For over a decade, Syngenta – the leading supplier of innovative turf care solutions to golf courses in 43 countries – has published pioneering market research to help the golf industry better understand its customers and, in turn, use those insights for business growth.

This year, Syngenta partnered with Ipsos Synthesio social intelligence experts to explore more than 16 million social media mentions related to golf in the United States and United Kingdom. The goal? Listen to those conversations and online reviews to gain insight into real golf experiences and understand why golfers play the sport.

According to Mark Birchmore, Head of Global Marketing for Syngenta Turf and Landscape,

“Working with Ipsos and using AI to analyze millions of posts has enabled us to take a deep dive into social media and extract key insights and solutions for golf.”

Using our AI-enabled consumer intelligence platform, the team dove into most-discussed topics, conducted in-depth analysis of qualitative and quantitative reviews, and identified hot topics for future exploration. The research is based on mentions from Twitter, news sites and forums, YouTube, TV and radio, reviews sites, and more. Here’s a sneak peek of the findings:

Topic Modeling reveals 93 topics driving conversation in the golf world

Using Topic Modeling, our AI-powered theme detection tool, the team automatically scanned and categorized mentions into 93 clusters and 10 “meta topics” generating social buzz. The results show that professional golf is the top driver (20%), particularly the four major championships and ongoing controversy around the new professional golf tour, LIV Golf.

News (and politicians) also generate mentions and interactions online. Believe it or not, Donald Trump is a top driver of social buzz related to the sport. According to the Syngenta study, more than a quarter of all golf mentions reference Trump, and four out of five mentions are negative in tone.

Online reviews reveal two groups of golfers: “Insiders” and “Outsiders”

Diving further into online review data, the Ipsos Synthesio and Syngenta teams discovered two “personas” in the golf world. “Insiders” refers to those that see themselves as golfers and want to play all the best courses, tending to be older men who play alone or in small groups. “Outsiders” are those that see golf as an entertaining activity and tend to be a younger demographic. Using the Censydiam Wheel framework, the report assesses the key motivations of each group (Outsiders seek out courses and venues that feel welcoming and comfortable, for example).

By using social data to uncover and understand these two groups, Syngenta can identify opportunities for the golf industry to grow its customer base and expand the number of ‘Outsiders’ without losing the ‘Insiders.’ According to the report, “more work needs to be done on both the image of golf and the delivery of experiences to match customers’ needs, especially for ‘Outsiders.’”

Social data provides a unique window into the minds of consumers; it reveals their likes and dislikes, pain points, and motivations. But these types of insights are more than just interesting – they help businesses make better, faster decisions about how to meet their customers’ needs and grow revenue.

To learn more about Syngenta’s latest findings, download the full report here or listen to Ipsos’ Claire Martin and Jacques de Guigné discuss the findings with Syngenta’s Mark Birchmore and host Gary Firkins. Listen on Apple or Spotify.

To find out how Ipsos Synthesio’s AI-enabled consumer intelligence platform and team of expert consultants can help you understand your audience, spot trends, and discover growth opportunities, get in touch!