A time to reflect

Two years ago at this time, we began hearing the
rumblings of what industry insiders perceived to be the beginning a prolonged downturn for the marine market. Sales had shut off following the Fourth of July holiday, business leaders were looking for solutions to combat the slowdown, and it seems that many of them have been hunkered down, fighting off the storm, ever since.

It was also at that time that the Boating Industry brand made a major shift in its direction. Through discussion in editorial team meetings, we knew we had to act fast to help our readers. And we chose to do so not by following the traditional time-intensive requirements of our standard production cycle, but instead by launching the first of what would become a series of e-white papers, electronic publications, modeled after the Boating Industry magazine you have come to know and love, but distributed immediately through Web and e-mail applications.

The first e-white paper, “How to Thrive in a Down Market,” borrowed expert tips, and advice, ideas and strategies for bolstering your business even when times are tough. This new product of ours hit the market to rave reviews, and since that time, we’ve expanded the concept to include best practices and case studies alongside the expert advice, and we have partnered with GE, Boat Trader and ValvTect to bring similar digital publications to market. And in the end, it helps us achieve our promise of being the trusted source that delivers you timely solutions that you can use for immediate results.

We’re proud of these e-white papers, and as I write we have a series of them in store for release to you this fall. While this concept of being your trusted source for the solutions you need today started with the magazine, it has extended to every corner of our brand.

You can see a clear picture of it in the three-part, “Planning for Profits” cover package we sent out in our July issue. You can receive it in your inbox every week in the form of our Best Practices e-newsletter (subscribe for free at www.boatingindustry.com). And you’ll find more and more of it coming from Boating Industry as we roll out more products to help you achieve the success your business deserves.

In tough times like these, aligning yourself with strong brands and proven methods such as these is critical. It underscores the creativity and the partnership needed to strengthen your company and your brand in a difficult economic environment.

Barry Asmus, a senior economist for the National Center for Policy Analysis and one of the top-five requested speakers as recognized by the USA Today, recently told a group of marine industry leaders at the annual Marine Design Resource Alliance Creative Conference that “This is a time for pause in this industry. Don’t waste this year because it will someday be viewed by you all as pivotal.”

As you pause to consider your strategy going forward, make sure you’re aligned with the brand that helps you deliver results.

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