Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club is situated on the panhandle of Florida. Our club is lucky to be in an area that is experiencing exponential growth. When I say growth, its somewhat of an understatement. Santa Rosa Beach, Florida has been recognized on a national level for a top place to start a business and was also recently named in Forbes Magazine as Florida’s Best-Kept Secret. Mirroring that growth, SRGBC has seen positive net growth in its memberships numbers – growing from nearly 450 members in 2012 when the economy turned, to more than 725 members in 2018 with some categories of membership on a wait list as of this year.
Having dedicated much time and thought to national, regional and local marketing plans, I cannot deny my love for a plan that encompasses a true marketing mix. From broadcast, social media, print, email marketing and more – if you’re like me (and most) – multiple impressions are necessary for consumers who are inundated with technology and offers throughout their day. Working with a team to create a plan from start to finish and then watching it “work”. Yep, its pretty much amazing!
With that said, I’ve learned club memberships is a marketing hybrid. It is so much more personal.
Each quarter, I do my best to sit down and think about all the updates and progress through sales and marketing efforts and communicate those things to club members. I took a second recently to review the last two years and I couldn’t help but notice a theme of the importance of members and our community as it related to the growth we were seeing at the club. While I cannot deny the value of a strong marketing strategy I’d be remiss if I did not talk about one of the biggest reasons our club has been successful. There is not a quarter that goes by that I don’t find myself thanking our amazing members for their referrals of friends and family into our club.
We are surrounded by many golfing options, but people join Santa Rosa over all other courses in the area because of our members (and staff, food, course conditions and more of course :)). I could say one hundred amazing things about this club to encourage someone to join but at the end of the day if I can connect a prospective member with an existing member, they will almost 10 times out of 10, join. That’s because it’s personal to them. Everyone wants to be at a club with friends and a staff that they enjoy.
So, to my sales and marketing friends out there, communicate to your community and members. Not only is it free; but eventually, they will be the biggest and most important marketing tools in your shed.
Ideas for Communicating
- Weekly Email Updates (quick facts on upcoming events, important notices, etc.)
- Quarterly Newsletters (more in depth and personal letters from club management, board of directors, recipes, tips, etc.)
- Small Groups/Committees/Focus Groups
- Social Media
- Informational website
- Always keep your door open and know your members
- I’m sure you can think of lots more but this will give you a good start!
Sarah Brazwell is the sales and marketing director for Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club. Reach her directly at email@example.com.