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Exeter Golf and Country Club - improving sales and marketing effectiveness

The Clubhouse - Exeter Golf and Country Club

The Clubhouse - Exeter Golf and Country Club


Exeter Golf and Country Club is one of the South West’s leading sports and social clubs, providing a wide range of leisure activities for its members. Unusually, it is also the members who ultimately are responsible for the running of the Club.

The Club is managed by a limited company, which in turn is administered by a Board of directors - all members of the Club. Each member is also a shareholder in the limited company. Whilst this organization ensures all members have a say in the running of the Club, it’s fair to say that over time the focus had shifted from attracting new members and improving profitability to the day to day running of the Club.

The Need

The Club approached Total Marketing Solutions to help develop a more focused approach to sales and marketing across all functions – from leisure membership to conferences and banqueting. Whilst the Club offered excellent leisure facilities, it was struggling to attract the desired number of new members and also to develop improved revenues from its hospitality facilities. There was a risk that future revenues would not be sufficient to fund the various improvements required to maintain the high standard of services expected by members. Furthermore, the threat of a new competitor opening nearby also placed increased importance on the need to attract new members to enable the business to grow.

The Solution

TMS firstly analysed feedback from lapsed and existing members across all areas to build a clear picture of member expectations and the reality of membership at the Club. We also carried out a series of in-depth interviews with all the various leisure and sporting sub-committees within the Club to ensure all views were represented and taken into account.

Given the Club’s unique structure, it was key to firstly ensure a full understanding of the issues facing each member’s section was gained. It was then key that each group was invited to provide feedback on the various solutions proposed to gain commitment from the outset. Amongst some of the solutions proposed were:

-    Development and implementation of a 5-year marketing plan, focusing on the key areas of new membership acquisition and the development of conference and banqueting business.

-    The appointment of a dedicated Sales & Marketing Manager to help drive the business forward. TMS was involved in the whole recruitment process, from initial job brief, interviews to successful appointment.

The result

“Mark really took the time to work with all the different stakeholders within the Club to gain their commitment to what we were trying to achieve and then to present the solutions. We have a unique organization within the Club, but we were really impressed with how Mark successfully brought all parties on board.

Thanks to our new Sales & Marketing Manager, we are now already implementing many of the elements of the Sales and Marketing Plan Mark developed. We are starting to see real results in both new member numbers and the amount of new business we are attracting in banqueting. Overall, we’ve been very impressed by Mark’s ability to look at our business and then develop real strategies which are now bringing results.”

Martin Halse, General Manager