We have long witnessed a battle in the hotel industry between hotels and OTAs. Some experts believe the Covid-19 crisis will lead to the victory of direct booking or at least a bigger share.
I don’t say we should deprive of third-party distribution channels, instead, strive to increase the share of direct booking on your golf club website or even at tee time marketplaces (e.g. Greenfee365).
An efficient ecosystem, booking engine, and interface on your website can help you to boost direct booking, but above all, to create a personalized customer experience.
Now it is very obvious that without true 1-on-1 personalization we will not be able to deliver relevance to our golf club members and guests neither to our employees plus gain long-term loyalty.
GolfBack & direct booking system
GolfBack is trying to give a proper and reliable ecosystem to this business challenge.
GolfBack was founded in 2020 by the owners of Brown Golf – John M Brown, CEO, Jason Harshbarger, CFO, Lee Arroyo, and four of its key employees.
They want to empower golf courses to take back key aspects of their business that have eroded over the years. This control has been lost through point-of-sale and third-party tee time distribution relationships which require barter/trade agreements, a standard practice in the golf technology landscape.
The intentions of GolfBack’s developers are:
- To give full access to your customer data – not just a name and email.
- They did not want their golf course customers remarketed to our competition.
- They wanted to set and own their lowest rate in the marketplace.
- To automate their processes and rely on real data.
- To maximize premium revenue opportunities on their busiest days.
- To grow its network through a direct booking system.
GolfBack has 4 patent-pending innovations which include:
- a weather pricing tool,
- an instant rewards program,
- automated promo code functionality,
- and strikethrough pricing.
These innovations coupled with the tools listed below.
- GolfBack websites are built with a search engine optimization focus, which is rooted in the foundation of the design.
- GolfBack’s CRM tool builds a detailed profile of your customer. This profile provides consumer behavior data on a level that golf courses rarely see. Every customer that books a tee time or is entered into your POS system will be entered into your CRM tool. It is a tool that ensures the continuous growth of your customer database and network.
- GolfBack’s email tool provides a bank of marketing automation sequences. These automated sequences scan detailed profiles in their CRM tool and distribute customer-specific communications at the right time to the right customer.
- Online booking engine:
- Daily Steals = aggressively priced tee times that your golf course fully controls and owns. This tool helps assist Clubs in giving incredible value to their customers which creates unmatched loyalty.
- Instant Rewards = options for customers to select instant rewards when booking a tee time on the platform. These rewards are controlled by the golf course and provide additional value to the customer while promoting additional spending in other revenue channels at the golf course.
- Automated Promo Codes = fully customizable promotion offerings that expand golf courses’ ability to retarget golfers and reward loyal customers.
- Dynamic Pricing Algorithms = constant automated review of tee sheet utilization with a focus on driving rate on premium days.
- Weather Algorithm = constant automated review of weather which ensures a golf course will maximize its rate based on premium weather conditions.
GolfBack: Opinion & comments
Since it is a new solution, it is a little bit hard to judge it. However, I was happy to find:
- Desire & intention of achieving highly personalized offers and communication;
- Marketing automatization;
- Dynamic pricing is the system’s primary purpose.
- Yield management.
- Instant rewards: I hope this will help to build a base of customers with emotional loyalty. Such loyalty is built on customer service, storytelling, trust, and philanthropy.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): creating search engine-friendly websites.
What I missed from their solution is the customizable benefits of their instant rewards.