“If we look at the world’s most successful B2B businesses – i.e., Microsoft, IBM, Wells Fargo, and UPS – there’s one extremely interesting commonality:
They target end consumers, not to the businesses they are ultimately prospecting.”
This is fascinating to me. Although these corporations are doing the majority of their business with other businesses, their messaging is almost always targeting relationships with individual end consumers. Think about the last Well Fargo or UPS commercial you saw.
They know that winning awareness and loyalty of large portions of the general population aligns perfectly with the interests of their target “business customers”. At the end of the day, Wells Fargo is chasing the same attention that small businesses are chasing…they’re just doing it at much larger scale.
Smaller businesses either go it alone, or tap into the benefits of the “Attention Ecosystem” by hiring these corporations or using their products. This makes the sales process easy, brings pricing leverage, and makes their customers super sticky.
In golf course management, things like “technology”, “expertise”, “scale”, “efficiency” are not differentiators – they’re just table stakes to get in the game. These are reasons club owners hire A golf management company, not YOUR golf management company.
In golf, think about the leverage that GolfNow has over operators. The reason golf course owners are beholden to GolfNow is that GolfNow has the direct attention of golfers. The one with the most attention of the end consumer wins – The End.
This observation supports an opportunity that I see quite clearly for winning customers and market share in the golf industry, and in the golf course management segment in particular.
“I believe that winning the next 5 years will be predicated on brand, reputation, and the resulting loyal attention of end consumers – not on some new process or plug-and-play technology.”
That said, just because this is a case study in the golf biz, these principles apply to every B2B organization out there.
Here’s what we cover:
- How management or consulting services compare to a Franchise Model
- Some Marketing 101 – How a Considered Buying Process works, the Consumer Power Shift, and our Simplest Marketing Formula ever.
- Marketing Mistakes – major problems I’ve observed which are making many companies extremely vulnerable.
- A Sensible Game Plan – How to Build a Loyal Following, deploying a modern Content Machine, and what a truly customer-centric Golf Course Management Online Ecosystem might look like.
Investor Presentation (1 hour)
Here’s an hourlong strategic marketing presentation that I delivered to a group of investors in the golf course management industry. I share results of my research, competitive analysis, and recommendations for winning market share in the years to come.
Watch the entire presentation, or scroll down to the various topics I cover along the way.
PART 1: Introduction and Franchise Model Opportunity
PART 2: Golf Marketing 101
PART 3: Observations: Marketing Mistakes & Vulnerabilities
PART 4: A Suggested Game Plan
Full presentation from the beginning…
Just a bit about me for context…basically just starting from the beginning.
Franchise Model Opportunity
Why I believe there is a huge void (thus an opportunity) in the way that golf management companies are differentiating themselves, and how the race for market share is going to play out in the next 5 years.
A LITTLE MARKETING 101
Bigger decisions carrying more risk (financial, social, business risk, etc) require more time and investigation before pulling the trigger. Buying a house is not like buying a Snickers bar. We need to stay top of mind for a much longer period of time.
The Consumer Power Shift
This is all about how people make big decisions nowadays. It used to be that companies held all the information, now people research online and investigate options, going much deeper into the buying process before ever initiating contact. Competition for awareness and winning “sale at-bats” means sharing more “secret sauce”
Simplest Marketing Formula Ever
How we map out who we’re chasing, where they go for answers to their questions/challenges, and what kind of “bait” we can use to bring them into our “ecosystem”. From there, developing a “value ladder” where the top of the ladder is the ultimate way we can serve our clients. The bottom presents minimal barriers to entry which allows them to become indoctrinated and more likely to invest at higher levels – a farm system of sorts.
MARKETING MISTAKES & VULNERABILITIES
Short Term Me-Ism
Organizations producing self-centered content that is always attempting to extract value from their audience (selling) rather than delivering value to their audience (building trust, loyalty, brand).
Underdeveloped Value Ladder
Establishing tiers of engagement from low cost/low barriers to entry up to highest possible value exchange and maximum “stickiness”.
Ineffective Nurturing Infrastructure
Developing a scalable system for staying top of mind with prospects, leads and customers by delivering value over a long period of time.
SUGGESTED GAME PLAN
Attention is the #1 Asset
What the biggest B2B companies in the world are doing and what we can learn from them. Winning the attention of end consumers aligns with the interests of your target customers. I believe that management companies need to compete for golfers’ attention rather than for owners’ attention if they’re ever going to gain leverage over 3rd party providers.
3 Ways to Build a Loyal Following
Same principles apply in real life as they do online – we need to listen, share other peoples’ accomplishments and stories, and also develop our own opinions and topics for discussion. I believe that many companies are continuously trying to extract value from their audience (selling), at the expense of long-term trust and brand building.
How our agency creates and deploys vast quantities of content strategically at scale to win attention and awareness. Creating content is not easy, but is absolutely required to stay relevant in today’s business world. We find that documenting our journey is far more interesting content, and also much easier to produce.
Here’s how I believe a golf course management company should set up their online infrastructure. Rather than the face of the organization showcasing management bells and whistles, I believe that companies are much better served delivering value to golfers. This shows owners that their tactics are aligned, and owners can benefit from the traffic and attention they’ve garnered.
Golf Specific Marketing Resources
Download these materials for free and take them back to your facility. Hope you find the information and exercises helpful.
- Customer Attention Keynote: Today’s Window of Discounted Cost of Attention Article | Video
- Deep Dive into Winning Attention Article | Podcast
- Which Social Media Platforms Should I Use? Article & Infographic | Podcast
- Value of Brand in Golf Management Article
- How to Cross Pollinate Attention from One Platform to Another Article | Podcast
- Golf is a Considered Buying Process & Why That Matters Article | Podcast
- Golf Lessons are the Ultimate Gateway Drug for Golf Profitability Podcast
- Why Protecting Your Company “Secret Sauce” is a Lousy Strategy Article | Podcast
- How to Build a Content Machine Article | Podcast
- The Future of Golf Management Won and Lost on a Franchise Model Article
- Winning Attention – Plan for Content Creation Article