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Practical and profitable 2018 marketing plans

One of the most profitable planning projects you can invest in is to create a yearly marketing plan. I’m not talking about a business school type plan that sits on the shelf and will make an MBA professor giddy, but rather a marketing plan that will be followed throughout the season and lead to larger more predictable profits. To help ...

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At the Helm: Charting the next course

A visit to Boating Industry’s archives recently reminded me of the significance of a recent deep-sea discovery, and its importance to a newly minted trade press editor who has a love of naval history. In mid-August, a team led by Paul G. Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, announced that it had found unmistakable wreckage of the USS Indianapolis 18,000 ...

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At the Helm: Future focused

It seems we spend a lot of time in this industry worrying about young people – and with good reason.  Gen Xers and Millennials aren’t buying boats at rates comparable to the Baby Boomers or the Silent and World War II generations that came before them. They also aren’t choosing to work in the industry – leading to the workforce ...

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Super simple Facebook strategy

How’s your season going so far this year? I hope you’ve been delivering a ton of boats and have dozens and dozens of happy clients hitting the water as the summer is in full swing. During this time of year, it can be challenging at times to keep on top of your marketing. And if you don’t have a dedicated ...

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At the Helm: It’s all about product

More than anything else, it’s new product that pushes boat, engine and accessory sales.  Whether it’s a new, more efficient engine or a feature-loaded boat model, boaters are driven to pursue the latest, greatest thing. Without innovation, there’s no burning desire to buy. We know that – and we also know that new product information is one of the most ...

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Have you earned the right to win the sale?

In previous issues we’ve talked about the process your boat buyers go through, called the “Educational Spectrum,” and how you can take advantage of your competition’s lack of understanding by offering the “researchers and evaluators” the information they are searching for already. But as I wrote earlier, it could backfire on you if you don’t provide an exceptional experience. That ...

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At the helm: Problem No. 1

Quick – what’s your biggest business challenge right now? Not surprisingly, when I go to an industry event or boat show, I try to grab some time with top execs. At the Miami International Boat Show this year, almost every manufacturer I spoke to identified finding competent employees as problem No. 1. And I mean competent, not good – just ...

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At the helm: Make way for the connected spender

We often talk in the boating industry about reaching the “middle class” — that nebulously defined average American. But the Demand Institute is suggesting a new way of looking at consumers — one that makes a lot of sense, especially in a category like boating that is not need-based. In “Introducing the Connected Spender: The Digital Consumer of the Future,” ...

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Brand building vs. results marketing

Do you spend money on advertising? Or, do you invest money in advertising? What’s the difference you say? In my book, “Marine Marketing Strategies,” I give the example of “brand building” versus what I call “results marketing.” The goal of traditional, image or brand building ads is to “get your name out there” and be “top of mind.” The idea ...

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