Map it out

Having a plan always gives a business a leg up; this is particularly true in marketing, where a plan can be modified depending on financial results or in response to changing market conditions.

The average Top 100 dealership spent 3.1 percent of its sales on marketing materials and activities, including advertising. This included planned marketing initiatives as well as unique opportunities that popped up during the year.

Many Top 100 Dealers hold marketing planning meetings each fall to discuss the coming year. Among the agenda items are often creating a marketing calendar and a budget for individual promotions. Rambo Marine, Inc. (Ranked 73) and Arrowhead Yacht Club (Ranked 8) are two dealers who consult with David Parker of Parker Business Planning Inc. when laying out their annual marketing strategy. At Sea Ray of Cincinnati, Louisville & Lexington (Ranked 59), the general manager of each location is charged with developing a unique plan for his or her dealership with help from the company’s marketing director.

Developing a slogan or theme to accompany your advertising and marketing efforts can boost its effectiveness. It could be a short-term slogan, perhaps to cover a sales push, or it could be an ongoing one, such as Crystal Pierz’s (ranked 5), “This way to the lake.”

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