The Pellucid Perspective - January 2014 - (Page 4)

TEE TIME MARKETING GolfNow's PMP sales pitch: Join or have market share stolen Tactic reminiscent of protection racket By Harvey Silverman Y ou don't have to move far up or down the dial from the Golf Channel to find reruns of movies like The Godfather, Goodfellas, Casino...or to watch episodes of The Sopranos. All of them portray elements of protection at a cost to the poor schmuck trying to run a small business on the mob's turf. He either paid up, or paid dearly. My editor thought we had written enough about GolfNow in 2013 and advised me to pursue other stories. I tried to oblige, I really did, but the big G just keeps churning out things that anger and bewilder the legions of golf course operators trying to eke out small profits in an increasingly difficult market. What prompted this return to the keyboard was an offer made to a Pellucid client to join the GolfNow PMP (Premium Marketing Program) and cough up another tee time a day in barter. Our client is one that wins using GolfNow - it receives a larger number of rounds and corresponding revenue than it gives up for one tee time a day. In fact, that one tee time costs the course about $38,000 per year, based on its average revenue per round and the number of rounds the weather makes available in this 12-month market. The revenue generated through GolfNow is about 3X the cost of that one tee time a day. We see that as an acceptable trade-off, with the caveat being, how might the course invest that same amount (or less) to achieve the same amount of revenue (or more)? In his emailed sales pitch, the GolfNow Market Sales Manager presented some data which indicated that, as a PMP client, this course would increase the sales of its own posted rounds. The math is somewhat flawed and vague, but that's not the point of this article. The list of PMP features purportedly drives this increase in revenues, and maybe none are as important as this, taken verbatim from the GolfNow email proposal: Own your own course inventory page, instead of having an- other PMP partner stealing market share of your inventory page on GolfNow you will h ave your own banner, and also have the opportunity to have your banner be placed on other non PMP courses in [your area]. "Stealing market share?" Or more to the point, "STEALING market share!" The implication is clear - a PMP client is awarded the opportunity and is positioned to siphon off business from other GolfNow, non-PMP fool...uh, clients. GolfNow's payoff for the muscle is that second tee time a day. Clemenza, DeVito, Santoro and Paulie Walnuts had it all wrong. In all fairness, we don't know if this language was cut and pasted from a GolfNow boilerplate, or if this Market Sales Manager came up with his own language. Regardless, the text resides over his signature as a GolfNow employee and as such is worthy of our comment. We've seen how PMP works. While reviewing the marketing efforts of a new client that uses GolfNow, we noticed odd times posted. This course has 10-minute tee intervals but every day showed 8:43 and 12:17 times available. Clicking on either time generated a pop-up message that the time was no longer available, but then displayed other similar times at other area courses. The PMP muscle was steering golfers to the favored courses. When we contacted GolfNow for an explanation for the two odd times, we were told it was a mistake, that the previous area manager must have inputted the wrong tee intervals. That sounded like a reasonable explanation - except every other time throughout the day was correct. The explanation held about as much water as Tessio's explanation of how he was helping the family. Within the proposal sent to our client we found a couple of other interesting tidbits. The course-posted tee times reserved on GolfNow received an average of 2.3 people per tee time. The unofficial national average is 2.7. And our client's course My editor thought we had written enough about GolfNow in 2013 and advised me to pursue other stories. I tried to oblige, I really did, but the big G just keeps churning out things that anger and bewilder the legions of golf course operators trying to eke out small profits in an increasingly difficult market. 4 The Pellucid Perspective January 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - January 2014

TOC
2013: Farewell vs. good riddance – Industry bends but doesn't break
GolfNow's PMP sales pitch: Join or be stolen from
College Golf Pass aims to close golf's participation "doughnut hole"
Gender-based golf promotions carry risk
Orlando – Golf Central USA
December golf weather impact: Significant down month closes year of downs
Development restraint buoys Miami golf market
GreatLife expands business model into 3rd state
The PGA Show – just like a box of chocolates

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