Case Study: Golf Town – Driving customer experience

4 minute read
Golf Town is the largest specialty golf retailer in Canada, with 47 stores and an online presence at For more than 20 years, they have offered the quality gear, clubs, clothes and accessories that golf lovers need to make the most of the game.

The company’s stores are more than places to make purchases. Golf Town gives visitors the chance to hit balls in their bays and putt on their greens, to road-test purchases before committing and to ask questions of the expert sales force, who share their customers’ love of the game.

Golf Town’s strategy for a challenging course

Golf Town is investing in enhancing e-commerce operations, so maximizing the online experience is a priority. The company also knows how important it is to connect with customers by whatever means necessary – whether at home, online, in store, out of home or on the golf course. Golf Town wants to meet its customers wherever they want to be engaged.

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Being active in multiple media channels can make it more of a challenge to bring shoppers through the doors of brick-and-mortar locations for an immersive in-store experience. So, while traffic to is strong and steady, the company wondered if more visitors could be converted to in-store shoppers for the peak golf season. They also wanted non-Golf Town golfers to experience the benefits of shopping in their stores.

Direct mail piece for Golf Town featuring their line of footwear.Connecting for a better customer experience

Aligning customer experience with marketing strategy requires an integrated approach to data and an optimized channel mix that makes every customer touchpoint count. Fred Lecoq is Vice-President of Marketing and E-commerce at Golf Town and Sporting Life. In an interview with Strategy Online, he’s quoted as saying that he believes retailers need to play with being transactional, functional and emotional. “If you’re not playing with these three, you will at some point disconnect with customers.”

Teeing up a data-driven customer-acquisition solution

A compelling website can generate robust traffic and sales, but could Golf Town convert online browsers to in-store shoppers? The sports retailer launched a triggered marketing campaign to find out.

Golf Town identified the most popular of its product categories – clubs, balls, shoes, apparel and bags. For nearly three months, visitors to those product pages were greeted by a pop-up window asking them to share their location information. If they clicked yes, their was location.

At the end of each business day, addresses were collected  of those people who agreed and printed 6 x 9 in. cards based on each of the five product categories. Each card contained an offer of $25 off a $150 in-store purchase or $50 off a $250 in-store purchase. Within three days of browsing the site, each visitor who opted to share their location information received one of those offers in their mailbox.

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And the active golfers who weren’t shopping at Golf Town? To track them down, the company teamed up with Pelmorex and used the follow me function on its weather app to aggregate user locations in real time. Golf Town was able to geofence their stores and Canadian golf courses. Pelmorex analyzed the data using their Location Insights platform, revealing golfers who didn’t visit Golf Town stores.

Golf Town was already using direct mail media as an effective way to reach customers and drive business. Typically, when a new customer makes a purchase, they’re asked for their postal code, which is then used to determine where to send flyers. By partnering with Pelmorex, Golf Town hoped to sharpen its geolocation targeting and send flyers to neighbourhoods with the greatest clusters of “golfing non-Golf Town customers,” as Lecoq describes them. It was a move that helped the sports retailer turn flyers from a retention tactic into an acquisition tool.

Driving results with direct mail

For the retargeting campaign, 40,000 cards were sent via Personalized MailTM. The offer could be redeemed at the Golf Town location closest to their address. The conversion rate was 3.17 per cent, representing sales revenue of just over $158,000. “That, in my opinion, is a great performance, knowing this was an in-store-only play,” says Lecoq.

Redemptions continued throughout the 11-week campaign. That constant activity confirms that, when combined with the right offer, delivered at the right time to the right audience, direct mail grabs attention and drives action. “We were able to determine that retargeting doesn’t need to be seen as an online-only marketing tactic,” says Lecoq.

With Pelmorex, Golf Town was able to work out where flyers weren’t getting the results they wanted. They reduced distribution and shifted attention to the new areas the weather app data had identified. By targeting flyer distribution more effectively, Golf Town saw double-digit sales growth immediately following the campaign.

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