Industry sweet spot discussed at IMBC

ORLANDO, Fla. – The International Marina & Boatyard Conference kicked off yesterday morning with a keynote address on Generation Jones, the consumer age group between Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, which is said to make up 40-to-50 percent of marinas’ customers.

Keynote speaker Jonathan Pontell told the audience that “Jonesers,” currently in the 40- to 51-year-old age range, put their dreams on hold in early adulthood in favor of more practical goals, such as financial stability. As they get older, they are beginning to feel it’s “now or never” to reach for personal fulfillment. For that reason, Generation Jones is particularly open to being persuaded to try new products and pursuits now, providing the industry with a unique window of opportunity.

Immediately following the keynote was a Grow Boating presentation by NMMA’s Carl Blackwell in which he recognized Generation Jones as “the sweet spot of who we’re trying to target.”

That target market consists of first-time boat owners, who Blackwell says have an average household income of $55,000, 72 percent of which own their own home, about 50 percent of which are married and about 50 percent of which have kids. That makes for a total of 22 million U.S. households.

The advertising campaign, which includes TV, magazine and Web ads, will kick off in March in an effort to generate 476 million target impressions and 1.5 billion total impressions.

Methods to leverage information on both Generation Jones and Grow Boating will be shared this afternoon during an IMBC presentation on advertising, marketing and public relations.

IMBC, which is being held through Feb. 1 at the Marriott Renaissance SeaWorld in Orlando, features a sold-out exhibitor floor and more than 500 participants, exhibitors and speakers.

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