Web Presence for Golf Professionals

Ryan McCabe, Co-Founder of Ocoos

08/01/2013 12:25 PM
Total Views: 3482

It has been thought that you must create your own unique website in order to be visible on the web, but those times are changing. This mass customization of websites has led to an overcrowding and ultimately cluttered mess on the web. This article argues that building websites using this model is very counterproductive for the vast majority of Golf Teaching Professionals. There are three significant reasons for the ineffectiveness of mass customization of websites:


  1. Maintenance Costs:  When a Golf Pro or course manager builds a website, either directly or through web developers, they have implicitly committed to the lifetime costs of maintaining that website. There are a lot of reasons for updating a website, particularly in the service industry, and these updates must be made on a timely manner. If you are required to pay extra for additional edits to your website, this can get very expensive fast. For a Golf Course or Teaching Pro’s website to be relevant, it must be updated constantly.

  2. Opportunity Costs:  When things need to be changed on your website, they need to be change right away. There is a time and a cost associated with having to go to a 3rd party to make small adjustments. You need to be able to manage the page on your time. The problem with this in the past has been the quick changes in technology. As a golf professional, you are not keeping up with these changes and can easily be left behind.

  3. Business-to-Business collaboration:  With different companies building their own unique websites, businesses cannot easily integrate their respective marketing messages to create a material impact in the marketplace. Also, it is  impossible for golf professionals to partner with like businesses such as Tennis Instructors or Personal Trainers. Thus, customization actually leads to the loss of massive business opportunities for small businesses.


What about solutions from companies such as Web.com, GoDaddy, Vistaprint, or Wix.com ?


Companies such as GoDaddy, Vistaprint, Wix.com andWeb.com increasingly have offered “do-it-yourself” tools. While these tools certainly aid in the ease-of-development of websites, they fundamentally do not change the idea of mass customization and often are not as simple as advertised.


What is the solution?


In a word, the answer is platforms.  Platforms differ from toolkits in that the technology company builds the core functionality that can be personalized by each business. Examples of successful platforms include Facebook, Linkedin, and Quickbooks.  Today, golf professionals have access to platforms such as Ocoos for their marketing function. These platforms have the following characteristics:


  1. Standard web presence driven by personalized information submitted by the customer themselves

  2. Simple methods for upload information, pictures, videos, etc.

  3. Plenty of ways to make it work for your business, such as ecommerce, online scheduling, linking social media, analytics, etc.


How do platforms compare to the toolkit approach?


  1. In a platform, the consumers of the website gain a standard look and feel. This contrasts favorably with the mass customization of the toolkit model, where customers have a potentially haphazard and unfamiliar experience.

  2. In a platform, golf professionals have access to a deep functionality at a very affordable price.

  3. In a platform, maintenance costs are minimized since they are shared over all users. For toolkits, the maintenance costs can be rather large.

  4. In a platform, opportunity costs are eliminated because new Internet technologies (like instagram) can be integrated in a very efficient manner, unlike toolkit approaches that require each individual site to integrate it.

  5. Finally, the platform approach allows for a standard base upon which business-to-business marketing integration can occur.


Do these platforms remove the need for digital marketers?


No. Actually, the opposite is true.  With these platforms, digital marketers can focus on core marketing much more efficiently than they currently can. Additionally, they can operate with a platform that can scale efficiently over time.