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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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Grab the 2017 opportunity

If nothing else, 2016 was interesting. It seemed to be a year of turmoil, from social upheaval to an election season that left the nation divided. 2017 promises more of the same. Change is the new normal and how we adapt to it is the difference between success and failure. Business is changing, society is changing, the political world is ...

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Skyrocket your boat show ROI

If you haven’t started working on your boat show strategy, you may want to consider it. I’m not talking selecting inventory and laying out your booth. I’m talking about setting goals and developing a plan to achieve them at the show. There are three main goals of any boat show for successful boat dealers: 1. Sell as many boats as ...

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At the Helm: A Top 100 stronger than ever

This month we recognize the Boating Industry Top 100 – the best boat dealers in North America. And as we celebrate their success for the 12th time, the dealers on the list are stronger than they have been since before the Great Recession. The Top 100 and Hall of Fame reached nearly $2.7 billion in total revenue in 2015, surpassing ...

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At the Helm: 16 reasons to attend MDCE 2016

For boat dealers, the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo is one of your best options for growing and improving your business. MDCE, produced by the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and Boating Industry, is December 5-8 in Orlando. There are plenty of reasons to attend MDCE, but here are 16 of the best. Find more at MarineDealerConference.com. 1. Josh ...

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