The Official Home for Asian Golf Awards
The prestigious and much sought after Asian Golf Awards programme is now enshrined in its own dedicated web site. This virtual museum in cyberspace is devoted to recognising and honouring the best in the Asia Pacific Golf industry – men and women and clubs that collectively help deliver a world class experience for golf! It is widely regarded as the “Oscars” of the Asian golf club industry. The programme has just finished its 19th year and winners in over 50 award categories were recognized during the staging of the Asian Golf Awards in Bangkok, Thailand. 

DIGITAL MEDIA – TIME TO GET ON BOARD!
 

By Stacey Walton

Click Photos to Enlarge

The Age of The Digital Revolution is here and the future survival and success of golf clubs is going to be contingent on how rapidly we adopt, engage and implement a digital strategy. There’s literally no time to waste because the pace of change is dynamic as the digital age sweeps through virtually all walks of human endeavor, especially those industries in the service sector.
 
In this article, the author takes a look at an integrated approach to online club marketing. In the very basic form of marketing there have been the 4P’s and 7P’s often referred to as the marketing mix so without making it sound overly complicated I will best link the 4P’s and how they are applied with the use of digital marketing. 

Product 
We are in the business of providing a golf experience and entertainment. Rooms, green fees, food and beverage, pro shop merchandise, spa treatments, golf instruction, membership and so on.  This is what people want to buy. 

What does this mean for digital marketing?
The key considerations here from a digital perspective are around whether your product can/will sell online. What channels are open to you for your product or proposition? Are there opportunities to make it flexible and to be more appropriate for online or mobile audiences? Does it provide real value for the consumer and is it differentiated from your competitor offerings?

Let’s look at the hotel industry and how aggressive, competitive and dynamic of selling rooms is today. The hotel and airline industry has gone into using multiple channels and distribution software such as SiteMinder, sky scanner for example and how the hotel industry has changed over the years in the way they sell their product. I cannot remember the last time I called a hotel by telephone to make a booking and have perhaps never just walked into the reception and asked if they have any rooms available and the rate?









































1. Price 
Understanding price elasticity and competitive positioning are angles to consider – the key factor is whether you are asking for a price that people are willing to pay. The ‘willing to pay’ element of that does have many factors behind it such as your brand value, online reviews, product quality and others but there are also numerous tactics that can be employed here. 

What does this mean for digital marketing?
Discounts and offers are certainly not new to digital marketing but the concept of fast price comparison and the introduction of cashback and voucher sites have certainly changed consumer behaviors. Businesses can take advantage of this through affiliate marketing programs. Affiliate marketing is where you promote your products and services through a third-party website in exchange for paying commission or a fee to the website when an action is taken. 

2. Place
Location, location, location. Building a golf shop in the wrong place decreases footfall and ultimately means fewer sales. Having your golf shop in the right place but not having the right stock in your golf shop is even worse. Having your product in the shop in the right location but then not displaying it correctly so people cannot find it – is also a factor of ‘place’   
 
What does this mean for digital marketing?
All of these anodes apply to digital marketing and directly relates to web design and SEO (search engine optimization) and the development of keywords. If your customers can not find you easily online then there are less likely to buy your products or services. Ultimately, if people cannot find what they are looking for then you can expect them to go somewhere else. Here I would check web traffic, ranking and plan on how to improve such as translation into languages that are my target group. 
It is also VERY important that your site has a good mobile score on Google Page Speed because Google is now including that score for rankings on all mobile devices (incl. tablets). Here, I have provided some insights regarding Mobile page speed and Google rankings visit www.searchengineland.com
Here some valuable links where you can review your current website in regards to page speed and code optimization: https://gtmetrix.com, https://developers.google.com, https://tools.pingdom.com 

3. Promotion 
Promotion is what most people think of when they hear the word marketing. Your TV campaign, your press advertising, your display banners. This is often the first time that people will have any relationship with your brand. As we all know, first impressions are very important so getting your promotion right is vital. 

Above the Line (ATL) and Below the Line (BTL) are terms used to differentiate between broadcast and target marketing techniques. ATL marketing refers to mass market advertising that is often used to push specific promotional messages out to a large audience. BTL is used to tailor your communications to individuals or segments to ensure a powerful message. Through the line is simply creating an integrated approach by using an appropriate blend of both. 

Above The Line (ATL) advertising is where mass media is used to promote brands and reach out to the target consumers. These include conventional media as we know it, television and radio advertising, print as well as the internet.  This is communication that is targeted to a wider spread of audience and is not specific to individual consumers. ATL advertising tries to reach out to the mass as consumer audience.

Below the Line (BTL) is the use of SEO, direct mail, paid search, email, direct selling sales and marketing tools. 

What does this mean for digital marketing?
TV advertising is expensive and may have 30 seconds to get a point across and may not reach your target audience. For golf clubs that want to target golfers with their promotions there are a number of media and digital channels to use such as the Boost Post, Boost Mail in Facebook, Line and Line Official, WeChat and WhatsApp which are targeted and Below the Line which is a more affordable method for golf clubs when making their digital marketing plan.  

Bringing it all together 
The modern-day manager needs to learn and know how to employ strategic thinking alongside digital media to deliver measurable and accountable business success. 

The essential techniques and platforms of digital marketing include use of social media, content marketing, search engine optimization, user experience - service, personalization – customizing, display advertising and customer relationship marketing, as well as the broader aspects of implementation, including planning, integration with overall company, aims and presenting the digital strategy, action plan and budget to decision makers. 

Digital media has transformed 21st-century society and is a necessity for golf clubs to be able to identify and make use of digital marketing opportunities before them. 

There are many considerations and complexities that need to be understood and factored into your final plan, but by following a structured and systematic process and in recognizing some of the best practices from industry with the right expertise employed then your golf club digital marketing strategy will be strong and with an integrated online marketing plan will achieve greater results. 
Should you wish to discuss your digital marketing strategy with an integrated approach to online marketing contact stacey@gls.asia during APGS.