Definition of “Branding”: The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products
I had a short Twitter conversation the other day with Ryan Nolan about social media use by PGA Golf Professionals in terms of increasing awareness about what they do, what programs they have for coaching and how they use social media. The quick exchange skewed towards email lists and software programs. I was trying to ask a question about how PGA Members might actively engage different golfer demographic groups using social media. Instead, Ryan engaged me with talking about the acquisition of email lists and distribution.
That got me thinking about what I do each day and how my activities tie into any business. I partner with people to help grow their personal and facility specific brands, fostering a “trusted advisor” philosophy. Yes, the end goal is driving revenue, but effective social media use, like any marketing channel, causes a feeling of “engagement” with an audience, and that’s vital. Will it result in a “sale”, or will it result in “growing a relationship” with your business? Both are massively important, but if you haven’t engaged them in the first place, business is not going to grow. Michael Brenner from SAP sums this idea up nicely here.
Driving engagement opportunities in order to drive revenue sounds sort of simple. The more aware a “target audience” is of what you do and offer, and perceiving a timely, relevant, inspiring and valuable message, the more apt they will be to engage that person in a conversation about a particular service or product. This could be a Titleist driver or a series of coaching sessions (or insert your goods/service here). My role as a U.S. Campaign Manager for RetailTribe is not only online email marketing in the form of custom newsletters and associated websites, but the consultative approach of best practices to grow an individual’s “brand” and flesh out their “value proposition” at their golf facility.
How would you impress a prospective new member, coaching client or player with your value proposition?
Granted, gaining additions to your email database is certainly a good thing. But what about gaining an “impression” on a segment to have them activate towards you? Are you using the proper channels, or are you scatter-shot in your approach?
Basically I’m speaking to setting up strategies and tactics, something I speak with my clients about each week:
- What’s your business objective
- What strategies and tactics will you use
- What measurements will you put in place? Yes, the dreaded KPI’s!
- What segments will you track with the KPI’s?
- What are your targets to achieve? You need to know if what you’re doing is working.
When I was a PGA Professional at a club from 1998-2005, I tried to talk to as many parents as I could to engage them in conversation about their games and if their kids had an interest in playing golf, while discussing what our staff did with our junior programs. I utilized my membership database to get my message out, had signage up around the facility and had info on our website. Today, I may look at Tumblr or Pinterest to tailor blog posts, pictures of junior camps and activity and other junior golf related material aimed at the “mom” demographic for an example. For the “dad” demo out there, Google+ is majority “male” in use and fairly affluent and that may be a good channel to test. Give your demographics in your area a closer look and you may find different ways to get YOUR message out. What I’m doing is testing different channels for “connection”.
You have to be nimble enough in your active marketing to aim your efforts where the “right” people may be. It’s not enough to just use email marketing to a decent list and call it a day. Create a map for yourself. Commit to the “who” and “what” and “why” questions of your activities. Always remember it’s about timely, relevant, inspiring and most importantly, VALUABLE information you are putting out. Set yourself apart with your value proposition. When your passion, pride and integrity in your product comes through in your social media use, you’re well on your way to doing great things. Follow me on Twitter and check out RetailTribe for more information and insight into the golf industry. You may unlock fresh ideas that are percolating in your brain to move your business forward.