining a client base.

The club has been delighted with the results. Owner Neil Burke said the app had proved a “tremendous success, appreciated by members and visitors alike.”

Visitors to the club are encouraged to download the app along with its growing membership and it has recorded 2,201 downloads in its first 18 months.

“We are more than up there is our attempts to attract a new audience to golf and this is the type of thing that encourages younger people to take a look at the game,” he said.

“These apps are going to be the future. The ‘old school’ golf customer is a dying breed and inevitably technology will have an increasingly important place in the industry.

“After a short period of training we learnt how to upload our marketing messages and as an added bonus the app is hassle free.”

The app is linked to Horsham Golf Club’s Google Analytics account and, along with the backend CRM system, the club can see at a glance their direct response from downloads – usage to marketing success. The results have been remarkable.

In one week alone the club had 214 unique users use the app, which resulted in a total of 514 sessions. This result meant that one in 4.17 of its golfers are currently using the app and tapping in 73 times a day on average.

Neil commented: “It’s pretty impressive; we had no idea how well our app was being used until we started analysing the figures and we are excited to see the future concepts that Pro Golf Digital are working towards.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 26, 2018 22:13 Updated
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