I have a friend who once worked as a purchasing manager at a large golf equipment manufacturing company. His job was to go out and find new suppliers for the components that went into their clubs, primarily the shafts that are used in their woods.
Marketing Golf Equipment Is A Tougher Job Than You Think: a post around the difficulties of marketing golf equipment in this day and age.
One of his jobs was to go to trade shows, which is where he met the folks from a company called Graphite Design. Graphite Design produces shafts for many of the best-known club manufacturers in the world. They were located in Japan at the time, and my friend was interested in using them as a potential supplier for his company’s future needs.
He arranged to visit their facilities in Japan during one of his trips over there, and upon arriving, he was surprised by what he saw. The factory floor was littered with graphite dust from their shaft production process. It got into everything: on the machines, on the walls, on the floors, everywhere you looked there was graphite dust coating everything in sight. And yet, they were producing some of the best graphite shafts in the world!
I’ll never forget what my friend told me next
Golf equipment is a tough business; the first thing you have to do is get people to remember that there still is a golf equipment business.
In the last few years, most golf equipment companies have seen their sales decline. The big culprit, many in the industry believe, is Nike’s decision to stop making clubs and balls. As the dominant presence on the pro tour, Nike’s departure sent a message that golf equipment wasn’t very important anymore.
“It was a blow to the industry when Nike left,” says Tim Clarke, CEO of TaylorMade Golf Company. “Nike had done a great job communicating with consumers over the years with an image of authenticity and credibility.” When they left, he says, it “kind of took some wind out of our sails.”
But TaylorMade has come roaring back (its sales are up 28% this year). One of the things they’ve done is focus on marketing to women. Which is where we come in.
As a golf equipment marketer, I’d like to dispel the myth that our jobs are easy. Even though we have the support of big-name companies and celebrity athletes, we still have to work very hard to get the word out about our products. Even with a commercial starring Tiger Woods, my job can be a stressful one.
I think people believe that it’s all about the athlete. If you have Tiger Woods in your commercial, then the product will sell itself. Some of my colleagues who are lucky enough to work with him just sit back and watch the dollars roll in. They don’t realize how much effort his marketing team puts into getting his name out there as a brand.
My job isn’t so simple. I don’t have an athlete as popular as Tiger Woods to sell my products for me; instead, I have to come up with creative ideas for each campaign. My bosses expect me to keep up with what’s going on in the news and find ways to tie it in with golf equipment. It’s not easy thinking of creative ideas every day!
One thing that makes my job easier is having a good sense of humor. If I didn’t laugh at myself, I would cry! My colleagues and I spend countless hours coming up with names for
Golf is one of the hardest sports to market because of it’s history and culture. There are so many rules and regulations that surround the golf industry and there are so many different definitions of what a golfer is.
One of the biggest issues facing golf marketers today is that approximately 75% of all golfers are over the age of 35. And with an aging population, golf will not grow in popularity unless we can get more young people to start playing.
One possible solution to this problem is to add a new generation of clubs to cater to the younger demographic. Even if these clubs aren’t made for professionals, as long as they are affordable, fun to use and reliable, they will be appealing to young players.
Marketing can also be done through social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. By engaging fans online, brands can show that they care about their customers while also providing them with a way to give feedback on their products.
If you have friends who play golf, they’ve probably told you how hard the game is. It’s a game of inches, they say. One bad swing and you’re screwed. The club that works perfectly one day may not work at all the next day.
But if golf is so difficult, why do people spend $2 billion a year on golf equipment? How can a company make much money selling equipment to people who seem unable to hit their ball straight even with the most expensive clubs?
For the answer, just look at any magazine rack in any pro shop. There are magazines devoted to every aspect of the game: how to drive the ball straighter, how to chip better, how to putt better, and so on. Golfers are constantly trying to improve their games by buying new equipment or taking lessons. They compete against each other for low score, and when they lose they blame it on bad luck or a bad swing.
So if you’re going to succeed selling golf equipment, you have to help customers believe that this time really will be different: that your driver really will make them drive the ball straighter; that your wedge will chip it closer; that your putter will putt truer. Before you can sell someone a product for
Dino Golf is starting to feel the impact of the slowing economy. Sales have been flat since 2012, and are on pace to be down slightly in 2014. It’s imperative that we identify a demographic group that can propel sales over the next 3-5 years, or we risk being left behind by our competition.
We know our core demographic (40-60 year old Caucasian business men) is gradually dying off. We’ve been successful in recent years targeting them with high quality products, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain margins while increasing market share. We need to find a new niche or risk losing relevance as a company.
We’ve identified three promising opportunities:
1. Women – While women only make up ~10% of golfers today, they are becoming more interested in the sport each year. This is a lucrative opportunity; we’d be able to charge more for the same equipment, and could sell specialized apparel and accessories at a high margin.
2. Millenials – Millenials are aging and earning more disposable income, which bodes well for their interest in golfing as a hobby/pastime. They’re also generally accepting of technology, so it would be easier for us to push new product lines like GPS watches and tech
A golf ball maker discovers that its research and development (R&D) department has invented a revolutionary new material which could be used in the manufacturing of golf balls. The company decides to test the market by offering two new premium brands, using this new material. However, it is concerned that if it markets both brands under its own name, consumers may not believe that the products are sufficiently differentiated.
To get around this problem, the firm decides to charge a different price for each brand. Brand A is priced at $2 per ball while Brand B is priced at $1 per ball. The company’s management believes that selling the two brands under different names will reduce consumer confusion and allow them to charge higher prices for each one.
The strategy works: people buy both Brands A and B in equal quantities. But as time goes on sales of Brand B begin to lag behind those of Brand A. So the marketing department comes up with a plan: sell Brand B in smaller cans than Brand A, so customers will perceive it as a “value” brand. The result: sales of Brand B increase dramatically and now exceed those of Brand A!