Golf Marketing University

Marketing Is For Life…Not Just For Christmas

A Dog is for Life, not just for Christmas.

In the 1990’s the Dogs Trust, a UK-based animal welfare charity, started a self-explanatory slogan that’s as enduring today as it was when it first resonated over 25 years ago…

“A Dog is for Life, not just for Christmas”.

This quote came back to me recently in the run up to Christmas during a client meeting between their Sales and Marketing departments. Plotting and planning marketing initiatives for 2017, a constant refrain from the Sales Manager…

“but we need to send out offers and get the phones ringing”.

No matter how aligned in their objectives Sales and Marketing departments may be, it seems they’ll never overcome one irreconcilable difference…

differing time-frames!

Sales want enquiries coming in yesterday and today.

Marketing plan for the phone to ring tomorrow.

And that can be a very frustrating dynamic unless Marketing can really get ahead, substantially ahead of their Sales colleagues.

Why? Because most sales professionals forget one fundamental of customer behaviour…

“Not everyone is ready to buy NOW”

How many times have you received sales emails with OFFER, OFFER, OFFER from a business you’ve liked in the past but have bombarded you since into disengaging from their communications?

Perhaps you might have gone on to purchase from them again but you’re so fed up having your Inbox clogged up with spam, when the right offer arrives (at the right time), you’ll never know, because you’re no longer reading their emails and you’ve probably already unsubscribed.

Have you ever been guilty of sending out a green fee special to your whole database INCLUDING your members?

That won’t make them happy.

Or could you say hand on heart that you’ve never sent a membership deal offer to people who recently joined?

Have you perhaps been on the receiving end of such emails?

5 top tips

So back to wearing your ‘Marketer’s Hat’…what can you do to keep past and future customers happy without drowning them with sales messages?

Here are 5 proven tips to guarantee goodwill for your business…

1. Engage your audience until they’re READY TO BUY

Educate, entertain and help your contacts in some way. You’d open emails that did that, wouldn’t you? Here are some examples… Pros coaching tips, seasonal recipes from chefs, funnies from the world of golf, apposite quotes, comment on current (golf) affairs. Share great golfing content from social media or sites like or the PGA or European Tour YouTube channels.

2. Take advantage of current affairs

If you have a driving range, how much would your range revenue have increased if you’d managed to get a couple of life-size posters of Donald and Hilary set up as range targets a month before the presidential election? An email telling people about that would definitely have got opened.

3. Send the RIGHT OFFER, to the RIGHT PERSON, at the RIGHT TIME

Provided you’ve been carefully nurturing your database and you’ve built up lots of goodwill, when you’re ready to generate some green fee income as the season approaches, no problem. Make sure you’ve got your database list segmented to exclude members and send out an email invitation to come and enjoy a round at your course. Give your potential customer a reason to BUY NOW, maybe a one time offer, maybe the sun is shining, maybe you can bundle in some more value. Simple as that. Send the email. You’re guaranteed to get a much higher response than before.

4. Plan comfortably ahead

Don’t start writing your campaigns a week before they go live. Christmas doesn’t come as a surprise at the end of the year. It happens every single year. So why not start your planning in January while the highs and lows of the previous month are still fresh in your mind?

5. Choose your events

These days there are so many events going on every day, week, year, you can’t do everything. But if you are going to do a few events in the annual calendar, make sure you DO THEM BRILLIANTLY and you’ll sell out every time. At Hunley our whole team love getting into Halloween and Christmas and the atmosphere around the place is awesome. There’s never an unsold ticket for our functions around that time of year.

So next time you’re in a meeting with your salespeople and they’re pressuring you to bombard your database with “Sell, Sell, Sell”…Tell them to get back in their box, Stop the Sales tail wagging the Marketing dog…

“MARKETING is for Life, not just for Christmas”

If you liked this article and think your team or colleagues need to read this, share it with them or tag them on Facebook in a comment below 🙂

Elliot Hamilton

Elliot doesn't just talk the talk...As Co-Founder of GMU, Elliot isn't just a marketing guru, he's also a 9 year Chief Executive of Hunley Hotel & Golf Club in North Yorkshire. So he really knows how to deliver game-changing marketing and golf operations in the real-world.

From directing strategy to delivering small (but devastatingly effective) campaigns, he's learnt the hard way how to maximize the return on every penny of marketing spend & grow a bottom line.

And with that 'skin in the game' experience, that makes him pretty qualified to share high quality knowledge of a fast-changing marketing environment - no marketing diploma can match that!

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