Five Ways Hospitality Technology Can Be a Member/Guest Service Differentiator

Every private club and hotel's success starts with friendly guest interactions. Your staff answers the phone enthusiastically and professionally, greets incoming guests with a smile, and maintains an upbeat disposition during their in-person interactions.

In the information age, friendly guest interactions must necessarily go beyond face-to-face encounters and follow-up phone calls. It must cross over into your guest’s digital experience.

Cutting-edge hospitality technologies let luxury properties offer more efficient, communicative customer service across multiple channels while still maintaining the essential friendliness of hospitality. Here are five ways clubs and hotels are leveraging these exciting new platforms as guest service differentiators.

  1. Recognizing Loyal, Return Guests

Just as Amazon saves a shopper’s preferences, many hospitality platforms store information about their guest’s favorite restaurants and spas, or their birthdays and anniversaries. This new kind of hospitality technology effectively improves the level of guest service a property can offer. It helps properties not only recognize loyal returning guests, but provide them with a highly personal experience.

Robert Sereci, General Manager at Medinah Country Club is taking this challenge on head on, “We are working with a 3rd party company to develop analytics to better understand member usage with the data collected [by our POS and tee time systems]. Our current vendor has almost zero analytics.”

The Cosmos Club in Washington DC started a “Longevity Recognition Program” that tracks members when they reach 30, 40, and 50 years of membership.  Mitchell Platt, General Manager said, “We send out a congratulatory letter and meal certificate to show appreciation.

  1. Personalizing Each Visit

To make a visit memorable, it must be tailored to the guest. Starting from their initial point of contact with a guest, your staff should collect details about a guest’s preferences. CRM systems now contain information about dietary restrictions, and other personal needs and preferences.

Russ Snella, Manager of IT Strategy and Solutions, formerly at the Union League Club says, “Every generation communicates differently. If you are not using their method of communications you are wrong. Every form of communications is required.”

Even a quick search through GHIN will give you insight to where a guest has recently played golf. Once a guest arrives at a property, the staff updates the guest’s profile. This high-touch service environment personalizes the guest experience and ultimately cultivates long-term customer loyalty.

  1. Using Member-Only Mobile Applications

Many members, especially millennials, prefer communication via mobile devices. To effectively greet this audience and offer them attentive guest service, club and hotel properties are using members-only mobile applications to field requests, use on-property text messaging, and increase social engagement.

Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, AZ is currently in development of a full-service member mobile app. With six (soon to be seven) golf courses and clubhouses, nine restaurants and grills, and dozens of events and classes each week, navigating Desert Mountain can be a challenge. “Beginning this fall, members will be able to reserve tee times, dining reservations, book spa appointments and manage event sign-ups with one touch,” says Kim Atkinson, Director of Marketing and Communications. “We’ll also use the app to push notifications to groups based on preferences and interests, and will work to enable members with common interests to connect with one another.”

Sequoyah Country Club in Oakland, CA recently opened a new state-of-the-art wellness center and installed Technogym equipment and technology solutions. In 2017 Technogym partnered with IBM to create a “human-like” virtual coach, able to interact with people using natural language, and to offer them personalized training programs based on their goals and context conditions (such as weather, agenda, health conditions, food intake) in order to enhance a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Building Long-Term Customer Loyalty

How do properties build a successful loyalty program without it becoming intrusive? Some properties are automatically enrolling repeat guests into their loyalty programs, and then offering personalized invitations, individualized concierge services, and other high-touch experiences based on their visits. Others use their guests’ transactional data to offer personalized gifts.

Preferred Golf, a division of Preferred Hotels and Resorts offers points members can use towards golf trips and experiences. By their members using their iPrefer rewards, Preferred Hotels and Resorts are better positioned to personalize the guest experience while they are visiting one of their 750 hotels worldwide.

  1. Streamlining Technology Deployment

Issues with connectivity, fragmented ecosystem, and personnel training can prevent a hiccup-free deployment. New, innovative hospitality software can be deployed quickly and easily. This software is user-friendly, decreasing the time needed to train staff.

Companies like Atlantic IT have tech and sales staff with experience at Top 100 private clubs to assist with deployment of new technologies. Krystal Triumph, Director of Business Development says, “With every club being unique and having custom requests for integration, we’ve learned that there really isn’t a one size fits all platform. So, we’ve developed standards and best practices to help our clients’ use technology to standout and create a personalized experience for their members.”

Club and Hospitality technology is advancing at a breakneck pace. As your property considers new platforms and applications, review these five methods of using technology as a guest service differentiator.

Private Club Marketing CEO Zack Bates Named to 25 Most Influential People in Luxury Digital to Follow

Since Verb Brands curated their last installment of the leading luxury influencers in 2015, the world of digital marketing has been revolutionized again. Luxury brands are now starting to catch up with the rest of the industry and deliver incredible, immersive and customer-focused digital experiences. 2017 was been led by some incredible brands and some incredible people behind those brands including Digital Director at Soho House & Co Kris Shaw, Jeremy Langmead the Brand & Content Director at Mr Porter, Tiffany Dowd founder of Luxe Social Mediaand Anna Nash Head of Global PR and Communications at Aman Resorts. Here is Verb Brands' list of the 25 most influential leaders in the current luxury digital world, rounded out by Private Club Marketing's CEO Zack Bates.

Click to see the list

Soho House: Digital Practices That Every Club Should Learn From

High-end private clubs have a habit of playing it safe, but Soho House & Co has embraced digital marketing with the enthusiasm of a startup — helped along by forward thinking leadership from investors like Ron Burkle and Founder Nick Jones. Its digital footprint includes over 60 sites, incorporating a weekly club newsletter through its members only app and expertly curated content from staff from across the brand’s 18+ properties.

The driving force behind its digital strategy is Kris Shaw, Digital Director at Soho House & Co. Shaw had been the in-house social media manager for brands like the BBC and MTV before moving to Soho House in 2009, right in the middle of the worst of the economic recession. Shaw and his colleagues quickly moved to completely rebuild the brand’s digital presence. “When I joined Soho House in 2009 it was a clean slate, was a just a landing page with 6 logos and the business had just received significant investment, it was a great time to start to move the brand forward digitally.”

We were able to chat with the driving force behind it's digital strategy, Kris Shaw, Digital Director at Soho House for a quick Q&A.

PCM: Would you talk a bit about your content strategy?

Our content strategy has always been to super-serve our members. Once the customer is within our member’s portal they get access to a wealth of events, videos, podcasts and great articles. Much like our physical clubs everything interesting happens behind closed doors.

PCM: How has performed for you? is the driving force of the business digitally- but there is still a long way we could  go to really maximise the return on the amount of traffic we get to the site.

Our Digital strategy has followed the many openings of Soho House & Co over the years, which means that we have a lot of our traffic siloed into different brand websites. We are looking at ways to improve the user journeys across our 60 different sites and apps to make it a much simpler experience for our customers.

PCM: When you began rethinking Soho Houses digital strategy in 2009 your digital plans probably seemed quite ambitious. How did you get buy-in across the company?

It was a collaborative effort. There was significant buy in from our senior team who all appreciated our need to launch a new members experience online. We had to take the whole company on the journey, which involved a lot of presentations explaining the vision of what we wanted to do and the change it would mean to our customers and internal processes.

PCM: What have you learned about digital in past 5 years since taking over as Digital Director?

The most significant challenge that I’ve seen for the hospitality industry over the last few years is around integrating into the multitude of third party software services that we use.  It's very difficult to present this as one unified experience to the customer.

There are very few brands that can exist without some kind of internal development team these days. Five years ago, mid size brands could still exist with their entire digital portfolio managed by an external agency, now that seems increasingly inefficient.

Contact Private Club Marketing to assist your club with its digital footprint and to increase online engagement with our creative services team. From email newsletters, to curated content and social media growth, our team of proven professional can assist your club with professional online marketing services. To learn more and to discuss your club's needs, contact us at info@privateclubmarketing or call us at (949) 743-5793.

Private Club Marketing has the most engagement and followers of any club marketing and branding company. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

New Private Clubs Embrace Young Creative Class

Facilities such as Soho Beach House in Miami and Common House in Charlottesville, Va., offer co-working spaces, screening rooms, rooftop pools, networking opportunities, and other private amenities in cities in which space is a premium.

“We’ve see a huge jump in the number of the new types of club coming online, as compared to the traditional model,” said Zack Bates of Private Club Marketing, a firm that promotes members’ clubs. “In Los Angeles, you can’t get into Soho House. So others are being built, the Hospital Club, Griffin House and Norwood, to keep up with the appetite for these spaces.”

Read Full Article at Club & Resort Business


5 Private Member Clubs Worth Joining 2017

Posh new Philly club to target city’s emerging youthful elite

Before the development of the new, posh Fitler Club, when it was known as the Marketplace Design Center, 2400 Market St. was a lightly trafficked building in what remained a fringe neighborhood at the far west of Philadelphia’s central business district.

Hospitality financier David Gutstadt now wants to turn part of the building, which will also soon host Aramark Corp.’s new world headquarters, into a center for the social lives of the city’s emerging business, tech and cultural elite.

Gutstadt’s $50 million-$60 million plan for what’s to be called the Fitler Club, unveiled at a press event Thursday, involves fitness facilities, fine dining, hotel rooms, coworking offices, event spaces, and other amenities encompassing 75,000 square feet over parts of the building’s lower three floors.

It’s a local take on the new wave of high-end private membership clubs – such as those making up the London-based Soho House chain – that are popping up in some of the world’s more prosperous cities. It underscores Philadelphia’s rising fortunes.

Continue Reading at


You also might like

Social Clubs Thrive by Meeting Younger Demographic

Bazaar’s Favorite Private Members’ Clubs in London

There are some super secretive and exclusive clubs out there. No, these aren’t Illuminati clubs that require a secret knock for entry. These are highly exclusive private clubs that only accept the most qualified of the qualified. Here is a quick look at the top pick's of London from Harper's Bazaar that require far more than an online registration to get in.

View Article

BBC Article: Ever Fancied Joining a Private Members’ Club?

A new breed of fashionable private members clubs are growing in popularity around the world, promising to be more inclusive and diverse than their stuffy older counterparts.

Yet while the newer venues like Soho House, Common House and The Hospital Club certainly have far more youthful millennial memberships, you certainly don't need to have gone to a posh school or university, they still have high joining fees and strict vetting processes.

So how less elitist are they? And what are the benefits of getting your name on the list? Private Club Marketing's CEO Zack Bates spoke with BBC business reporter, Jennifer Ceaser for some exclusive insights.

Continue reading

10 Creative Club Marketing Ideas for November

November is upon us, and what better way to kick off a new month than with a list of great creative club marketing ideas? Here are some ways to boost your marketing efforts for the month of November!

1. Movember/No Shave November

Movember or No Shave November is a movement for men’s health issues. Participants can sign up here and are encouraged to grow a mustache for November to bring awareness and raise donations for men’s health and cancers. Some clubs host Movember competitions among members and outside guests. Movember is a fun way to host contests or showcase your facial hair for men’s health on social media. Get involved with the many millennials who participate on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Palos Verdes Golf Club will play host venue for South Bay Mo Bros golf tournament on Movember 13th.

2. Veteran’s Day (November 11)

Vereran’s Day is November 11 and comes up fast! Schools may have off, and many workplaces close. This is an excellent time for your club to make a push on social media thanking veterans for their hard work and sacrifice for our country. If you have a veteran who works for you, showcase them on your website. A simple “Thank You” goes a long way and lets members know that you care about people, not just sales.

3. America Recycles Day (November 15)

November 15 is America Recycles Day and a great day for showing that your club cares about the environment. Does your club recycle? Include some facts on your social media or suggestions on your website on how to recycle. If you don’t already, now is a great time to start! Get a recycling bin out on the golf course or tennis courts and let members know that you’re taking steps to help improve the environment for everyone! Participate in America Recycles social media efforts (#AmericaRecyclesDay and #RecyclingSelfie) to showoff your recycling efforts and encourage others to do the same!

4. Charity

Movember gets a lot of attention, but November is also host to other awareness efforts like lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and adoption awareness. Have your club members been affected by any of these issues or do they feel strongly about these causes? Make a difference and help raise awareness this November using social media. Some club marketing ideas have taken on the Great American Smokeout where people pledge to quit smoking. Help support someone you know who is trying to quit!

5. Sports

November is a time when the NFL, NHL, and NBA are in full swing! Show off your team spirit by dressing up in team jerseys or decorating your club on game nights with team colors. Know of members to the game? Ask them to tweet about it or share pictures from a game. Showing personality and friendly competition is a great way to market your club!

The Charlotte City Club has a unique amenity called the Gridiron Club, where former NFL players (including Superbowl champions) form a panel to discuss the games every Monday during the season.

6. Be Thankful

November is the month of Thanksgiving so don’t forget to give thanks. Post what you’re thankful for on social media and ask members to participate–make sure thank your members for their support!

7. Holiday Buying Guides

December will come soon enough, and members are starting to shop for the holidays. Now is the time to start marketing with gift guides, either in written or video form on your blog, to help members shop for the special people in their lives.

8. Food Drives

It’s easy to get caught up in planning for Thanksgiving but don’t forget those who aren’t as fortunate. Hosting a food drive is a great thing to do to help others enjoy the holiday who are struggling to make ends meet. Encourage members to donate canned or non-perishable food. A few more club marketing ideas include; offering a discount on a service to members who bring in a bag of food. Host a contest where each can of food gives participants a chance to win. Donate the food to a local food pantry, church, or charitable organization and give back to the community. See Orange County membership and catering managers at local soup kitchen.

The Eagle Rock Yacht Club is hosting it’s 5th annual Food Drive in collaboration with the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to collect 300lbs of canned foods for those in need.

9. Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the holiday star of November and a great chance to showcase some of your club marketing ideas. Offer specials in your restaurant or cooking classes for great Thanksgiving side dishes or how to use leftovers after the holiday. If your club has a fitness center, your club can host or participate in Thanksgiving races or an after-Thanksgiving boot camp class! The content opportunities for Thanksgiving are plentiful! Here are some creative posters we've created for other clubs >> Click Here

10. Small Business Saturday (November 25)

Small Business Saturday is November 25, if your club offers outside play or dining reservations this is a great way to get your business recognized. Register your business HERE and make a push on social media and your website for supporting small businesses!

You also might like:

7 Creative Golf Marketing Ideas to Make your Club Stand Out

Platinum Clubs of America announces Preferred Partnership with Private Club Marketing

Platinum Clubs® of America and Platinum Clubs of the World, representing the top 5% of private members’ clubs around the globe announces its newest preferred partnership with Private Club Marketing, Inc.

Dennis W. Burns, Executive Director at Club Leaders Forum explains, “Our exclusive list of Platinum Clubs are always looking for ways to better communicate with their members, drive referrals and increase value and we are delighted to align ourselves with one of the most respected and innovative Membership and Marketing Consulting firms in the nation.

Private Club Marketing enthusiastically supports the work of Platinum Clubs of America and Platinum Clubs of the World. Its peer evaluation, nomination, and voting uphold the highest standard in ensuring only the top private clubs make its list. “We couldn’t be more pleased to be invited into this partnership with Platinum Clubs of America and Platinum Clubs of the World,” said Zack Bates, Founder of Private Club Marketing. “Our business was literally built through the introductions from Members of the many Platinum Clubs we’ve been honored to work with over the years. We look forward to continuing sharing our common values that inspire opportunity and celebrate our members and traditions with Platinum Clubs of America and its list of exclusive properties.”

“We are thrilled to welcome the newest preferred partner, Private Club Marketing, to the Platinum Clubs family,” said Don Emery, CCM, General Manager, Pacific Palisades, CA. “As a general manager who’s worked with Zack Bates and his team in the past, Platinum Clubs couldn't have picked a better-preferred membership and marketing partner.”


About Platinum Clubs of America

The body that elects Platinum Clubs of America has remained unchanged over the past 20 years as CMAA Managers, Club Presidents and owners have been invited to participate every two years. This group, comprised of the most informed and respected individuals, selects the best Private Clubs in America.

Platinum status in the Private Club industry has been the most revered since its establishment in 1997 by Chairman Emeritus, John Sibbald. Over the years, the criteria have been updated to be relevant and adapt to changing times in the industry. The election to establish the top 5% of Private Clubs of Excellence takes place in the Fall of even years. Categories represented are Golf, Country, City, Athletic, and Yacht Clubs.


About Private Club Marketing

Private Club Marketing is a luxury marketing, branding and membership sales consulting firm specializing in private clubs, golf communities, resort destinations, boutique hotels, estates and unique lifestyle environments. We assist Developers, Owners, Financial Institutions, and Management Companies make big decisions on envisioning, strategy, marketing, sales, and organization.

Our core mission is to improve the member experience by offering lifestyle expertise that inspires opportunity, influences choices and celebrates our members and traditions. Whether needs be a curated sales strategy, creative marketing direction and design, photography, social media, content, and marketing collateral development or website design and management; Private Club Marketing have a coveted reputation for delivering and providing a ‘turn-key’ approach to marketing essentials.

Top 5 Reasons Autumn (Fall) Golf Is So Great

Gorgeous autumn colors, less crowds, off-season pricing—there are many reasons why fall golf is so great.

With summer somewhat of a distant memory and autumn upon us, there is still lots of great golf to enjoy.  So don’t put away the sticks quite yet. It is true that start times might be a little later but crisp cool weather, clear skies and beautiful course conditions all make fall a great time to enjoy an extra round of golf or two.

Here are some great reasons to extend your golf season this fall…

1.  Beat the crowds:  Summer is over and the crowds have by and large gone home.  So you probably won’t be rushed along by the anxious foursome behind you.  You can take a bit more time, relax and really enjoy the round – hone your golf skills that much more.

2.  Your game is in top form:  You have had an entire golf season under your belt.  You’ve been playing all season long and you are feeling comfortable with your swing, your putting is in top form and your equipment is feeling like an extension of your arms.  Chances are that your golf game has never been better (hopefully or the theory goes).

3.  Great time for a golf lesson:  Your local golf pro is probably less busy than he has been throughout the busy spring and summer golf season.  He or she can spend a little extra time giving you the personalized instruction you need to take your game to the next level.

4.  The courses are in fantastic shape:  The golf courses have enjoyed a full season of primping and coddling by obsessive grounds keepers – every blade of grass has been nurtured to its natural best, greens have been babied to near perfection and tee boxes in are pristine shape.  Greens tends to be smoother, fairways thick and lush, and landscaping at its best.

5.  Scenery is at its best:  There is nothing like golfing though a forest of fall colors.  Yellow poplars, red maples, golden tamarack often grace the fairways – adding an extra element of beauty to the golf experience.  Blue skies and majestic mountains seem closer and even more dramatic in the crisp fall light.