Best Practices

Benefiting from competitive data

Plus Vision eyes your competition 24/7; use the intel to help maximize your rounds and revenue per round

It’s important to know what your competition is doing with their pricing and how much inventory they have at any given time. The only question is: “how do you get that information?”

You could call their pro shops under assumed names and ask for a number of tee times to see what’s available; drive by their parking lots to see how full they are; visit their websites on a regular schedule throughout the day and log what’s available and for what price. In any case, you would need to have a lot of free time on your hands to get all this accomplished.

For those without that kind of free time, GolfNow Plus Vision automates this data collection, monitoring your competition’s websites and capturing all publicly accessible data in real time for your consumption at your convenience.

“Our super-users of Plus Vision, both those who use our Plus teams that work daily on clients’ businesses and the clients themselves, make it a morning routine,” said Mike Hendrix, Vice President of Business Services for GOLF Business Solutions. “It’s simple, the layout is intuitive and easy to understand, and in a couple of minutes you can get what all of your competitors are doing today, tomorrow and the upcoming weekend, which typically are the four days that are most important to our clients.”

The importance of competitive data to overall revenue management really can’t be overstated. Brian Skena, Manager, Business Services, Plus – also a PGA Member – makes it an essential part of his work on behalf of his clients. “My team is responsible for the brand and revenue management of our clients, which means we manage their entire online presence — inventory, website, social, position in their market and helping golfers find them with the right products at the right price at the right time. Competitive analysis is a big piece of that puzzle.

For some, pricing the competition is the only consideration. “We have hundreds of clients who are hyper-focused on competitor pricing,” Hendrix said. “And that’s fine. They are running their businesses on their theories. I don’t personally subscribe to that kind of pricing policy.”

Skena agreed. Plus Vision is a tool that very quickly tells you where you stand against competitors; he pointed out. “That piece of information fits into the overall revenue management process. We do well for our clients by creating a good inventory and branding through the use of auto-pricing, which follows a set of rules based on a variety of data. All of that leads us to a certain price under certain conditions. It is not about a race to the bottom.”

In fact, it is about holding or even raising prices when the data indicates. “Typically what we see in Plus Vision use cases is an understanding when your competitors have little inventory left,” Hendrix said. “Now you can connect those dots and make sure you aren’t lowering prices when the inventory landscape indicates supply is low so demand for your product will be high.”

Plus Vision is one of the tools that can instill confidence in your decision making. Also, when employed with other revenue management weapons like auto-pricing, Skena pointed out another significant return for golf operations: “When they see the results, and we are driving more rounds, a story emerges about who the golfers are. We see a unique booker, a different kind of golfer who is responding to the actions we’re taking.

“We as an industry have been talking forever in terms of ‘if we can get each golfer that plays our course to return one additional time than usual, we’d have a record year,’” he continued. “That’s what these tools give us an opportunity to do. It’s a new world out there, and we have to evolve. Vision and the other revenue management tools are how we do it.”