I had a very interesting chat with Ben Goffen of Optimal Swing Clinic. Ben offers a pretty well differentiated product, and he wanted a bit of ‘completely free marketing advice’ to get him going. Ben is a fully qualified doctor of chiropractic, corrective exercise specialist and is Titleist Performance Institute qualified.
You read that last bit right, Titleist Performance institute qualified. Ben is a fully paid up chiropractor, but he has developed a product that specialises in the problems golfers face. Clearly a subject close to my heart! And before giving Ben my views of how he can market himself and the Optimal Swing Clinic, it only seemed fair, as a pretty average golfer, that I try the service out for myself.
This isnt really about golf, honest
This isn’t a golf blog (who said thank goodness for that?!) so I’ll skip the intricate detail. But I was certainly impressed by Ben’s approach. As is usually the case if you go to see a chiropractor Ben started off with a thorough investigation of which way I could bend and which way I couldn’t and how much flexibility I had in various joints, that sort of thing. Ben was professional and proficient and it was a very relaxing undertaking with no strain on my part at all.
But then Ben’s service comes into its own. Because its then that his vast knowledge of the skeletal muscular system in the body, and the bio mechanics of the golfer come to the fore (ahem)
Each of the issues I face as a potential single figure golfer were expressed in terms of the physical limitations of my current physique and fitness level. To say it was an eye opener is to understate it.
Put it this way. It seems we have traced a hook in my swing, which is a technical golf terms that means I inadvertently move the ball in the air from right to left – but not in a good way, down to a little finger injury I suffered as a rugby player!
The instability in the joint of the little finger was forcing the grip of the club into the front couple of fingers of my left hand. Bad for golf certainly, but also almost impossible to spot. Not one single golf pro (and I’ve worked with some of the best ones) spotted this, and neither did I. Fascinating.
And now, the Marketing bit…
Fascinating, and certainly for the right potential client, worth paying decent amounts of money for. In other words a terrific product for golfers. And add into the mix that Ben also specialises in helping golfers play free from pain, as well as from a performance perspective, and you can see he has a real winner.
But in terms of marketing and communications, it’s an extremely complex message. I literally had to under go the actual tests to understand the depth of the analysis and the quality of the product, as well as, and this is crucial for a product like this, before I believed that it was a product that would work for me, a basic, average golfer. Not a semi pro or someone with a huge ambition to be the next Tiger Woods.
Ben was really struggling to get the message out there
He has made some great strides in partnering up with some other related golf businesses like various golf courses, and I suggested he powers that up a bit by reaching out to the professionals as well. In terms of helping a player, a course of lessons or an analysis by a PGA qualified professional COUPLED with an Optimal Swing Clinic analysis of their bio mechanical ability has the potential to revolutionise their golf game – no doubt.
But the question remains, how can you reach the time starved and attention deficient target market about this really complicated but extremely valuable service? And explain it in sufficient detail to really ‘sell’ the product? After all, he can’t demonstrate it to everyone in the way he did with me.
If ever there was a marketing problem that needed a content based solution its this one. I’ve just taken around 600 words to explain Ben service, and I think if he were to communicate to his target market in a similar way he would get the message across far more easily.
Ben needs to write a blog and put it at the centre of the marketing effort. This would allow him to get those multiple and complex messages over in as many words and paragraphs as he needs. There aren’t many forms of advertising that allow that level of flexibility.
Secondly, by utilising his deep professional knowledge in this way he also positions himself as what is called a thought leader in marketing terms, for his category. Becoming famous for writing about the subject pretty much guarantees that people will also associate with you as the leading practitioner of your category too.
And thirdly, given the ability of social media to specifically target particular types of people, he can quickly build an audience that are likely to be in the market for his product.
A quick Twitter search of people tweeting about golf, or the armies of people following the Wales Open or other famous golf brands are a fertile breeding ground for potential customers On the fairly safe assumption that people following the Wales Open are ‘into’ golf, and the typical habit of Twitter users to ‘follow back’ people that follow them, means a list of dedicated and specifically targeted potential customers is quickly harvested.
Once again: Social Media isn’t Free
I’ve written about this before, but while this is a pretty straight forward strategy and can result in quick wins, it does take time. Ben himself, or some one equally expert is going to need to write the blogs that need to be at the centre of his website Someone will also need to not only find the potential customers via the various social media channels that are available but also interact with them to ensure the creation of a real community.
That takes a lot of time and tremendous dedication. Added to the demands of running a business, it’s no wonder some people never are able to find the time to do it.
But the benefits for this sort of approach are enormous. Thought leadership, the explanation in detail, of the complex product and the ability to specifically target your potential customers is a massive boon to any business.
You just need to find the time or resources to be able to do it!
What do you think? Have you any more advice for Ben? Let me know here in the comments below or email me on [email protected]