Golf marketing lessons from Apple

What golf marketing lessons from Apple can the golf industry learn from the record profits posted by Apple?

Golf marketing lessons from AppleThis week Apple posted the highest ever recorded quarterly profits for a company. The figure was a wopping $18 billion or £11.9 billion and that came primarily by selling 74,500,000 iPhones!

That’s a huge amount of money.

You could buy:

3,765,000,000 Titleist Pro V1 golf balls


34,000,000 Callaway Big Bertha Alpha drivers


Phil Mickelson’s home in Santa Fe and 2,535 others like it

But on a more serious note, there are some serious lessons to be learnt. Apple apportions it’s record figures on the continuing uptake of the iPhone. Sales in China have increased dramatically to say the least, and in the rest of the world, people are still happy to choose the premium priced product over the rest of the market.

5 golf marketing lessons from Apple

Lesson #1 – people will pay for quality

That quality might be real, or it might be perceived, but people are still willing to pay top dollar for the right product from the right brand. What message is being sent out to golfers when they find a new golf course on a tee time brokerage website and it’s massively discounted?

Lesson #2 – emerging markets

Who would have thought that a country like China, with all it’s technical and manufacturing know how would want to buy a non native product? The market in China is massive, crack that market and you quite literally have the world at your feet

Lesson #3 – don’t confuse the public

Apple have an iPhone, it comes in a couple of colours and variants, but they are essentially all the same product. Samsung, it’s nearest rival, launches new phones every few months and currently has over 16 Android models. Club manufacturers seem to have taken the Samsung product marketing model to heart, and are paying for it in the wallet with golfers getting increasingly frustrated at the ‘arms race’. I believe that niche manufacturers with single club product portfolios will see the best growth. That is until the corporate boys wise up and go on a spending spree buying small brands to grab back the market share.

Lesson #4 – customers make the best evangelists

Admittedly, Apple ‘fan boys’ can be the most annoying dinner party guests. But one thing is for sure. They love Apple and will tell the world about it. Your members and guests want to tell the world about the great time that they had when playing your course. But if you fail to provide them with the means to engage you in the conversation then you’ve missed the point. Help your ‘fan boys’ to share your great offer.

Lesson #5 – there’s an app for that

There are coaching apps, and swing analysis apps, and scorecard app, and course planner apps, and apps that interact with your clubs. There are apps for every aspect of the game we all love. And why? Because everyone has a smartphone. You can’t carry on banning phones from the course, you can’t bury your head in the sand.

And finally…

A lesson for Apple from the golf industry

The new Apple Watch is rumoured to have a battery life of just 2.5 hours. Most golfers moan about the poor battery performance of the iPhone when using a course planner app on the course. There is no way anyone is going to get the Apple Watch with a view to using it instead of a GPS watch with a battery that lasts way less than the average round of golf.

Do you agree with these golf marketing lessons from Apple?

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