Hazeltine National Golf Club is challenging the common belief that golf is in decline. Instead, this world-renowned golf club has seen steady membership growth month over month. Consistently ranked among the top private golf clubs in the United States and the host of the 2016 Ryder Cup, Hazeltine has a compelling story to share and, since working with StoryTeller, the club has experienced unprecedented growth.
“In 2013 we added more new members than any other year in the club’s 50-year history,” boasted Ruth Glaser, the club’s Director of Sales and Marketing. The club is on target in 2014 to surpass that number.
Glaser is an innovative and cutting edge marketer who understands the marketing landscape for all business has changed dramatically with the advent of online search. She’s also acutely aware of the unique marketing challenges that are saddled to conservative and traditional brands such as private golf clubs.
“We don’t advertise like you would a normal product or service,” Ruth explains. “There are many reasons for that, one has to do with perception of the brand.”
Instead, in late 2012, Glaser realized that to have uncommon success, her practices also needed to be uncommon, so she bucked tradition and turned to digital marketing solutions. Her vision led to a Hazeltine blog that would act as a resource for prospective and current members and the general public searching for a venue for their wedding, gala or business event. Not only has Hazeltine helped people with answers to their questions, it has positioned itself as an industry expert and trusted advisor for its prospective members and clientele.
“Rather than overtly sell to people, we want to engage them in a conversation,” says Ruth.
With an engaged prospect, the Hazeltine sales team increased its lead conversion rate by positioning additional content for its visitors. Glaser pushed the envelope by offering interested website visitors valuable information - the club’s membership initiation fees and monthly dues options in exchange for a name and an email address. By trading this historically coveted information for personal data like an email address, the club generated unprecedented growth in leads and new members.
Glaser concludes, “what we’ve seen with our inbound marketing campaigns that StoryTeller has helped us to implement, have resulted in the best years for membership that we’ve ever had. And I attribute that success to our inbound marketing campaigns.”