Walking through the busy mall this holiday season, what’s the first thing that captures your attention? For some, it’s the store windows. For others, it’s the huge crowds of people. For me, it’s the realization that everybody is on their smartphone.
These days people don’t go anywhere without their smartphones. Smartphones are like the water or air of the 21st century: You just need them. Savvy marketers optimize our collective co-dependence on smartphones to drive sales. Savvy club managers do the same. In 2015 and beyond, they know where to find members…it’s on their smartphones.
From a marketing perspective, a custom club app is more optimal than email or web marketing because of the wide range of age demographics it reaches. Over 90-percent of American adults own a cell phone. While the Millennials are the generation with the highest percentage of smartphone users, Baby Boomers and the Greatest Generation are the fastest growing demographics of mobile users.
The high rates of smartphone use across all demographics mean that clubs must re-think their marketing strategies and focus on how to tailor the approach for every age demographic. The proven success of early 21st century marketing methods, like email blasts and expensive websites, is losing relevance daily. Don’t believe it? Consider this: 88-percent of all marketing emails go unread and the average webpage viewer spends less than a minute on your website - really.
So, what should a club manager do to reach the broadest base of current and potential members? The first step is developing your club’s app with a focus on hyper-relevancy, regardless of member demographic. The goal is for the club to live on the homescreen of a member’s devices, occupying the precious real estate that the world’s greatest retailers are fighting for. To do that, you need way more than links to your website. Give them a valuable experience and the gift of time; creating shortcuts to what they need to know and what they want to get. Then, provide engaging content. Now, the club has created a sticky bond.
Apps present two captivating opportunities to club managers. The first is the ability to customize offerings and target specific members and future members. The second is the opportunity to disseminate those offerings in unobtrusive and time-sensitive ways.
21st century consumers demand personalization. With an app, club managers can seamlessly tailor specific offers to targeted member segments quickly. For instance, a club manager could send a push notification to all families with young children (reminding them of the Breakfast with Santa this Saturday). In the same afternoon, a club manager could push out an invitation to the senior men’s group for a cigar and bourbon night in the men’s lounge.
Since 91% of people in the US have their mobile device within reach 24/7, club managers don’t have to worry about offers going unread, ending up in a spam filter or being quickly deleted from the email inbox. By allowing club app users to opt into receiving push notifications, clubs ensure they are sending relevant offers to members and potential members who are actually interested in receiving them.
Avoiding the inbox trashcan is an appealing reason to supplement your communication with a club app platform. One thing is certain: This is just the tip of the iceberg for the technological possibilities that smartphone apps present. If your club hasn’t developed its own custom app, the question is no longer why not, but when will it? The time is now.