Private Country Clubs are now seeing a beacon of hope of economic improvement in the luxury market. After many clubs lossing members during the down turn of the global economy their first reaction now is to attempt again to fill their dwindling membership roster. But how should they go about this? The answer to that question more than likely would come from within the club.
Listen to Membership
Many times a private club is better off finding out how their members feel about the club before they go about marketing the club to outsiders. The problem here is how to go about finding out what the members feel about the club. Obviously surveys are not trusted forms of information since there are so many ways to message the results to indicate what the current leadership wants to hear.
One solution many private clubs seem to not be interested in initiating, or have not thought of, is to developing a representative style organization of their management staff to keep the internal issues that kill external marketing campaigns at bay.
New Way of Doing Things
This new approach to private club operations management is based on one member of the management staff, or board of governors, representing 100 (depending on the size of the club) members of the club. Yes, this would be a fulltime position and to be taken very seriously since this representative will have their hands full.
A representative type of communication allows for the members to have an ear to the ownership through their designated representative. This fast track form of communication would offer the ownership or management knowledge of the memberships morale instantaneously.
Members Are the Customers
The members are the people who use the club and they can tell the club’s management team where the problems are in the club that need to be taken care of before they become a larger problem. That is, if the club’s management team wants to listen. The members are also the people who pay the club’s bills, so there is significant risk if they are not listened to.
Two Way Communication
The representative style of communication also allows the representative to convey messages to his assigned members in a more personal and face-to-face manner. This can soften up any bad news a club might have to offer more so than the member receiving an email or newsletter. It also stimulates debate and gives the membership a feeling of ownership of potential solutions they could offer.
Promoting in the club’s marketing collateral this style of communication between the ownership and membership shows innovation. It allows the club’s marketing team to be more effective in attracting new members by showing how the membership is connected to how things are managed at the club. The fact each member is assigned a club representative to help them adjust to the club’s culture should be more appealing to potential members.
I am sure there are a number of other issues private country clubs need to address internally before attempting to market the club to potential members.
Next up… I address what Private Country Club have to do to appeal to the New more fast paced generations.