Bill McBride, the president and COO of Club One, said the question club owners should be asking themselves in 2013 is, “How will I respond to changes in how members consume information?”
According to McBride, members are consuming information differently — facts about clubs are more readily available via websites, mobile apps and consumer reviews, and if you don’t stand out, you’re going to get lost in the crowd. “What used to be five data points to make a decision, is now by virtue of information availability, 10,” explained McBride. “Third-party information is dramatically more relevant than a business’ propaganda. If you aren’t relevant and transparent you will be dismissed. Member knowledge is a game changer in how we communicate. Simple, clear, objective relevancy wins.”
In 2012, Club One communicated its objectives and message clearly with members via a newly optimized website, a user-friendly mobile app, a strategic social media presence and a streamlined focus on the brand’s core. However, McBride said technology shouldn’t be where clubs start to build their brand. You have to begin with a clear message. “Technology without clarity and strategy makes little sense,” said McBride. “It all begins with objectives, core competencies, messaging and leveraging your brand with technology.
“Be clear about your objective,” continued McBride. “Learn all you can about technological tools and platforms that can achieve your objectives. Don’t be afraid to jump in, as this is a very iterative process. If you know referrals work, find a way to amplify your referral network with technology. If you know that testimonials affect your SEO rankings and results, find technological solutions to help drive online testimonials. If you know that your advocates/net promoters generate business for you, find ways to leverage their ambassadorship.”