Remember, light and shadow never stand still

I’d be lying if I said I turned up to work this morning with quaffed hair, a groomed beard, a pair of high tops and skinny jeans, but we’re aware in business that we have to move with the times. In the fashion stakes, I might not be 2016, but I firmly believe that the key to business is not standing still.

In our business a funky, multi-coloured computer doesn’t necessarily change what we produce from it. Greeting clients with a dickie bow and a kilt isn’t a requirement. Fundamentally, we sell golf holidays to the UK and Ireland. As long as we get back to people in an efficient and timely manner and give them a holiday to remember, job done! Or, is it?

The D words in the Morton Golf Holidays office right now are ‘diversification’ and ‘development’.

We have a passion for golf in the UK and Ireland and we have been successful offering just that. We have a very loyal and fantastic client base that kindly talk fondly of their experiences and recommend us to their pals. But, what if they, or their pals only want to play in Scotland once. They’ve played Ballybunion and fancy heading somewhere a little warmer. Their friends aren’t that fond of golf, they want to sightsee, or they simply want to try something different. After all our hard work over the years, would it be remiss of us to not develop and diversify? In marketing speak, how can we retain the clients we have worked so hard to get in the first place?

But, how can we develop and diversify without diluting the message of Morton Golf. Morton Golf stands for reputation, efficiency and integrity. We don’t want to lose that simply by whimsically moving to areas we don’t know as much about.

It has created many moments of debate in Kinross, but we’re not the first to go through this debate. After all, the decision to offer white chocolate Toblerone and not just milk chocolate was made for a reason!

Not wanting to go all textbook, but the Ansoff Growth Matrix ( sums up the situation perfectly. As I said, the debate is there, who knows what’s right or wrong? However, it brings me back to my first point, we appreciate we can’t stand still. It can’t just be business as usual.

Without giving too much away, from a Morton Golf perspective, our –

  1. Market penetration is our existing golf business to the UK and Ireland. Mainly from the North American, South African and European inbound market, but also our emerging markets of South America and Australia.
  1. Market development provides us with opportunities to concertedly promote to our emerging markets and further afield, including Asia. Golf holidays don’t solely need to be sold to the North American market!
  1. Product development will test our creativity, allowing us to keep selling and marketing different products to our existing clients.
  1. Diversification will allow us to move away from our traditional products and destinations, thus opening up a new market at the same time.

Where do we start?

We don’t want to spread our product so wide that we lose our identity. We don’t want to target so many markets we lose our focus. We don’t want to neglect our specialties! But, we can’t stand still.

Our firm belief is that as long as we stay true to the identity of Morton Golf and take gradual steps we can both develop and diversify.

We have a strong brand identity. Development and diversification can simply act to strengthen that identity. The loyalty and recommendations from our clients will only grow.

What we do know in the first instance is that we can strengthen our business through an enhancement of the brilliant product we already have on offer. Scotland and Ireland have more to offer than just golf, so let’s sell it.

For example, it makes complete sense in Scotland that we promote our beautiful country in diverse ways. It is natural that whisky can be combined with golf, food can then be combined with whisky and before you know it there is a complete refocus, a diversification.

Taking another step, we can look further afield. If you are heading to South Africa, for example, it’s unlikely you are simply going just to play golf. Combining golf with safari is another example of how we want to diversify and appeal to our current client base, aswell as growing new ‘followers’. We will remain true to our golf routes, but there is no harm in tagging golf onto something entirely different.

Closer to home, Spain and Portugal as golf destinations allow us to explore other product options. The cities of Lisbon, Malaga and Barcelona can easily offer a visit to a vineyard, some retail therapy, a tour of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or a round of golf on a European Tour course. Valderrama, PGA Catalunya and Praia D’El Rey aren’t bad places to start!

There are too many options and we will ask for feedback from our current clients, but it’s a big world out there. At Morton Golf Holidays we are looking forward with much excitement to the next step in our development and diversification, combining our number one passion of golf with all the other amazing experiences on offer today.

Feel free to comment on any examples of similar ‘diversifications’ in travel and tourism. Here’s one we are working on which will be of great interest to a large number of clients.

Whisky Tours, Tastings and Dinners

Morton Golf Holidays has been in business since 1989. The business has grown year on year by recommendations, repeat business and building on the reputation of providing memorable golfing holidays for clients. At all times clients are dealt with on a personal and professional basis ensuring they achieve their dream golfing holiday.