Deploying Golf Data & Technology at Your Club
Data-driven decision-making, and deploying the technology required to capture this necessary data, is a core principle of KPI Golf Management.
Performance-based decision making encourages objectivity and buy-in.
Decisions which are grounded in data and real user information are for far more likely to be successful than subjective choices based on conjecture or opinion.
Good data begins with understanding your club’s position in the marketplace.
What value is the club providing and what does it cost? How do you compare to other clubs in the area? Is your value proposition aligned with fee structures?
For instance, if your club is the fourth best club in the area, but also the most expensive, then there may be problems with market positioning.
Of course, there are internal factors which drive costs such as outstanding debt, prior dues increases, member assessments, contractual obligations, equity versus non-equity status, etc.
The market however doesn’t have concern about your costs in delivering your product. Market forces don’t care about your margins or cost of goods sold.
Customer Wants and Challenges:
Market research and customer surveys go a long way toward helping country clubs figure out who their customers are and what they are interested in.
A first step is to develop what we call buyer personas. These are fictitious representations of each of the different kinds of ideal prospects that we are hoping to attract. Buyer personas tremendously when it comes time to tell stories about the club and produce marketing material that we believe those ideal customers will enjoy.
Collecting quality data about your ideal customers only helps to deliver an experience we know they’ll enjoy.
We find that even the most basic assumptions are rarely entirely correct. Times are changing, especially with the private golf club business model. Younger prospective members no longer value exclusivity like they once did.
Instead successful clubs are now opening the doors to family-based amenities like swimming, tennis, fitness programs, and child care. The days of ultra exclusive men-only clubs are a thing of the past.
“Data enables us to definitively prioritize highest impact activities, find opportunities, achieve buy in for execution, track performance, review results, and repeat.”
Recognizing that data-informed decision making in today’s modern age is going to be more efficient then subjective opinions of board members or leadership, country clubs need metrics to help prioritize highest impact activities.
This methodology goes a long way toward abolishing personal agendas and deep-seated misconceptions that put country clubs at risk.
For example, if an incoming board member is a restaurant owner, he may be predisposed to push for expenditures on clubhouse renovations and upgrading dining facilities. While this approach may indeed be what is needed at the club, it’s important to recognize the possibility of these kinds of biases.
The most valuable use of technology and data is the very namesake of our company: Key Performance Indicators.
For all new initiatives at the club, leadership needs to establish a clear definition of success and failure.
Over time, measuring performance against these indicators will help to determine what’s working best and what isn’t working well at all. Understanding causes and effects will always inform future decision-making in an objective way.
Of course not everything can be quantified into numbers. There is club history, reputation, personal relationships, and emotional capital.