Art of Data Collection

Art of Data Collection

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Tracking your customers may be the key to unlocking more revenue

Collecting information (data) about your customers is one of the most important things a thriving business can focus on. The more you understand your customer base the more you can understand and build services around their needs.

The information you gather about your customers will supply you with the knowledge to develop solid and sustainable business decisions. When most people hear the term “data collection” they immediately think “e-mails”. While collecting names and e-mails is one of the easiest things you can do, it only scratches the surface as to what is possible.

The clients we work with when developing and implementing a marketing strategy understand that there is a whole world of opportunity that opens up when you better understand your customer. Collecting information such as age, lifestyle, birthdays, average number or rounds, spending habits, handicap, tournament participation, etc… (the list can seriously go on forever) is critical for having a solid long-term plan.

We recommend starting out small. Get your team together and figure out what types of resources you have for collecting and using that data. Understanding your team’s strengths and weaknesses is a key component to establishing a collection and delivery method that is sustainable throughout the season. One of the things Golf Web Design does is help our clients organize their staff and develop a strategy that is right for each individual facility.

Once you have an overall goal of the type of data you wish to collect it’s now time to get creative and see why you collected that data in the first place. It does no good to just have all this information sitting on a computer somewhere – how do you use it?

A great example of a real world solution is from Starbucks. Signing up for a Starbucks account is free and it allows you to track your purchases and then Starbucks rewards you for frequent use. One piece of data they collect is your date of birth. Each year on your birthday they “reward” you with a free drink of your choice – a pretty good deal – and in exchange they acquire useful marketing data about their customers.

It is also useful to track trends and watch those trends evolve over time. It might be very useful to know what types of members are joining the club and what types of members are leaving. What type of demographic is playing more golf, which is spending more money, which is spending the least amount of money? Most clients we talk to believe they have a good understanding of their client. While some might, we found that until you actually have the raw data to back up those claims you never truly know. When we hear statements such as “junior golf is on the rise”, we ask, “how do you know?” That’s why tracking your customers is so important.

Tracking your customers allows you to specialize your services to fit their needs. Perhaps data indicates an increase in young golfers (ages 16 – 24) and because Rory McIlroy just signed a huge deal with Nike this might be the perfect time to increase your supply of Nike golf balls or shirts! Small things like that can add up to huge revenue dollars when spread out throughout the season.

We encourage our fellow PGA Professionals to take a closer look at how they are collecting data and if having a marketing plan built around that data is a smart move for their club.

Start small and ease your way into this process. If this is completely new for your club it’s going to take a little getting used to, but eventually will become a strong business asset helping to drive sales and service your customers.