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Bear Creek Case Study

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Case Study 1: Bear Creek

Dan Shay and George Patton formed a partnership and began developing their dream golf range. Their dream range and financial expectations fell short after the initial construction and first year of business. Martha Rawles presented Dan and George with a marketing plan that exposed the weaknesses of their golf operation. The marketing plan revealed a strong need for an advertising plan and expansion to cater to a greater segment of the golf market.

Situation Analysis:

Bear Creek must consider expanding to other marketing segments and where to put more resources into advertising. There is a growing interest of golf nationally and especially in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Dallas has an abundant supply of customers in all market segments. The geographic location permits business operations 10 months out of the year. Unfortunately there is also considerable competition in the area including both high and low budget ranges with varying services. Dan and George have a potential edge over the competition because they offer the only Class A PGA level instruction in the area. During the first year, Dan and Shay suffered from incomplete facilities, neglecting potential customer groups and overlooking potentially profitable opportunities. Now Dan and George must implement an aggressive advertising campaign and acquire new resources to appeal to a greater majority of the potential customer base.

Market Segments:

Serious golfers - Serious golfers are competitive, frequent players, and big spenders when it comes to improving their game. Serious golfers account for 9 percent of the total golfing population.

Frequent golfers - Frequent golfers enjoy the game and play when possible. They combine business with golf and take lessons to improve their game. Frequent golfers account for 29 percent of the total golfing population.

Occasional golfers - Occasional golfers are generally not skilled players and only play when invited. They would play more often if their economic situation permitted it. Occasional golfers make of 62 percent of the total golfing population.

Evaluation to date of the serious golfing segment:

Product - Bear Creek is currently offering a golf range facility and a service for instruction. The golf range lacked many of the amenities (Club house, indoor plumbing, dining area, putting green, awnings, and public telephones) that Dan and George had initially planned on. Bear Creak did not meet Dan and George's dream; however many customers enjoyed the hitting area, privacy and professional instruction.

Price - The price paid for range usage (buckets of balls) and instruction were both comparable to the Greenbrier range. The price catered to the serious golfer and was significantly higher than the value ranges. Dan priced his instructional lessons at $60 per Ñ* hour session. $60 is the most expensive instruction in the area, but justified because other highly respected pro's are known to charge $100-$200.

Place - The Bear Creek golf range is open, accessible and available to the serious golfers. It's located on a 22-acre plot of land on Route 183, the connecting highway between Dallas and Fort Worth. There is also a joining 10-acre plot of land available for lease/ purchase.

Promotion - A tight budget caused Dan and George to downgrade promotion. They chose a modest sign and small add in the Yellow Pages. They passed on advertising in newspapers, golf magazines, hotel brochures and coupons. They believed word of mouth would be enough to draw serious golfers to the range.

Goal Target Markets:

The golfing industry at a whole was booming. Dan and George only pursued a small segment of the industry catering to the serious golfers (9 percent of the entire market). Martha pointed out that they were neglecting the majority of the market, which consisted of frequent and occasional golfers.

Frequent Golfers - They play golf 7-24 times a year and are good candidates for lessons. Frequent golfers make up for 29% of the population and have the money to play regularly.

Occasional Golfers - They are limited by economic constraints, however would play more if the financial situations permitted. This opens the doors



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