Golf Digest wanted to adapt its approach to customer research to meet the needs of today’s rapidly evolving media marketplace.


  • With a circulation of 1.6 million readers, Condé Nast’s Golf Digest is the largest golf publication in the world.
  • In the past, Golf Digest relied on traditional customer research methods, including mail-out surveys. But in a rapidly changing media and technology landscape, the company’s internal stakeholders and advertisers wanted immediate access to customer feedback and insight, so they could make more informed decisions.
  • “We’ve really branched out [from print publications] into multi-media properties that require a great deal of research and insight,” says Chris Barton,former Associate Director of Strategic Marketing at Golf Digest. “One of the challenges was adapting our old research style to meet the needs of the changing marketplace.”



  • Golf Digest decided that an engaged community of readers would help it deliver meaningful, near real-time insight to stakeholders and advertisers. It turned to Vision Critical to help it build Golf Digest Insiders, an insight community of nearly 9,000 readers.
  • Powered by Vision Critical’s customer intelligence platform, the Golf Digest Insiders community provides publishers and editors with a source of ongoing feedback from readers.
  • The community has provided “a very objective, legitimate third party that advertisers can bounce ideas off of and get real-time information about their products and perceptions of their brands,” says Barton.



  • The combination of depth of insight, rapid turnaround of custom research and qualitative and quantitative capabilities has established the Golf Digest Insiders insight community as a highly valuable resource for the company.
  • Through effective engagement and candid information sharing with community members, Golf Digest has been able to nurture an audience that advertising partners really cannot access anywhere else.
  • For example, the community enabled a major advertising partner to run near real-time ad testing and analysis during a big tournament. “Without the community, that client would have not advertised with us, and would have resulted in a substantial loss of advertising revenue,” says Barton.

Members of the insight community really feel like they have an impact on what goes on with Golf Digest. It’s been a very strong way to engage what I think is a very special set of our readers.

Chris Barton

Former Associate Director of Strategic Marketing, Golf Digest