At the Helm: Reaching new markets

Change is here, whether you like it or not. That shouldn’t even be a topic of discussion at this point.

The country looks very different than it did 20 or 30 years ago. You can complain about that if you’d like and that’s certainly your right.

Yes, there are things that were better 30 years ago. There’s many a day when I look back on the days before email with fond memories.

And of course it’s not just technology. We’re a much more ethnically diverse country than we once were. In my lifetime alone, we’ve gone from an 85 percent white country to a less than 70 percent one and the change is accelerating. My generation (X) is only 62 percent white; the following Millennials are only 59 percent white. The under-5 population is 50 percent white, 50 percent multicultural.

Reaching out to these folks isn’t about being politically correct or trying to improve society or anything as grand as that. It’s just simple economics – they’re getting more affluent, they’ve got money and we want some of it. In that regard, you could say the only color that matters is green.

That’s why we’ve dedicated a significant portion of this issue to the topic of reaching those new markets from a growing Millennial generation – the largest generation ever – to a more diverse potential customer base.

Those two efforts go hand-in-hand – if we’re going to reach a younger customer, we need to reach a more diverse one.

But here’s the truth about all of this. These efforts by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, the Recreational Boating Leadership Council and Discover Boating are all great, but it is those people on the front lines of the industry that need to take advantage of these new opportunities, to be ready to welcome a customer that is younger or doesn’t look like you.

So in the end, it’s up to you. The good news is we’re here to help.

In this article, we’ve got the key data about these groups, plus a bevy of information on how dealers and manufacturers are successfully reaching out to them. Plus, we share some of the findings from the outstanding research work being done by RBFF and their partners at Lopez Negrete. There’s more information on our website as well – just go to BoatingIndustry.com/NewMarkets to find those resources. Finally, we’ll be hosting a webinar at 2 p.m. Eastern June 17 to discuss reaching these audiences. You can sign up for that webinar by clicking here.

One comment

  1. Great piece Jonathan... It is up to the front lines to understand that change is coming whether they want it to come (or not) or know how to best adjust. I personally look forward to the webinar and hope there is a huge level of participation!

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