September 18, 2012
Toro Golf tops the social leaderboard


–Engage superintendents with quotes from their geographic areas
–Create a social experience that’s open and useful, yet controlled
–Gather product ratings as a valuable integrated data source


When golf course superintendents shop for new equipment, they trust peer recommendations over any form of marketing. Toro came to Schermer with the idea of building a microsite to collect and present superintendent testimonials. We conducted more research and dug up a critical factor: Not only do superintendents trust their peers, they’re far more interested in golf courses near them — courses with similar turf and climate conditions.


–Turn customer quotes into a social experience by adding geographical ranking and customer product ratings.


The Toro team wanted an engaging and informative site where course superintendents could express their opinions. But they wanted to maintain some control, which ruled out a public social platform such as Facebook. Schermer worked with Toro’s internal team to custom-build a testimonial engine that drove a microsite named the Leaderboard.

Since localized recommendations mattered most to course superintendents, the testimonial engine recognized the location of each site visitor. They can explore quotes from courses nearest them on a custom Google map, or by product category or individual product.

We also added a recommendation engine to the Leaderboard that let superintendents rate the Toro products they’ve used. While the site centered on testimonial quotes, providing product information and ratings — and linking to further product content and distributor contacts — were the key business drivers.

The Toro Leaderboard site launched in the US with about 300 testimonials previously collected by Toro. In six months, the number of quotes had doubled, and Leaderboard coverage expanded to include golf courses in Canada and Europe.