When you talk about “co-op” with some marine dealers, you’re sung a sad song about the declining marketing dollars provided by boat and engine builders. Perhaps rightly so.
But Canadian dealership Buckeye Marine (Ranked 19) has its own more positive and proactive approach to cooperative marketing. The company has completely redefined the term and is using it to extend its marketing reach. Through Buckeye’s new joint marketing program, it has been partnering with manufacturers, distributors and local businesses, allowing it to reach previously untapped markets without blowing its marketing budget.
One such partner is Fokus Marketing. Based in the Ottawa/Hull area, the company is known for the extreme sports events it produces. Through a cooperative arrangement, Buckeye has supplied Fokus with a 2006 MasterCraft X45 that is used for demo rides and to display the Buckeye brand at all Fokus events. In addition, the company’s owner has purchased a matching Hummer to showcase the boat.
Buckeye also conducted a joint marketing initiative with Sirius Satellite Radio this summer in which Buckeye provided the company with a MasterCraft X7 for all its major on-water events and festivals. The boat was towed behind the Sirius promotional vehicle and was on display at a new on-land or in-water location across Ontario every June, July and August weekend.
Finally, the marine dealer works with four ski schools to support one another’s events, sponsors the “Rock the Wake” pro wakeboard tournament and provincial championships, and supports a host of local agencies and community groups. Combined with Buckeye Marine’s many other innovative marketing strategies, it’s no surprise to learn the dealership’s growth has been in the double digits.
Not only is the company one of the most innovative marketers among the Top 100 Dealers, it knows how to market smart.