Cut Carefully

Advertising and marketing are like fishing lures, according to Will Keene, president of The Edson Corp. One needs different bait depending on what one is trying to catch.

Customers are like that too, which is why the New Bedford, Mass. based marine products manufacturer tries to reach out to customers and potential customers in as many ways as possible — something that becomes even more important during a recession. The company sells directly to dealers, boat builders, boat yards and consumers, so this widely divergent audience can’t be reached by any one medium.

“If you do just one thing, it throws the whole customer contact out of balance,” says Keene. “In spending marketing dollars, you need a recipe that you can afford, but you have to have all of the ingredients.”

To minimize spending, The Edson Corp., which was founded in Boston in 1859, may take a smaller booth, but it won’t pull out of the boat show. Public relations, print advertising and Web site maintenance are also important pieces of the puzzle. As Keene puts it, “You have to hit them high, hit them low and hit them in the middle. The approach has to be multi-faceted.”
While the company is watching its spending closely, all of the customer touch points remain in place.

“The customer base has to get information in a way that’s most comfortable for them because people learn in different ways,” Keene says. “You never know where they’re going to get that information, and you have to fish where they’re biting.”

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