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A Happy Core is a Strong Core

A couple of weeks ago the Wall Street Journal ran an article about the current state of the golf industry. The story brought up a number of good points including the reality that the industry has spent alot of time trying to lure new players to the game but precious little time keeping the current crop of players happy. About the same number of people give up the game as take it up and more golf courses are closing than opening.

The argument is that golf clubs should spend more marketing dollars and effort to bring added value and higher customer service to their current client base. That advice is sound as your satsified customers are the best salespeople for your business. If a golfer walks off the course having a great experiance he or she will tell all of their friends about it and want to return for the experiance again.

In an completely unrelated example, the radio ratings were released earlier this week. Z103.5, a dance -oriented Top 40 station in Toronto has attained it’s highest ratings ever. The station’s ratings are almost twice that of Edge 102 and although they are not soon to threaten the lofty numbers of CHUM FM and CHFI their numbers will allow their sales team to command a hefty dollar for advertising.

If you live in the Toronto area and have never heard Z103 or even heard of the station you shouldn’t be surprised. The station isn’t programming for you. While other stations flood the city with splashy billboards and expensive television commericals Z103 aggresively markets to their core audience giving them exactly what they want delivering a product the audience percieves as reliable and excellent. As a result, the audience has grown steadly through word of mouth. Each year Z103 holds a radio station concert at Wonderland that regulary draws crowds in excess of 16,000. The concert bill is usually made up of aratists that only Z103 plays. Proof that this can be a sound model for any business.

It might sound likie a broken record but you have to ask yourself “what are we doing for our core customer.” Are they leaving the course having had the kind of experiance they are going to tell others about. Remember, its not always about the score.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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