The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - 7

GOLF COURSE
TECHNOLOGY

Mobile Apps and MAC Addresses:
Is the golf industry paying attention?
By Stuart Lindsay

L

ast month, we talked about Internet Privacy or, more accurately, the lack thereof. As we look at the number of
golf mobile apps currently in use, we wonder how many
are "harvesting" data using MAC Addresses? Mobile Access
Control (MAC) addresses are used as the "locator" for the estimated 265 Million mobile devices in use in the US.
Virtually all the golf mobile apps are reliant on MAC addresses for basic functionality to determine the golfer is on a
specific property and precisely where they are, but how much of
this data is being used for analytics? We know that one major
golf mobile app developer is keeping data on how many times
a golfer uses the app, but we don't know if they are providing
regular reports to the course they developed the app for. We also
don't know if they are tracking golfers that download more than
one of their "course specific apps" and aggregating that data.
For apps that are "universal" and can be used
at multiple facilities, we don't know how much
analytic work is being done on the MAC address data, or how much those analytics are being shared with the facilities where the app is
used. It should be noted that it is usual for a
mobile app developer to get an email address
along with the MAC address that is unique to
the device being used.
As we said last month, if you have an email
and MAC addresses for an individual, the
amount of information about that individual
you can generate is almost limitless. When I
had one of these MAC address specialist startups run my email address through their system,
they came back with a picture, my demographic
Age segment and where I live - and that was essentially done in
seconds and they could have filled in more fields if they wanted.
On another site, you can link to your "Facebook" profile and
they will create OCEAN, and Jungian Profiles (one of 16) and
more in less than a minute. You can also provide a writing sample and get evaluated on that as well. For any of you who are
curious and want more information on OCEAN and Jung, feel
free to contact me.
When we researched the technology landscape in golf operations, we could only find one mobile app company that hinted
at consumer analytic compilation, but they did not specifically
identify MAC address data being used. We talked to another
and came away thinking they were not focused on MAC address data.
Of course, the use of this MAC address data will work best
in conjunction with POS systems that tie customers to transacwww.PellucidCorp.com

tions. While we were talking to one of the leading POS vendors
about some other stuff recently, he indicated that "MAC addresses are not even on our radar screen." However, he quickly
recognized the potential impact for opening up a whole new set
of analytics.
Based on our assessment, it's unlikely that many companies
in golf are using MAC addresses for more than a utility as part
of their mobile functions. It is our contention that the use of
MAC address data in all phases of customer service and marketing is exploding and presents an opportunity for golf course
operators to adopt some new technology relatively quickly to
deliver some very worthwhile customer service enhancements.
On the other hand, we would also suggest that this has to be
done very carefully. Most of this technology is downright scary

on a number of levels. An enterprising "universal" app aggregating MAC and email addresses across multiple facilities could
cause many of the same issues that plague 3rd Party relationships where "shared custody" can create a divergence of course
loyalty goals and the 3rd Party's desire to generate revenue no
matter where it comes from.
In the end, this relatively new type of analytics needs to be
embraced. It also presents an enormous opportunity to adapt
and shape how it could be standardized and used for the benefit
of as many industry participants as possible. It's a chance for
some industry standards that could pay big dividends if cooperation is properly guided to help all golf courses have a level
playing field to earn golfers' business.
Take a minute and click on this link. It's a better and funnier
example than I can write.
Contact Stuart Lindsay at edgehillgolf@msn.com
The Pellucid PersPecTive

7


http://www.adforum.com/creative-work/ad/player/34542829/the-heist/adobe http://www.adforum.com/creative-work/ad/player/34542829/the-heist/adobe http://www.PellucidcorP.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017

TOC
ClubCorp withdraws sale offer, Affeldt to retire as CEO
Will TopGolf “Save” Golf?
EZLinks and TeeOff.com experience system outage
Mobile Apps and MAC Addresses: Is the golf industry paying attention?
April golf weather impact: Nice “bounce” to open northern season
April golf weather impact: Nice “bounce” to open northern season
Operators haven’t lost heart in San Francisco
Trolling for Millennials
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - ClubCorp withdraws sale offer, Affeldt to retire as CEO
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - Will TopGolf “Save” Golf?
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - 5
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - EZLinks and TeeOff.com experience system outage
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - Mobile Apps and MAC Addresses: Is the golf industry paying attention?
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - April golf weather impact: Nice “bounce” to open northern season
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - 9
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - 10
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - 11
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - Operators haven’t lost heart in San Francisco
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2017 - Trolling for Millennials
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