Features

The Zero Moment of Truth

(Note: This article is a sidebar within the article, The new customer.) What is the Zero Moment of Truth? The simplest way of looking at it is a fourth step in the traditional three-step marketing process. Traditionally, purchasing has been a linear decision: 1. Stimulus – Something, typically an advertisement or word of mouth, stimulates a potential buyer to find ...

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2012 Top 100 Dealer of the Year – Legendary Marine

Legendary Marine started in a single-wide trailer in 2001 with three employees. Today it is spread across five locations, employs more than 140 full-time workers and is the 2012 Top 100 Dealer of the Year. That’s quite a journey. It begins with Fred Pace, Legendary’s managing partner, who entered the marine industry in 1988. After the dealership he was managing ...

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2012 Best in Class: Best boat show strategy

Sail & Ski Center Austin, Texas Rod Malone, president of the Sail & Ski Center, stresses to his team that boat shows are not actually “shows” but rather “boat-selling events.” Yes, they stage attractive displays to show off their boats, but more importantly Sail & Ski goes into each event with a selling strategy and a well-prepared sales staff. The ...

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2012 Best in Class: Best marketing

BMC Boats Longwood, Fla. BMC Boats’ mission is to have its brand be instantly recognizable like marketing giants Coca Cola and Disney, and in order to do so, the dealership has taken a similar engaging approach to stand out from the crowd. Longwood, Fla.-based BMC Boats is a one-location dealership that recently launched a multi-pronged campaign utilizing the Web, direct ...

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2012 Best in Class: Best events

Parks Marina Okoboji, Iowa Most dealers, especially those in the Top 100, have events to bring potential customers to the water. Then there’s Parks Marina. The Okoboji, Iowa-based dealer has made events a top priority in its marketing efforts. They’re also a significant part of the long-term plans to build president Butch Parks’ dream of an Okoboji Marina District including ...

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2012 Best in Class: Best industry advocate

Buckeye Marine Bobcaygeon, Ontario During difficult times, it’s easy to justify pulling back support for outside groups, reasoning that anything that doesn’t directly affect the bottom line is a waste of valuable resources. But that’s not the way that Buckeye Marine thinks. “At Buckeye we believe that being involved with industry and community groups is what helps us to learn ...

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2012 Best in Class: Most innovative

Wakeside Marine Elkhart, Ind. Defining what makes a business innovative can be difficult, but luckily, by demonstrating the necessary cutting-edge approach, companies often define it themselves. In 2012, Elkhart, Ind.-based WakeSide Marine employed processes, used new technologies and launched marketing campaigns that did just that and truly advanced the dealership in ways new to the Top 100 Program. To begin, ...

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2012 Best in Class: Best service department

Gordy’s Lakefront Marine Fontana, Wis. Boat sales can be fickle, and for this reason many have increased focus on their service department. At Gordy’s Lakefront Marine, service was nearly its only business for most of its first 40 years of existence. Before it added boat sales in 1997, the revenue centers at Fontana, Wis.-based Gordy’s were service, storage and boat ...

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2012 Best in Class: Best place to work

Port Harbor Marine South Portland, Maine When a company spends a good portion of its Top 100 application talking about employee benefits, recognition programs and training and education, it makes us take a second look. Port Harbor Marine does plenty of things well, but recently the Maine company put a special emphasis on improving company culture by implementing a “carrot ...

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2012 Best in Class: Best website

Action Water Sports Hudsonville, Mich. With most consumers turning to the Web before they ever visit a business’s physical location, having a good website is a requirement. Still, many dealers don’t give their site the attention it deserves. Action Water Sports realized it could do better. “We believe our website has taken over as the new front door of our ...

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