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Top Five Marketing Trends for 2017

As we close out 2016, and say goodbye to some of the passing marketing fads (Where DID Pokémon go?) (Drop the QR codes!) (Looks like the Meerkat has retreated to its hole) we take a look at some of the new trends for 2017. You’ll notice that they share common threads—they get human, it’s about creating experiences, listening, and providing high value.

Go live with streaming platforms. In 2017, video will continue to be as important as ever. Give your customers a live look at your golf brand with platforms like Facebook Live or Periscope. Each of these tools allows you to broadcast live and interact with prospective and current customers, while providing you with control over who sees the information you share. Plus, Facebook ranks Live posts higher in newsfeeds, and here’s a cool stat—according to Facebook, viewers are 10x more likely to comment on a Facebook Live video than a regular video. Callaway Golf provides a great example of how you can use Facebook Live with a live tour of Arnold Palmer’s office, asking questions for viewers along the way.

Use these tools to:

  • Promote special sales /offers through live broadcasts

  • Hold live events or Q&A sessions (webinars are so 2016)

  • Build a community around a topic related to your brand—“Live Golf Tips on Thursday” or “Demo Day December” where you and your viewers can provide insights

  • Share stories of real customers or employees

Customer behavior monitoring and integration. Sounds technical, but what it really means is quite simple. Your customers are constantly posting on social media channels—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, Instagram (you get the picture)—use online monitoring tools to listen to what your customers are saying. Then, use it in your golf brand’s marketing efforts.

For example, let’s look at Chewbacca mom and Kohl’s. If you haven’t seen it, here’s the gist: a mom purchases a Chewbacca mask at Kohl’s makes a video of her trying on the mask and laughing (while she references purchasing it at Kohl’s numerous times throughout). It becomes an instant viral hit—in fact, it’s the top viewed post on Facebook Live to date (150 million and counting). People loved the silliness of it. Kohl’s became aware of the video and responded with its own, where Kohl’s employees giving the woman’s family multiple Star Wars paraphernalia for being a loyal customer and for “spreading joy” (this video has amassed an equal amount of views and immediately sold out of the Chewy mask). They developed a campaign, #allthegoodstuff to ride the viral wave, and wrapped up with increased sales overall.

Music streaming service Spotify has made news lately too by utilizing its real-time customer data in a new campaign with ads like, “Dear person who played “Sorry” 42 times on Valentine’s Day…what did you do?” and a tagline of, “Thanks 2016. It’s been weird.” While we’re talking music, consider targeted streaming ad campaigns in your 2017 marketing mix. If you’re interested in making your golf video go viral, check out this checklist created for Callaway by golfer (and social media phenom) Paige


Use these tools to:

  • Understand what your golf customers think about you/are saying about you

  • Build a campaign that encompasses the types of customers who use your golf product

  • Discover brand ambassadors and build these relationships

  • Hey, it’s free marketing already!

Influencer marketing. Influencers are key individuals on the web who have an impact on your customers purchase decisions. Influencer marketing builds mutually beneficial relationships with these key players. They can be bloggers or individuals who have amassed a significant following organically. However, the key to great influencer marketing is contextual—it’s not about any blogger, it’s the type of content they talk about. It’s interesting and fun—and not sales content. A great example of an influencer in the golf industry is Golf Geek, a vlog with a solid following and a presence on every network (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you tube, Periscope). You might be wondering how can my golf brand find influencers? As we mentioned in number 2, listen to what your customers are talking about, who’s talking the loudest, and build that connection. From there, work to provide your influencers with an emotional connection and a good story.

Use these tools to:

  • Build awareness of your golf product

  • Connect with prospective/current customers on a topic

  • Be seen as an authority while building trust

  • Reach a new audience segment


This makes the list every year. We’re going to look at this beyond simply including [your customer’s name] in an email/subject line (which you should be doing) to providing targeted content that really show’s them that you know them. Let’s start with your opt-in form. Perhaps you’re asking for name, email, etc., but let’s go even further to ask questions that can help shape the types of content your golf brand delivers to prospective and current customers. Let’s keep it simple as possible: “What’s your handicap?” “How often do you play?” “Who are you looking for?” From here, you can tailor your emails accordingly, as you now know the level of skill your customer has and their frequency of play, and whether or not they are looking to purchase for them or for someone else. Consider utilizing your customer’s location, too—golfers in Florida versus those in the Midwest should receive different messages during winter, for example.

Also—think about the wording used within your email content and keep it personal. Have your customers “download MY free copy” or “I want to improve MY game now”, instead of just “clicking here.” From there, you can personalize the content on your golf brand’s web pages based on a customer’s known preferences as well. Understand your target audiences (not ALL golfers) and craft your content accordingly.

Use these tools to:

  • Provide relevant, targeted content (show me you know me!)

  • Create a unique, personalized experience for your customers that shows you value their business

  • Utilize customer data to engage and

  • Increase referrals

Providing an amazing customer experience.

In a sea of golf products touting “improved distance” or “a better game”, it’s easy for golf product start-ups (or even those well-known golf brands) to drown. The key differentiating factor that will allow you to stand out from your competitors is a customer experience like none other. Customer experience isn’t just customer service anymore—it’s about the contact customers have with your golf brand during key purchase touchpoints and beyond. It’s the visuals, the words, all of the senses you evoke, and these interactions customers will have with your golf brand. It impacts word of mouth, and this matters—over 90 percent of purchase decisions are influenced by reviews of feedback. Examples of brand’s who provide great customer experiences include Zappos, Apple, Amazon, and JetBlue. Get your golf brand on this list!

Use these tools to:

  • Increase customer satisfaction

  • Secure a competitive advantage

  • Reduce churn rates and improve customer retention

  • Strengthen brand loyalty

Ready to implement these strategies into your marketing mix for 2017? We can help.

Wishing you a happy New Year!


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