At the helm: Industry needs more lapsed boater research

Boating industry researchers continue to shed new light on the importance of tracking lapsed boaters as a potential return-to-market segment. 

During the Second Annual Grow Boating Marketing Summit presentation at this year’s International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference, Jack Ellis, managing director at Info-Link Technologies, Inc., estimated there are 5 million to 10 million lapsed boaters, individuals who have previously owned a boat, but still identify themselves as boaters. 

Steve Pizzolato, an industry strategist at AVALA Marketing Inc., a Rollick company, also addressed lapsed boaters during his IBEX presentation. 

AVALA’s recently completed lapsed buyer study polled 1,760 boat shopper respondents. 

Pizzolato said during his presentation that his company’s lapsed boater study uncovered additional items of interest for dealers and boat manufacturers.

“We have some issues to talk about,” Pizzolato said, referring to survey data that indicated only 40 percent of manufacturers followed-up with prospects after initial contact. Most boat manufacturers (55 percent) followed up just one time with prospects during the purchase process, Pizzolato added. Brand flipping was also identified in the AVALA lapsed boater study, with 25 percent of dealers suggesting other brands to buying prospects.

Earlier this year, an in-depth analysis of U.S. sales leads on three Boats Group sites conducted by Info-Link Technologies, Inc. provided additional consumer data on lapsed boaters. Data from the lead conversion and sales study indicates individuals who have left the water or the boating lifestyle in general represent a critical recapture segment within the industry’s online marketplace.

Continued analysis of lapsed boaters represents a key industry goal. There’s great potential for putting people into boats and back on the water.

The mission is simple, but the end task remains hard: Increase conversion rates while addressing a missing market segment. 

MCDE provides education, industry connections

This year’s 2018 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo is packed with information-filled educational tracks that attendees won’t want to miss. 

Co-produced by the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and Boating Industry, the line-up for this don’t-miss event has been designed to deliver innovative growth strategies for dealers as well as the entire marine industry. 

Click here to read the MCDE preview included this edition of Boating Industry, and learn more about additional track and speaker details at 


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