Resort - Horizons Golf Resort
John studied the resort and provided       
a Marketing Plan for moving forward.                


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Mid 2001, John was asked to provide strategic marketing services to Horizons Golf Resort, situated at Salamander Bay, 2 hours north of Sydney (just outside of Newcastle).

Horizon’s features an 18-hole golf course resort, designed by Graham Marsh and was rated among Australia’s Top Ten Resort Courses. Its residential style air-conditioned condominiums were rated 4.5 star and overlook the course and its lush fairways.

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The resort had been sold by its previous Japanese owners to a new consortium and required a marketing plan for the future. Marketing Manager, Lisa Taylor, invited John to study the resort, it’s facilities and communication tactics, with the view to providing a strategic Marketing Plan moving forward.


Working closely with Marketing Manager, Lisa Taylor, John’s role was to provide the Resort with a 12-month Marketing Plan. John’s involvement was merely on a short term 3 to 4 month period, whereby Horizons needed his expertise in developing a strategic plan which would be executed by in-house management.

As with similar challenges, John immediately undertook the following tasks in order to build a strategic plan:

  1. Analysed the guest database to identify the geo-demographics of visitors.
  2. Determined the average “stay” of various segments within this database.
  3. Did likewise for “Golf Club Members and Day Visitors”.
  4. Scrutinised previous advertising efforts and measured such expenditure against returns, in order to determine the success of such advertising.
  5. Compared all of the statistical data with similar available hospitality industry data (to determine if Horizon’s trends were akin to other comparable hospitality venues).
  6. Through the establishment of a “profit pie”, John identified the most valuable guests, plotted where “similar looking people” live – and then used this important information as a major focal point in the ensuing Marketing Plan.
  7. Spoke to numerous Management and general staff members, in order to gain a better insight into other aspects of the Resort.

In other words, he thoroughly and methodically gathered and studied every possible piece of data he could get his hands on.

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Having gathered all of this statistical information, John prepared a strategic 12-month Marketing Plan, involving local television, radio and press campaigns, as well as “targeted” Direct Mail campaigns to lucrative geographic areas on the northern side of Sydney.

All of these campaigns were “offer-driven”, with special packages such as “$99 per person for accommodation, golf and breakfast!” (In other words, “wow factor” deals for consumers!).

A major promotion was secured with the Sunday Telegraph newspaper, where Horizons gained massive exposure in return for providing the newspaper with a number of two-night twin-share golf holiday packages. With a circulation of over 600,000 newspapers, such exposure provided the resort with a massive influx of enquiries.


Within a period of just over 3 months, Horizons Resort gained a 12-month strategic Marketing Plan, all based on a combination of package offers and targeted communications tactics.

As an example of the results of various individual “packaged offers”, the $99 combo deal resulted in occupancy jumping to near capacity level for a period of 2 months within 48 hours of the campaigns launch!

And by specifically targeting previous guests via personalised Direct Mail campaigns, the Resort was able to re-activate patronage from this database which previously was laying dormant.

With the ongoing Marketing Plan heavily concentrating on the “high value guest segment”, the Resort continued to benefit from the high spending levels of such patrons. (Proving that it’s not always best to simply fill one’s Resort with guests. Rather it’s important to fill the Resort with the most valuable guests!)

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