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At the helm: Industry needs more lapsed boater research

Boating industry researchers continue to shed new light on the importance of tracking lapsed boaters as a potential return-to-market segment.  During the Second Annual Grow Boating Marketing Summit presentation at this year’s International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference, Jack Ellis, managing director at Info-Link Technologies, Inc., estimated there are 5 million to 10 million lapsed boaters, individuals who have previously owned ...

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Trends from the 2018 Top 100

As some of the best boat dealers in North America, the Boating Industry Top 100 dealers – and those who apply for the list – offer us great insight into the top issues facing the industry.  As I write this, we're deep into evaluation of this year's applicants. (By the time it's published, the 2018 list will be done.) Here ...

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At the helm: U.S. Interior reorganization is welcome news

In late August, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke stole a historical page from John Wesley Powell’s book in issuing a reorganization plan that will divide the agency into 12 regions. Powell was a U.S. soldier, geologist, explorer of the American West, professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, and director of major scientific and cultural institutions.  Powell served as second director of ...

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How the best dealers manage turns

Over the last decade the boating industry has seen both sides of the inventory challenge.  In the 2007-09 period, we saw dealers stuck with way too many boats when the housing market – and then the rest of the economy – crashed. With dealers dropping left and right and consumers defaulting on loans, excess inventory and repossessed vessels flooded the ...

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The digital marketing strategy every dealer, broker and manufacturer should be using in 2018

Have you ever been on the Internet and noticed ads following you around everywhere you go? Then, you remember you’d been searching for that exact thing or visited that company’s website. It happens virtually every day. What is it, you ask? The technical term is re-targeting (Facebook/Instagram) and re-marketing (Google Display Network). Imagine someone visits your website and views your ...

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At the helm: Scoring with service – The boating tie that binds

The cover of this issue takes a visual approach to presenting the best young leaders in the marine industry. The individuals who appear within this highly popular section are a unique group.  We ask each member of our 40 Under 40 group to complete a background questionnaire. One of the initial questions deals with the individual’s first job. This year’s ...

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How to stop losing boat sales

Have you ever lost a boat sale? Or watched as one of your sale people misses an opportunity you feel they should have had? Here are five of the biggest reasons you’re losing sales and some suggested solutions, so you can put a stop to it once and for all. Ready? Here we go…  1. You talk too much about ...

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Protecting your customers

There’s been plenty of attention lately on data breaches and misuse of customers’ personal information at large companies lately from Facebook to MyFitnessPal to Chase. But if you’re thinking this is a problem for only big businesses, think again. Most small businesses keep plenty of information about their customers on hand, with protection for that information woefully inadequate. Here are ...

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At the helm: More thoughts about millennials

Did you know that millennials basically run Congress? That revelation hadn’t crossed my mind until recently, when a pre-American Boating Congress update from the National Marine Manufacturers Association popped into my email inbox. The NMMA Marine Minute I was reading reminded me that the average staffer for a member of Congress is now 25 to 26 years old. Millennials are ...

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