Have You Herd? – February 2018

By: Rich Katz, Founder & Managing Director

Dear Friends,

Buffalo.Agency is deep in the world of golf, sport and lifestyle.  Our fully-integrated marketing firm represents a broad cross section of emerging and established brands in these categories.  As such, we are able to closely track and analyze trends and other data-driven events to offer actionable intelligence to our subscribers.

To get us thinking, news and notes:

Live From CESJoe Steranka Headshot

Our very own Chief Strategy Officer and former CEO of the PGA of America (2007-2012) was eyes wide open on all things consumer technology at last month’s CES in Vegas.  He recommends keeping an eye on:

  1. Technology impacts every facet of life and is going mainstream.  It isn’t just for geeks.  Personal style is creeping into products we use to communicate and entertain us.  Kate Spade wearables, Isaac Mizrahi smart phone accessories and Ferrari Racing power cables deliver function with extraordinary looks.  More people adopting the latest in technology equals more data points and more insights on consumer behavior.  This trend plays into brand extension and licensing opportunities.
  2. The world’s next one billion consumers will predominantly come from Asia, Africa and South America. It will change where and how global brands deploy marketing assets. How does your business connect with people in these lands of opportunities?
  3. Home innovation will elevate service standards for the hospitality and real estate sectors. Televisions as command centers for the entire house, personal media playing on dozens of devices from phones to PCs to bathroom mirrors. Kohler Konnect is making your bathroom experience more luxurious and efficient while the Xfinity Intelligent Digital Home keeps you safe, comfortable, informed and entertained.  Brands which don’t keep up with the times and communicate their advancements will be challenged to profit.
  4. Some brands are living longer. Nikon celebrated its 100th birthday and RCA trumpeted its 99th year in business.  Nikon’s move to content production and RCA’s to connected communications and home appliances (including a cool retro fridge) have retained relevancy.  Atari has also re-emerged as a producer of PONG, bowling and other modern pub games.  Your next clubhouse should have these.  Remember Packard Bell?  Its presence in home automation illustrates the connected house of the present.  Can you spell reinvention?


Hustle Muscle - Buffalo.Agency BlogHustle, Muscle

Last week’s 65th annual PGA Merchandise Show welcomed nearly 40,000 golf industry professionals from 50 states and 87 countries.  Energized attendees uncovered new products, trends and technology from more than 1,000 exhibitors encompassing more than one million square feet.  For our Buffalo herd, golf’s Super Bowl was an exercise in Herculean planning and precise execution.  Twenty-three team members:

  • Serviced 19 clients exhibiting and 29 attending
  • Arranged 452 interviews by 146 media members, including CBS Sports, Forbes, Golf Channel, Golf Digest, New York Times, PGATOUR.com, Robb Report, SiriusXM Radio, Yahoo Sports and USA Today
  • Held 50-plus strategy meetings
  • Posted 24 times (#OrlandoHerd)
  • Traversed more than 315 miles and 630,000 steps


Course Intelligence

Course Intelligence - Buffalo.Agency Blog

Here’s technology that’s especially good for golf:  Tagmarshal is a pace-of-play system extraordinaire that reduces average round times and the number of slow rounds to enhance golfers’ experiences.  It also guards against member-guest dissatisfaction and is a revenue generator for courses.  Tagmarshal devices are clipped to carts and walkers’ golf bags – the only system on the market to do so – and signals are sent to clubhouse staff and marshals to preempt bottlenecks on the course.  While Erin Hills, Whistling Straits, Kiawah Island, Westchester and East Lake country clubs realize outstanding results, so do neighborhood courses and clubs, validating Tagmarshal’s affordability.  For context, 74%of players believe fast pace is “critical” to the enjoyment of rounds.


Hot Home Market- Buffalo.Agency BlogHot Home Market

It’s no secret America’s economy is thriving.  The momentum continued with last month’s signing of a tax reform bill that includes changes to mortgage interest and property tax deductions.  More money in more pockets, combined with the highest wage growth since the recession, means pent-up demand from renters unable to find suitable homes is poised to convert to sales.  Experts predict mortgage rates to periodically dip below 4% and close 2018 at 4.5%, still an historic low.

Especially skyrocketing are upscale, highly-amenitized, gated communities with golf courses as centerpieces.  Buffalo clients in this category are aplenty.  We are focused on infiltrating prospective homebuyers’ unique value system.  Elements:

  • Swing – Influence of golf setting
  • Serenity – Peace from open space
  • Schools – Rankings, reputation
  • Strength – Convenience to fitness
  • Status – Moving up
  • Social – Like-minded people
  • Security – Appreciating investment
  • Style – Architectural delight
  • Sterling – New beginnings

How to reach them?  Think predominantly digital:

  • 73% of home buyers initiate searches online
  • 92% rely on online education in some way during process
  • 50% use mobile or app to access information
  • 11 searches (average) before visiting a real estate site
  • 69% of site viewership originates from local search terms


Digital VoyageDigital Journey - Buffalo.Agency Blog

For travel and hospitality brands, providing superb experiences starts long before customers’ trips ever begin.  From research to booking, here’s the role digital plays in the lives of travelers and the companies servicing them.

  1. At least eight of the largest hotels have tested some kind of virtual reality experience the past six months. Most were programs pairing VR devices with consumers’ mobile devices.
  2. Revenue growth for the travel industry this summer is forecast to be an impressive $98.02 billion led by Independence Day ($3.68 billion), and Memorial Day ($2.93 billion) and Labor Day ($2.83 billion) weekends.
  3. More than 95% of leisure travelers read at least seven reviews before booking their vacations.
  4. More than 40% of business trips are extended for personal leisure experiences in those locations.
  5. Eighty-five percent of millennials prefer customized itineraries over general, mass-market offerings.
  6. Travelers average 53 days visiting 28 different websites and 76 online sessions with more than 50% checking social media for travel tips, causing hoteliers to increase their digital (earned, paid, owned) budgets to grow consumer awareness and attract more guests..
  7. Online travel bookings are made by 148.3 million people, encompassing more than 60% of leisure and 41% of business travelers and more than 57% of all travel reservations.
  8. Digital ad spend in the travel industry: 49% for mobile and 51% for desktop and it’s expected to flip flop in 2018.
  9. Travel content is consumed by 60% of Americans with digital travel content up 41% over prior year.

Compiled from CMO Adobe; stats by American Express, Expedia, Huffington Post, Nielson, Smart Insights



The mark of a job well done is a contract extension.  And Buffalo earned a slew of them recently:  18 Birdies, Crown and Calber, ECCO, Global Value Commerce, GOLFTEC, International Club Suppliers, Pound Ridge Golf Club, Southworth Development and U.S. Club Soccer.  Validating our client-centric approach, Buffalo helps 60-plus clients grow brand equity and revenue.  Results are driven by our award-winning talent in the areas of marketing strategy, public relations, content development, social media, media buying, creative, analytics, and digital and search-engine marketing.

We are here to help you infiltrate the golf, sport and lifestyle markets.