Evaluate to increase your membership numbers

By Gabriel Sota CMDip 

Every year I am looking to increase my membership numbers and I use the following tried and tested process. The steps I follow are –  

  • Analysis
  • Members survey
  • Verify our four P´s. Product, price, place and promotion.
  • Marketing action plan
  • Implement it
  • Evaluate it
  • Re-evaluate the plan again

We start with a SWOT analysis.

Our Strengths are –

  • Great golf school,
  • Seve design,
  • Pace of play its quick to complete 9 or 18 holes, 
  • Friendly Club,
  • Ten holes (including private hole for lessons),
  • Customer service,
  • Course maintenance
  • Golf culture.

Our Weaknesses are – 

  • Location,
  • Ten holes, – some customers expect 18 holes
  • No other facilities besides golf for children,
  • Activity ratios
  • Out sourced F&B.

Our Opportunities are – 

  • Increase our social media communication about all we do,
  • Innovate our school,
  • Communicate our course maintenance,
  • Our friendly Club, our golf culture,
  • Our children golf camps
  • Maximize our three teachers and Clubmakers to help our customers.

Our Threats,  

  • Competitors
  • Lack of social media,
  • Competitor course maintenance improvements and its customer service,
  • Golf school competitors innovation.

From this analysis I know what we need to focus on to stay ahead of the competition. It is vitally important that we continue to innovate and communicate our innovations to our existing and future customers via all communication channels especially social media.

Another key part of our analysis is to survey our members to understand their wants and needs are. If we can continue to meet (or better exceed) our members needs we will be in a strong place –

The members survey informed us about what they wanted. They would like golf indoor (to play with friends), new private lounge, children lounge, good course maintenance, golf learning program, family competition and activities. We knew the most of this in advance thanks to our referral whatsapp group and through continuous listening to their feedback . However its good to do a formal survey to get feedback from a wide spectrum of members.
Following this survey we communicate our members reinforcing the vision and mission of our School and Club, knowing who we are and where we are taking the club..

Our four P´s. Product, friendly and family golf school and well maintenance Seve design course in a beautiful place. Price is a very good balance of experience and quality service Vs cost. (Value=experience-cost). Place. Our location is 18 minutes away from Santander. We decided to specialize. Seve design course, great school, customer services in a beautiful place and plenty of innovation. Promotion this is what we need to improve….!

Our Marketing Action Plan focused on maintaining our Golf School and Club image and our family culture.
Our whatsapp group is a key communication tool.and we use it for immediate updates about our Golf School new technology, golf indoor, family and children competition and activities.
Another big focus is to promote golf lessons at primary schools, this helps us drive family activities back at the club with our new private lounge for children with our indoor putting green, family+friends putt competitions, children golf camps, it is important that we engage with the community and this sort of face to face outreach marketing really works and is very cost effective. Our new marketing strategy has really focused on the use of social media, centred around Whatsapp and we are delighted with the response.

The Implementation of the plan is key we ensure our data bases of all our clients and prospective clients is kept up to date. We communicate using various mediums so as not miss anyone out: newsletter, mailing, emailing, noticeboard for members our web site, facebook, twitter.and of course whatsapp. The information is a mixture of information about our product, services, entertaining tips and the use of attractive pictures of our facilities and events brings it to life. Always we start with #Sotagolf info.

The evaluation. After all our activities we got twenty new members and thirty more pupils in our school. Our activity ratios are 6% better than eight months before. We have had a very positive impact with our schools programme too.

Reevaluation. It is important to keep re evaluating, we can not sit back we must keep striving for improvement. We think we can do it better than this, increasing our activity school and proshop ratios. We are aiming to improve our proshop offering next. Now that this cycle is complete I will start again, onwards and upwards !!

Gabriel Sota on the importance of continually evaluating your business –
If you stand still nothing happens! You need to continually evaluate your business to see where you can make positive changes to grow. We are on a constant cycle of evaluation so the business never stops.

Gabriel Sota CMDip
Gabriel became a golf professional at the age of 19 and is the School Director of Club de Golf Ramón Sota, a 10 hole course and golf school in Spain. He is a professional Clubmaker and Clubfitter and gained a Master Class prize and named “Clubmaker of the year 2003 in Europe”. Gabriel has always been dedicated to his education and training and has attended all 5 of the CMAE Management Development Programmes.