Millennials make up the largest population in America, and have a significant impact on the world of golf. We’ll help you better understand this audience, and provide tips on how you can most effectively market to Millennials.
What are Millennials?
Millennials are men and women, ages 18-34. They are America’s largest generation at over 75 million, surpassing Baby Boomers.
Baby Boomers (ages 51-69) 74.9MM
Generation X (ages 35-50) 65MM
Millennials (ages 18-34) 75.4MM
Millennials are an active and involved generation, however, “the proportion of those playing golf fell roughly 13 percent over the last five years.”
What do Millennials think about golf?
Millennials are non-traditional, and golf as a sport and brand has suffered. Millennials think golf is slow, expensive, exclusive, and complicated. And it’s understandable.
Millennials are busy and often spread thin with family and work, and don’t have time for a 2-4 hour round.
The average Millennial is more financially burdened today, and the cost of playing and investing in equipment has become less of a priority.
They’re the most diverse generation. “The percent of non-Caucasian 18- to 34-year-olds has grown by more than 60% in the past 20 years, from 20 million to 32 million.”
As noted, Millennials are non-traditionalists. They find the rules and old-school traditions of golf to be stuffy.
Why should your golf business care?
Millennials matter. According to the PGA Tour, Millennials “…make up about 26% of golfers and pump about $1B in equipment purchases and over $4B in playing fees every year through the 90 million rounds they play. Their numbers and impact are profound.”
By the numbers*
6.4MM Millennial golfers
26% of all golfers
90MM rounds played annually
5B spending on golf annually
21% account for spending on golf and equipment annually
*Source: Golf & the Millennial Generation
What do Millennials want?
Millennials want an authentic, social experience. They want to deal with real people, see real products in action, hear real-time feedback from other customers or their friends, from anywhere, at any time.
How can you market more effectively to Millennials?
Have a mobile presence. Over 65% of Millennials only use mobile devices to access the web. Your site must be optimized for mobile to provide the best user experience.
Include images. Millennials would rather see images than read content. And, they’d prefer to see images in context—a golfer using your product out on the course.
Use real people. Millennials like to see images and video of real people, as opposed to Baby Boomers who would rather see product-specific graphics. Show your golf product in action, or invite your golf customers to submit videos of themselves using your golf product.
Listen. Utilize social monitoring tools to hear what Millennials (or your audiences in general) are saying about you, and to get an idea of what they’re talking about.
Be a part of the conversation. When you understand what your audiences are talking about, you can craft content shaped around what they want to hear. If a certain event or topic is trending, share relevant content and own the conversation. Respond to customer feedback in a timely and consistent manner.
Provide an experience. Millennials aren’t just looking to purchase a product. They want the sight, the smell, the sound—all the senses that come with it. In a sea of golf products, this is where your golf product can stand out, and it happens before they even arrive on your site.
Be socially savvy. Millennials are on social media, you should be, too. We’re not saying you need to jump on every channel or every new one that pops up, rather, pick a few that are strategically aligned with your business, and promote them throughout your marketing. Include icons/links on your website, your emails, business cards, etc.
Be shareable. Millennials like to include their friends in their experiences—include shareable buttons on your website/email content, and provide content worth sharing on social media channels.
Be accessible. When Millennials have a question, or need help, they expect it now. Provide FAQ’s on your site, and provide clear expectations regarding response times from your customer service team (24 hours should be maximum). Or, consider customer service chat bots who can help answer immediate questions.
Authentic content. Millennials can spot salesy content a mile away. Utilize real customer feedback to tell your story, and provide shareworthy content.
*Source: Golf & the Millennial Generation