Sunday, July 08, 2007

Golfers: They are Not online, YET

Currently, in an effort to take my business to more golfers, I am out talking to business people, both online and offline, to get their take on my business plan.

So far I have talked to over 30 CEO’s, Senior VP’s, Owners, Founders, Employees and Retirees of businesses ranging from online direct marketing to General Counsel for one of the top law firms of America.  I asked them to give me their take on business golf and golf online in general.

To qualify this research, the people I am talking to interest level in golf ranges from 10% being rabid non-golfers to 10% being professional golfers...and all in between.

To keep from boring you with all of the statistical data and get closer to the bottom-line, the over whelming statement that has caught my attention is that 98% of these people say they have absolutely no interest in going online to find out about anything about golf.  

Now, I realize that 30 people is not a widespread representation of the world of business nor golf.  I took that into account when I asked these people the questions and asked them another question that provided me more data. 

I asked each person that out of the people that socialize with how many of them talk about being online looking for golf or they know for a fact that they are going online to visit with other golfers or looking for information on golf online.

Only the non-golfers remarked on seeing golfers online but they had no interest in communicating with them since they were golfers. 

The rest of the people I have talked to (and still looking for more to talk to) say they had no associates who they have overheard saying they were online looking for golf information.

Now, the spectrum of the number of people my talking has covered is broadening some.  So the questions is now, Who are these people who are joining the many golf sites that are popping up online?

That is a good question and from what I have seen from joining over 20 golf sites, there are some good people in these groups but they are small in number.  There are also many more in these groups that have alternative motives contrary to socializing with anyone in the groups. 

OH Yes, I have been challenged by the ‘MySpace wannabes’ who say they have 10’s of thousands of members which cannot be verified, so I want get into that.  Even if that was a true number it does not come close to being a significant amount of the total 47 million golfers in the world.  There I go, providing you with boring statistics...

Recently, my interviews have lead me to talk to a partner of an advertising firm who provided me with information from a market study his firm did for a golf related product.   The client was interested in promoting the product online. 

Their study showed that there was not a significant number of REAL golfers, (being someone who plays golf that would understand the benefits of the products) to make it worth ANY WHILE to spend any money or time promoting the product outside of their obligatory web-site.

This report is so far what has driven home my thinking all along.  It also confirms that the golfers who are online are so consumer savvy they only are interested in things that have a larger Offline presence than an online presence.  Meaning, what they see on the golf course is what they go online looking for...

However, the report went further to profile more about who the golfers are that are online.  It did clarify that the information was gathered from interviews made with people who SAID they were online or were members of an online golf group.

60% of respondents are in the 18 to 25 year old range.  98% of that group was only online looking for a data or someone else to play golf with locally.  Out of the remainder of the group, 10% were in the 35 to 50 year group (the group that has the income of interest to the economy) and 98% of them were only online to find golf travel destinations or to book golf trips to golf resorts.

Out of the report there were 3% of the golfers who said they were business owners and came online looking for news on golf and golf related discussions.

So there you have it, over 80% of the golfers online are online just to find a date or book a golf trip.  This now explains why there are so many of these sites popping up.

So what is all of this telling me?  What do you think it is telling me?

I guess you will have to stay tuned to find out more about what else I am finding that effects golf online.



Scot Duke

President & Business Golf Mentor

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC


My Blogs: Business Golf

                The Duke Consults

                Is This Really All Worth It?



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