The data focuses on “Core” golfers, which accounts for 14.8 million of the 26.1 million total golfers in the United States. “Core” golfers play 8+ rounds per year and are a critical market for most companies in the golf industry to capture.
Here are the highlights:
Internet / App Use:
% or #
Researched Golf Equipment Online
84% (30% purchased)
Downloaded Golf Related App
2.4 million, or almost 20%
Would prefer high tech device in app form over dedicated device
4.3 million, or 29%
Regularly read blogs/reviews about golf brands, courses or travel
4.6 million, or 31%
Use Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter
71% (compared to 56% of nt’l pop)
All numbers from this chart are increasing significantly by the year. For example, mobile app downloads for golf-related items are double in 2011 what they were in 2010 across several categories, including apps to: receive industry news, engage with specific brands, book tee times, track scores/handicap and measure distances.
Turning now to marketing and brand engagement, core golfers had this to say about how they prefer to connect and interact with brands:
Communication Preference – Email vs. Social Media:
Social Network Service
Likelihood to Increase Loyalty & Expenditure:
Social Media Service
Email remains consumer’s overwhelming preference for engaging with golf brands but the gap is closing while both communication venues are increasingly important for building loyalty.
Here’s what I think it means:
The takeaways from this data will vary depending on your niche in the industry, but I think there are a couple of overarching themes for all of us:
1. Golfers are increasingly using the Internet for golf research and purchases so you need to be there with an engaging website that includes blogs, reviews and other relevant information.
2. A strong email marketing campaign (and thus a large and growing email database) is essential for communicating with customers.
3. An active and relevant social media campaign is less important right now than email marketing but this gap is closing so it’s time to get on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others with a well-planned strategy.
4. If a mobile application is relevant to your business in any way, develop and deploy it.
Good luck and happy entrepreneuring!