Although the golf equipment market has been slack for several years, Callaway Golf Co. finds that a cross-channel education campaign boosts sales by persuading golfers to come into stores to trade in their old clubs, Brian Henley, chief marketing officer of CallawayGolfPreowned.com, tells InternetRetailer.com.
Henley’s biggest challenge has been getting owners of Callaway equipment to trade in their old clubs, which CallawayGolfPreowned.com refurbishes and sells online. “Demand was outpacing supply last year,” he says.
Henley learned that an effective cross-channel marketing campaign-using ads in golf magazines and local newspapers, commercials on cable TV’s Golf Channel, search engine marketing, online banner ads and e-mail to Callaway customers-required only an educational message telling golfers that their old clubs were worth a substantial credit toward new Callaway equipment.
“The big thing we’re doing is getting people to make a purchase on new clubs when they didn’t think they could afford one,” he says. “People will say they don’t want to spend $300 on a new Callaway driver, but when they learn they can get $100 on a trade-in, they’ll spend $200 to get the same club.”
Owners of Callaway equipment can trade in their old clubs at more than 3,500 retail stores. The retail store offers an immediate credit toward new Callaway clubs purchased in the store, then ships the used clubs to CallawayGolfPreowned.com.
Henley says the multi-channel arrangement is ideal for both new-club and used-club sales. Buyers of new Callaway clubs usually prefer to buy them in a store, where they can be fitted to the proper club, he says.
But because buyers of used clubs are more concerned about price, they’re more suited to online sales, Henley says. The used-club business also deals in a much larger range of inventory, because club styles change each year. In addition, CallawayGolfPreowned sells used clubs in three levels of condition, resulting in a broad inventory that needs a broad national audience.
“There’s no way to drive up the volume of used-club sales anywhere but on the Internet,” Henley says. “The web is perfect for reaching a national audience of people looking for a particular type of used club. So we’re using the Internet for what it’s ideal for, and we’re using brick-and-mortar retail for what it’s good for.”