2016 Best in Class: Best Marketing

Best Marketing

Hampton Watercraft and Marine
Hampton Bays, N.Y.

From social media to direct mail to events, Hampton Watercraft and Marine put a particular emphasis on improving its marketing in 2015.

The Long Island dealer started by expanding its social media presence through increased posting and special social media accounts dedicated to its MasterCraft boat line.

“While we try and grow our water sports reputation with MasterCraft Boats we felt that it was important to have the social media pages to follow it,” says President Anthony Villareale. “For this we have continued to promote our LI MasterCraft Facebook, which has been steadily gaining followers, as well as keeping up to date with our @li_mastercraft Instagram account. On these accounts we post specific content geared toward our MasterCraft customers and water sports enthusiasts. We make sure to post photos of our happy customers who are using their boats as well as useful tips for owning and operating a MasterCraft.”

p46x53-BI17JAN-BestInClass.inddIn order to maximize the company’s January New York Boat Show efforts, the company also started advertising what models will be on display at the show by including that information in its YachtWorld listings in November.

“This way we also reach people who are viewing our listings but have not been entered into our lead system or are a customer,” says Villareale. “For each brand we customize an enewsletter of which boats will be at the show and let our customers and leads know about the great deals that will be at the show. We start sending these emails out at the end of November and send them as a reminder as the show gets closer.”

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Hampton Watercraft and Marine has also invested heavily in video on its website and through YouTube,

“Here we post videos of boat walk-throughs, and tutorial videos,” says Villareale. “Our latest addition to our YouTube page, which has gotten a lot of attention, is our video on the Tiara Yachts 50 Coupe. We showed people what it was like from the moment the boat arrived on the property until the second it went in the water and went for its first test ride.”

The company also had a video made of its new 75-ton marine travel lift being assembled and moving boats around the yard.

“This was also sent out to all of our customers and leads to let them know that we can move boats up to 75 feet in length, larger than any boat we have been able to move before,” Villareale says. “The video and our contact information was also sent to all surveyors and boat haulers on Long Island to let them know that we now have the largest marine travel lift on Long Island and can haul boats for their customers if needed.”

Tiara Open HouseAs important as digital marketing is, Hampton Watercraft and Marine also feels that it is also important to not give up on direct mail, sending out a different mail piece every month. These postcards focus on events and special promotions.

“During the creative stages of the postcard we discuss at our sales meetings what is important to include on the postcard and who our target market is,” Villareale says. “We have also begun to utilize a service offered through the Post Office called ‘Every Door Direct Mail.’ This allows us to choose mailing routes in our area and send a bulk mail piece out to every house on that route thus giving us more exposure than ever before.”

The postcard design is then carried through to the landing pages and banner ads prompting the event or promotion.

“We feel that this is important to help keep the effort unified and also helps the workload of the marketing coordinator by sticking with one look for that particular demo,” Villareale says.

The company has also increased the amount of events it participates in, focusing events on specific brands and different target customers. On every weekend from April to September, Hampton hosts a demo day event for one of its five brands.

The company participates in a number of other local festivals and events during the summer, this year adding the local Dan’s Taste of Summer, which features local chefs who compete to see who is the best of the best.

“The top elite from the Hamptons come out every year to this event,” Villareale says. “With this being our first year attending the Taste of Summer we brought one of the largest boats that we could bring – a Tiara Yachts 3600 Coronet. … It was not only the only boat at the event but it was the first time there ever was a boat at the Taste of Summer.”

Event goers were wowed by the boat, and the event generated a large number of leads and sales.

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