What’s the Difference?
We often define destination marketing (often referred to as awareness advertising) as the plan and efforts to bring people (consumers) into a region or city. Tactical (or strategic) marketing to us means the specific programs to get consumers to take specific actions to visit a specific business/ golf course.

Destination Marketing
Destination marketing is often fulfilled by a visitor centre or tourism organization. It doesn’t often target specific user groups like golfers. Destination marketing often uses terms like golf, ski, bike, culture, dine, without mention specific businesses. It usually has a generic 800 number and all encompassing website link not specific to any activities. That is why we often refer to it awareness marketing.

Destination marketing is difficult for single or even multi-golf course owners to do as it involves large amounts of money to reach into major centres to promote your region/ city. It is like putting an ad in a magazine with a great photo, phone and website, but no specific reason to play golf. Destination marketing does not promote your specific business to people once they are in your region/ city. It is also hard to measure. If your region/ cities hotel occupancy is going down, or your rounds of golf are stagnant, is it working? While destination marketing has its place, within the overall tourism structure, we are not huge fans of golf courses themselves trying to do either destination or awareness marketing.

Tactical Marketing
Tactical (or strategic) marketing is a more detailed approach to targeting specific customers (golfers) rather than random people. For individual courses and golf course consortiums we prefer this approach. If the goal is to grow your business and rounds of golf, tactical marketing is strategic and measurable. It can be delivered quickly, timely and through a variety of channels in which all results can be tracked.

Within that tactical approach we also believe you always need to have a USP (unique selling proposition), like a reason to choose you beyond things like great greens (which every golf course has). This could be something like family friendly or dog friendly or best snack shack. In addition, because you have a very specific call to action for your tactical marketing campaign, you should also try to create a sense of urgency, such as book now or limited time offer. Ideally each tactical campaign should go to a specific website landing page for tracking.

In summary, destination marketing is an over game plan to bring people into a region/ city but tactics are the specific means by which you grow your business. If this is too much for you to take on, email marketing is still a big focus for us. It still works too! Focus on growing your database and make every link clickable, etc. You can read that blog here!

We have recently been planning a wide-variety of re-targetting ad campaigns for our clients and getting some great results. This is a very targeted approach to ensure that your message is going to the right people. If we can help you in 2020, give us a call.


We, Jeff and Tara Ciecko of CK Golf write two blogs, one is our 19th Hole Blog where we share personal experiences and the other an Industry Blog where we comment on general business and internet marketing best practices, sales strategies and give golf industry related opinions. We have owned CK Golf  for 11+ years and provide business services to the golf and other industries. As of August 2016 our life and our business is ‘location independent’. Our 19th Hole Blog is about the places we visit and the things we do. If you have any questions or comments, or happen to be in the same location as us please reach out and contact us anytime.