Cherokee Town & Country Club implemented comprehensive digital signage throughout the Town Club to keep members updated on all club happenings.
In November 2009, as Atlanta’s Cherokee Town & Country Club was implementing a renovation of its Town Club (a second location, the Country Club, is just a few miles away), the management team wanted to find a way to keep costs down when marketing the club’s various events and programs—and at the same time improve the impact and timeliness of the messages conveyed to members.
Because the renovation at the Town Club was all about creating a more contemporary and cutting-edge facility, the staff decided: Rather than continuing to rely on old-fashioned flyers and signs, why not integrate 40-inch LCD TV monitors into the new design, which could then be updated with custom-made announcements about happenings around the club?
Once the monitors were included in the renovation plan, says Matt Bragg, the club’s Assistant Manager, the next order of business was where to put them. One was installed just outside the cardio exercise room, which gets a lot of steady traffic, and the other two were installed back-to-back above the men’s and ladies’ locker rooms, so members could see the announcements regardless of whether they were entering or exiting the club’s fitness area.
|THE GOAL: Spread the word about upcoming events and programs at Cherokee Town & Country Club’s Town facility more cost-effectively and with greater timeliness and impact than traditional signs and flyers.THE PLAN: Install 40-inch LCD TV monitors in strategic spots around the facility, to play looped, custom-made messages created through online signmaking software.
THE PAYOFF: Significantly fewer dollars spent on marketing costs, while generating increased awareness and more valuable last-minute reminders about upcoming events.
The messages, featuring both text and images, play on all three screens in a 10- to 15-second loop.
“We’re fortunate to have an IT department that did all of the legwork in choosing the monitors and the software that we use to update messages online,” says Bragg. Communications Director Keisha Montaque now serves as the gatekeeper for fielding the various announcements from Cherokee’s F&B, tennis, swim and fitness departments that the club wants to publicize. Montaque then formats and uploads the announcements in an orderly fashion onto the screens. “She’s the one who makes it look amazing,” says Bragg. Training in the BrightSign Manager software selected for making the announcements was easy enough for the IT department to simply walk Montaque through one time, and she was posting the first announcements soon after, he adds.
“What’s really great about the software is that we can change things on the fly,” Bragg says. “Plus, because it’s an online program, Keisha can make the changes from anywhere.”
The return on investment in Cherokee’s new approach to signage and promotion has been significant, says Bragg. The entire project, including the software program and the custom boxes made for three monitors, cost approximately $3,000. “If we were to make a sign that was the size of the actual screen, to put it in color and in the kind of material that would make it presentable, just one sign would cost about $200,” he points out. “And if we put three signs around the club, that would be $600 just to advertise one event. So, the screens obviously paid for themselves within just a few weeks.”
The club even touts the promotional tool as being environmentally friendly—after all, electricity is a renewable resource, and there is less waste stemming from extra signage and flyers. The club’s Town facility now mainly uses the screens and the club’s monthly magazine, Cherokee Life, to spread the word about its upcoming events and programs, with the messages on the screens often serving as valuable extra reminders for members.
“We’ve received a lot of feedback like ‘I had forgotten about making reservations for Fourth of July, but I saw the screen, and thought I’d better make them today,’ ” says Bragg. “It’s something so simple, but it really makes a difference.”