May 15, 2018

Mary Hafeman: Study Your Customers

Mary Hafeman, PGA & LPGA, won the 2016 PGA of America National Player Development Award. She teaches golf at Missing Links Golf Course & Driving Range, in Mequon, Wisconsin, and at Deercreek Country Club, in Jacksonville, Florida.

Mary Hafeman on the importance of studying your customers:
Knowing your customer is critical for long-term success at your facility. If you are trying to appeal to a new demographic, it is absolutely critical that you understand their preferences. This will enable you to create a terrific program that will engage your targeted customer. I have spent a lot of time on a marketing plan by doing due diligence learning and understanding my current clients, my competition, and the diverse marketplace of people that have shown an interest in golf. Once you understand the target audience’s wants and needs, it is time to create an engaging program that fits their needs. I think it’s important to learn a lot about who they are and be willing to put yourself in their shoes. That enables me to construct a program that is fun, interactive, and safe for them. I think it is imperative to read marketing and other industry information on the diverse groups of people that play golf such as the Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials. Find out what their likes and dislikes are, so you can design player development programs that they will like and stick with.

Mary Hafeman on the business impact of studying your customers:
Learning and understanding market segments enables you to relate to them.  The more you learn about their preferences – you can market to their schedules, spending habits, and other factors much more effectively. The impact for me has been increased rounds of golf and consistent seasonal participation in golf programs. My company’s revenue has consistently grown from 10 to 25 percent each year.  The owner of Missing Links has been amazed at the diverse transformation in demographics at our club over the past three years. This contributed to an increase of five to 10 percent income each year.  Beginner golf club sales has been increasing, which had previously been non-existent.  Now we are stocking golf clubs at a variety of price points in men’s, women’s and left- handed clubs. These additional revenue sources have allowed me to add staff to accommodate the additional golfers. Ultimately, these positive changes are largely related to our ability to understand the golfers desires.