2021 Best in Class: Best Marketing

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Nautical Ventures
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Traditional and ordinary are two words that could never be used to explain the marketing efforts at Nautical Ventures.

This Fort Lauderdale-based dealership group is all about standing out from the rest of the crowd and showing the world what having fun on the water is all about.

With nine locations across Florida representing almost 20 different boat brands and seemingly endless growth, Nautical Ventures’ marketing director Frank Ferraro and the rest of the marketing team surely have their work cut out for them, when maintaining the group’s marketing plans.

“We support a boating culture that’s tightly woven into a tropical lifestyle and homeport to more big yachts than any other place in the world,” Ferraro said. “Nautical Ventures proactively seeks out innovative boat brands and emerging marine technologies, and is the first to introduce them to the Florida market.”

From a 40,000-gallon AquaZone above-ground pool to show off boat toys during boat shows, to airing its own radio show called “The Weekly Fisherman” and a long list of new and unique ventures in marketing, Nautical Ventures is sure to stand out from any pack.

On the digital front, through organic SEO, the Nautical Ventures marketing team was seeing an average of over 780,000 search impressions each month in 2020, a 57% increase over its 2019 numbers.

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The dealer group also employs a full-time listing manager whose role is to add custom written content, proprietary photos and videos, and provide very granular boat model data that goes deep into the subtext boxes provided by boat listing sites.

“We’ve gone beyond typical boat listings by adding engines, trailers, kayaks, yacht toys and more, “ Ferraro said. “The result has led to our listings ranking within the top-five searches on Google, a faster turnover of pre-owned boats and an increase in sales for the non-endemic items.”

Nautical Ventures’ radio show, “The Weekly Fisherman” has been in a tool in the dealership’s arsenal for quite sometime, with the show now also being simulcast on Facebook Live. While the show is a great platform for marketing about Nautical Ventures, the show offers much more to the dealership.

“We’ve been advertising on it for over nine years and people still walk in weekly stating that they heard about Nautical Ventures from listening to the show,” Ferraro said. “We own the show, but we also sell sponsorships via our media kit, so in addition to the advertising benefits, it is also an income producing instrument.”

In addition to its own dealership marketing efforts, due to the fact that Nautical Ventures carries many international brands, the dealer group serves as a marketing arm for their various U.S. marketing efforts.

“Be it for their public relations outreach, boat show participation, advertising efforts, photography & video assets using Miami as a backdrop, etc., we serve as a promotional agency for them,” Ferraro said.

Aside from its digital and traditional marketing efforts, the marketing team at Nautical Ventures uses a variety of community events to not only get the dealership’s name in front of people, but also support various causes in its local community.

From the annual Peanut Island Clean-up event to the yearly Anglers for a Cure fishing tournament and so much more, the team at Nautical Ventures is sure to make a name for itself across the communities in South Florida.

“For most of these events, our goal is to support a specific cause and help raise funds, where applicable,” Ferraro said. “Our business goal is to ream front and center with our name to give back to the community and to be top-of-mind within our boating marketplace.”

Despite challenges brought on by the pandemic, Nautical Ventures brought a variety of new and innovative marketing strategies and increased demand in the boating world, helping the dealership along to a 253% YOY increase in lead generation in 2020, along with record ROI on all of its various marketing efforts.

“2020 represented a particularly challenging year due to COVID,” Ferraro said. “But rather than hibernate and wait for something to change, we took a stance by analyzing our unique market environment and proactively marketed to an audience of like-minded people who turned to boating as a safe, recreational outlet.”

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