Keep the momentum going

For 20 years or so, various Marine Retailers Association of America board members and industry leaders have tried to galvanize the development of a mechanism designed to grow our industry through advertising and marketing.
Those efforts have finally paid off. And symmetric with the timing of the Grow Boating initiative, we saw for the first time in years a strong turnout of dealers and manufacturers at the Las Vegas-based MRAA Convention. All seminars and guest speaker forums were well attended and well received.
Both Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and General Electric’s Richard Strickler were acknowledged for their roles in bringing the campaign this far, and I sincerely applaud them on behalf of MRAA’s members.
During the November convention, Dammrich outlined a funding model that calls for everyone to participate. NMMA has contributed a substantial amount of money to the fund and will bring us a viable assessment plan for the future to ensure the appropriate funds will be there to continue.
Perhaps the most exciting segment of the MRAA event was the presentation by Carmichael Lynch, the ad agency designing our national campaign. Anyone with marketing savvy will recognize what this campaign can do for us, the same thing “Got Milk” did for the dairy industry.
It would be a disservice if I, as MRAA chairman, did not call on all of us to insist upon a continuance of momentum for the Grow Boating initiative.
What, specifically then, must we do to guarantee momentum? First, I am speaking to dealers. Knowledge is power. You can’t help if you don’t know what is happening around you. Join MRAA, if you are not already a member, and get plugged into this information. Then, you can do your part by reacting positively to specific action plans.
In addition, without hesitation, I encourage you to write a check for an amount you can afford toward the Grow Boating initiative. Remember, this is not a donation request. We are investing in our own businesses. Skip one advertisement this month in a local publication and send that $300 or $800 increment toward a campaign that will advertise boating on primetime television.
Checks can be made out to MRAA and sent to our Oak Park, Ill. office. We will facilitate payment to NMMA, and you will be acknowledged.
Manufacturers and supporting vendors must also get involved. Encourage your dealers to heed this advice. Let them know that you want intelligent dealers who participate and are on the right side of things.
I am specifically talking to engine builders when I say that you are critical to the success of the Grow Boating campaign. Allow an easy mechanism for us to pass a charge along “per horsepower.” Dealers pay for product first, so we’re certainly doing our part by agreeing to the charge and “floating” it.
Why is timing so critical? Let me finish where I began this article. It took more than 20 years to get to this point. Can you imagine how long it will take to re-energize if we lose steam now? What is more important than bringing in millions of consumers?
People drink a lot of Coke and Pepsi because the delicious benefit of the product is depicted on their TV screen several times each evening. Can you imagine a road trip when you’re kids don’t ask you to stop at McDonalds? Where do they get these ideas?
Please, let’s capitalize on this exciting accomplishment. If Carmichael Lynch designs this campaign, and we see it through to fruition, I promise you will see a major increase in retail traffic and sales growth. It’s just math.
I’m tired of watching RV dealers, car dealers and country clubs get rich from our customers. Don’t misunderstand me. I want them to get rich. I just want us to join them. – Glenn Mazzella, Chairman of the Marine Retailers Association of America

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *