Market Focus: Golfers: In the Green, on the Green
However, Cuttler advises being careful to properly target your marketing using the right lists; although most golfers are affluent men, you can’t just assume that any list of affluent men will reach golfers. “One of the things that is interesting about marketing to golfers, especially through direct mail, is that you look at the demographics and you think, ‘This will be perfect. Let me mail this business executive file,’” she says. “But unless there is some sort of golf affinity, it is very difficult to make the lists work.”
Marketers need to be aware of the process buyers go through when making a buying decision. “There is a very linear course that people go through in narrowing down their considerations and then making the purchase decision,” says Last. Especially in equipment and travel, he explains, golfers often start to consider an idea they first saw in print media. There also is a viral element to the purchasing decision, so having a presence at the point of contact—such as at golf facilities, through golf professionals and at golf retail stores—helps spread the word of your product and service and gets golfers thinking about purchasing from you.
Teeing Off: What to Say
We probably don’t need to tell you to focus on the market’s needs, but many marketers who target golfers make the mistake of homing in on the features of their products and services instead. “From a benefit standpoint, so much of the marketing in golf has been focused on technology for technology’s sake,” says Last. “Certainly, that is a major driver, and you do want to convey that you are technologically on the cutting edge, but you also want to move beyond that to show that what you are providing is going to meet a need.” Golfers’ needs typically are to have a good time and to improve at golf.