Marcus Ekeberg, CEO of Greenfee365, is leading the charge to create a culture that allows for innovation, failure, and success with a tech-solution that makes tee time bookings on any number of golf courses as easy as buying 10 different pairs of shoes, while keeping innovation as an important part of daily work. He opines, “To find what is good, you need failures as well.”
Marcus has always gone his own way, trusting his instincts and letting go of his worries about failure. According to him, what drove him to his present industry is partly due to his desire to identify synergies and better things, as well as his willingness to be brave and challenge the existing status quo. When Greenfee365 was founded, the golf travel business was a highly conservative and “old” industry, with things operating in much the same way they did in the 1970s. So, after working in digital marketing for one of Spain’s elite clubs, Marcus noticed all the gaps in the market and how everything linked to golf tourism (flights, accommodations, etc.) was consumed in a modern fashion—except for tee time booking. The lack of a user-friendly internet marketplace where golf clubs could maintain control over their products was the beginning of Greenfee365.
Role as a CEO
Marcus ensures that the Greenfee365 team is united and working toward the company’s mission of being the world’s easiest tee time booking site and producing value for its golf course partners, users, workers, and owners. He believes that in order to do this, employees must be empowered and unafraid of failure. He regularly arrives at work with a Pepsi Max in hand, making a point of greeting everybody who is already there. Marcus generally goes through his email between 8 and 9 a.m., and then the day is filled with meetings, with the emphasis being on being available and involved in the team’s work in between. He says, “I am a flexible doer and am not afraid of doing work myself or getting my hands dirty when needed. I can jump in on everything from marketing-related things to assisting in customer service if needed. “ Marcus believes that leaders need to be agile and always have the user in focus.
For golfers, Greenfee365 is an easy-to-use booking platform for live tee times. There is no need to call, request, or email golf courses to book a green fee. For golf courses, it is a true OTA marketplace where they can promote their golf course via its hyper-targeting machine in 10 different languages. Greenfee365 gathers many parts of the golf tourism market under one roof.
Greenfee365 has made golf accessible and easy to book on all the markets it is present on, counting today’s 26 different markets. In 2017, it was an extremely fragmented market with different solutions for each country. Marcus thinks that is one of the main things Greenfee365 has contributed to, along with re-defining how golf as a tourism vertical is consumed by golfers. He states, “We didn’t look at how the traditional industry worked.”
Marcus’ goal from the beginning was to create the world’s easiest tee time booking service. Leading by example and delivering results to Greenfee365’s golf course partners that utilise the platform to sell tee times is the way to go.
There is always a way Forward
For business leaders, there will always be challenges in all walks of life, both personally and in business. Marcus’ job is to find a way around the challenges. He asserts, “You just need to keep faith alive regardless of whatever happens.” He recalls going from being student, with no money in his bank account, to having a lot more later on; there is always a route forward. He says, “You just need to push through and find solutions.” The payoff will come and it usually does, sometimes not. One of my early mentors told me to never give up or shut the door when an opportunity arises. “
Early Life and Being a Leader
Marcus has been working on various personal enterprises and jobs since he was 14. But it was after graduation when he acquired a lot of insight into where he would thrive and where he would not. He also worked with large multinational corporations as well as small and mid-sized businesses. He obtained a lot of valuable insights from working for four years in the golf business, mostly for one of Spain’s best clubs, and putting them, together with his team, at the forefront in terms of e-commerce, digitization, and data-driven marketing. With this effort, as well as his past expertise in digital business, e-commerce, and marketing, a concept for something new for golf clubs and players was created.
As a business head, Marcus wants everyone to be seen and understand that their daily contribution takes the organisation one step further towards reaching the vision and creating success. He says, “In more leading roles, the best recognition for me has been when colleagues and employees gladly go that extra mile and really believe in the vision that they are doing something important and that everyone contributes.”
Master in Prioritizing
For Marcus, everything is connected, and as an entrepreneur, it’s a lifestyle. Things come and go in waves. He says, “I can as easily enjoy watching a movie with one of my daughters when it’s calm, to enjoy time with my partner but yeah, sometimes I need to answer something important at 22.00 in the email or work chat. I think it’s all about becoming a master at prioritizing.”
Success for Marcus!
Marcus considers true success to be a sense that comes from within oneself; oddly, someone else can perceive accomplishment where one cannot. He goes on to say that the sensation of success is something that occurs as a result of doing something. But it’s critical to take time to reflect on the things one accomplishes and the accomplishments one achieves; otherwise, the globe will continue to revolve and one will never get the opportunity to relish that feeling.
Planning to Acquire Europe’s Core Markets
Greenfee365’s strategy is to continue developing and joining its main markets in Europe while also expanding into new areas. Marcus’ current personal aim is for the firm to receive two reservations per second and, as a leader, to see his employees grow and develop within their jobs.
Marcus’ message to any leader out there is to “empower people, hire people that are smarter than you are, and never micromanage.” Let employees have full freedom within their role.”