ABC of Marketing for Club Executive

2 August 2017

Marketing is the set of activities a club performs to communicate with customers, clients and the local community to deliver and exchange value. These activities are broad but include your website and online presence, themed campaigns, customer service, advertising and promotion, sponsorship and events, social media, community involvement, branding and signage.

How your management team coordinates these activities has a significant and direct impact on your club's success and financial performance. Marketing campaigns are designed to attract local patrons to visit your club - for example embarking on a campaign to boost your lunchtime patronage or your in-house gym membership. It is important that staff also accept feedback and talk to customers to ensure repeat business.

As a club committee member, it is crucial that you understand the essential role marketing plays in the business. You could be offering a superior member experience, customer service, entertainment and dining options - but you need to let your members know this! This builds local brand awareness and engages people, increases sales, drives membership numbers and grows the business, which is what being an active club committee member is about.

Marketing in Clubs

Is you Club's Marketing Plan Delivering Results?

As a committee member you have a unique opportunity to be involved in assessing your club's marketing plan to ensure it is effective.

Your club's marketing plan is a blueprint for commercial success in consultation with the club management team.  It outlines your club's core messages, key customer audiences, objectives and potential activities to achieve growth over a particular time frame, usually a minimum of one year.  These objectives should directly tie into the club's overarching business and financial goals.

Whilst formal, a marketing plan should also be flexible to ensure you can take advantage of changes that inevitably arise within the marketplace, allowing you to shift where you invest, what you execute and how your staff react and manage.  It is important to understand that while marketing is vital to your club, it can also be expensive and subjective.  A strong marketing plan should aim to effectively and efficiently support business goals.

As a committee member you should be asking:

Who are we primarily targeting? Ensure your team has a clear, informed and unified picture of who the club's customers actually are.

How are we reaching current and new customers? Certify that the strategy correctly addresses the acquisition of new customers and pays sufficient attention to retaining current patrons.

How are we tracking results? Marketing activities are all well and good, but it's the educated predictions and measurable results that determine the difference between success and failure.  Learning from previous results is imperative.

Where should we be strengthening our efforts? It's easy for marketing to become mundane and routine, so asking what campaigns are providing the best return on investment and brand engagement is important for committee members to keep marketing focused and effective.  As a committee member, you don't need to be looking over the shoulder of your management team as they conduct their initiatives.  It is, however, your responsibility to be actively involved in the development, assessment and monitoring of your club's marketing plan to ensure its continued appeal and viability.

(SOURCE: Australian Marketing Institute, ClubLIFE June 2017)

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