Do the research

Knowing your demographic and targeting it with every marketing and advertising dollar you have can bring in more qualified prospects. While it’s good to be out in the boating community to observe trends, here are a few additional ways to do market research:

• Subscribe to Statistical Surveys or Info-Link. The companies specialize in marine market research, providing monthly and quarterly reports. Hall Marine Group (Ranked 4 in 2006) finds the data helpful in analyzing the opportunity for diversifying into other styles of boats.

• Participate in focus groups. Whether it’s something a manufacturer is pulling together or something you’d like to do yourself, these close and extensive conversations with consumers are a good way to take the market’s pulse.

• Read trade journals.

• Take advantage of industry involvement. Rambo Marine (Ranked 73 in 2006) spends time examining how its 20 Group orders boats, which models are most popular and what markets seem to be growing. Seattle Boat Co. (Ranked 16 in 2006) gets Washington boat sales activity data through its Northwest Marine Trade Association.

• See if data is available through your state. Sail & Ski Center (Ranked 12 in 2006) purchases boat registration data from Texas’ Parks & Wildlife department.

  • To explore more Marketing Best Practices, click here.
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