We need more first-time buyers. Is there anyone in our industry that disagrees with me on that? But let’s be clear: to get them will require an understanding of who they are and how they roll.
Last weekend I joined others from my church to paint a house as part of CareFest USA, a community service day that unites businesses, churches and community organizations with hundreds of volunteers to beautify and repair homes and beautify neighborhoods.
If you sell fishing boats of any size and style and you’ve never taken time to look over www.takemefishing.org, you haven’t seen one of the most comprehensive consumer campaigns that directly supports our industry and offers dealers great content.
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty tired of TV reporters and presidential candidates trying to convince us the economy offers us less opportunity than a Somalian smuggler. And, while we’re at it, let’s hear it for those so-called economists (cough, cough) that claim the economy could tank at any minute.
In a first step to jettison parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act, the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday voted for the Financial CHOICE Act of 2016. Dodd-Frank, you’ll recall, was Congress’s response to the 2008 financial debacle.
The Tampa Boat Show knocked it out of the park last weekend. But, most importantly from an industry perspective, it’s a solid indicator that the fall shows slated for the next two months will see bigger crowds and more sales.
The completion of an economic impact study by the Marine Industries Association of Florida is a model for others, while the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas will be tackling the new overtime regulations in an upcoming webinar.
A regular reader of Dealer Outlook once commented: “Norm, I can’t believe you are for more regulations.” He was right. I’m definitely not. But when it’s becomes necessary to get less talk and more action, regulation could be the best answer.
Concerned that July’s disappointing sales are a harbinger of things to come? It appears the drop will be more of a blip than a trend if the early successes at the August boat shows on the Great Lakes are indicators.
Dealers who know the importance of investing some time and money to stay ahead of their competition will find themselves heading for the Sunshine State twice before Christmas.
I had to call my bank the other day to resolve a problem I thought would be quick and easy. When I finally got a human, my expectations for fast resolution started downhill.
Many cities and counties along the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to Florida are having a good time deciding how to spend the money they’re receiving in settlements from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster of 2010.
I get it. You’re thinking: “Norm lives in Florida. It’s called the Sunshine State, except during hurricane season when it’s better called the Plywood State. So he’s become paranoid about hurricanes.”
“There is no way we could have talked to so many people without being here,” said Rod Bensz, director of sales and owner of B&E Marine, while winding down his exhibit at last weekend’s Progressive Chicagoland In-Water Boat Show. He captured the importance boat shows play in every dealer’s marketing plan.
As you read this, salespeople on the docks for today’s opening of the Progressive Chicagoland In-Water Boat Show are likely grappling with this very issue. Let’s face it: we’re not an industry that builds cheap boats. So what’s a salesperson to do?
A new brand and major upgrades will be the highlights when the Progressive Chicagoland In-Water Boat Show at Michigan City opens for four days this Thursday, starting off the fall in-water show circuit.
If you’re a dealer in Massachusetts, you now have new restrictions on your ability to make employee compensation decisions. Simply, you can no longer ask a prospective employee about their salary at their current or previous jobs.
Florida has taken the lead in assisting local businesses impacted by the presence of blue-green algal blooms in local waterways.
Reagan Haynes’ report yesterday on MarineMax’s experience that the middle class is a dwindling part of its customer base is disturbing, especially when viewed in the context of the sluggish recovery from the sales plunge of 2008-09 for our industry.
The 2016 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo added a key session on marketing to its growing educational offerings. Meanwhile, the serious national problem of algae blooms in our waterways continues to get worse.
How do you gain new prospects? The simple answer is: Get in front of them.
If you have a social media marketing program and can’t nail down its ROI, you’re not alone.
I watched baseball’s All-Star Game Tuesday night and, while I enjoyed seeing so many of this year’s top ball players, I was most impacted by the pause in the game when everyone stood up to hold a card with the name of someone for whom they were “Standing Up To Cancer.”
When boaters won’t use their boats because they refuse to plow through guacamole-thick green gunk, it’s a threat to our industry.
“Fishing boat sales in Florida plummet.” That’s a headline I hope never to write, but it’s a very real possibility for dealers who sell fishing boats if anti-fishing interests succeed in plans to deny us access to large areas along Florida’s coast.
Due to a technical problem, please click here to be redirected to the July 28 Dealer Outlook blog “Is there a middle class in our future?” Bernice McArdle is ending an outstanding 16-year career with the National Marine Manufacturers Association in which she has served in multiple key positions. While her list of accomplishments is […]
Ah, the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Gotta love it.
These days, any marketer can throw up a tweet with a hashtag, post a blog or tag something on Facebook. But a successful marketer knows that email is still the best way to reach out.
If you follow Dealer Outlook, you already know I’m a big believer in our industry’s Discover Boating campaign. And when I see multiple morning segments on the nation’s No. 1 cable news network touting how great boating is, it reminds me most dealers probably don’t see the continuous work the Discover Boating team does to […]
My name is Norm and I’m addicted . . . to my smartphone.
A boat show by any other name is still a boat show. But it should be called what it is.
If you think the matter of the new overtime rules or the amount you pay as a retailer in swipe fees are all finally settled, think again. There’s a move in Congress against the new overtime rules (do I hear applause?) while the reductions in swipe fees might go out the window (boos and jeers).
“How’s your job going?” I asked a young member of my church.
The announcement last week that registration is now open for the 2016 International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference should resonate with both dealers and manufacturers for two reasons.
The opposition to a proposal to shut out boaters and anglers from up to 30 percent of a coral reef tract drew heavy fire on both coasts of Florida on Wednesday — and it should.
With Memorial Day weekend in our wake, my eyes turn to supporting industry veteran Phil Dyskow for appointment to the Gulf Fisheries Management Council and a look at the recently announced Boat Bash plans for Chicago.
These days, dealers face a time-consuming process in selecting what marketing media to use to acquire new customers. Technology keeps growing that list with each outlet possessing unique characteristics, though not all would likely be effective.
We’re in the middle of National Safe Boating Week (May 21-27) and, sadly, many dealers ignore it or, at best, just throw up a safety poster somewhere in the showroom. It shouldn’t be that way.
It hasn’t been a good week if you’re a believer that businesses are already overburdened with regulations and that the potential for our customers to misfuel their boats with E15 is becoming more alarming.
Marine dealers — at least those who are good at digital marketing — use the web frequently these days. However, the web was built on words and today’s Internet is built on video.
On Tuesday, I blogged about millennials as a target market and all your comments were notably right on point.
It’s official. Millennials, those 18-to-34-year-olds, now exceed baby boomers as the nation’s largest population group. It’s a demographic that boating needs to attract if we’re to see serious growth in the foreseeable future.
“There were gray skies, cool temperatures, brisk northeast winds off a cold Lake Erie and some unwelcomed showers, but the boat show was very upbeat, well attended and brought in ready buyers,” says Tom Mack of South Shore Marine in Huron.
“Ignoring customers’ discomfort, whether it’s explicitly expressed or latent, brings the substantial danger of people turning away from your offering at the first sight of a better alternative.”
Every marine dealer, marina operator and service supplier should be a member of their state and/or local marine trade association. The positive return on the extremely low dues investment is always a hands-down good deal.
With the Catawba Island (Ohio) Boat Show starting off the Great Lakes boating season this weekend, dealers everywhere should be encouraging their customers to make plans to do more cruising, fishing and enjoying more days on the water than in many recent years. And especially for those planning to cruise, dealers can recommend a new […]
The National Park Service turns 100 years old this year and it’s inviting everyone to join the centennial celebration. But I also find it a time to voice disappointment in the National Park Service’s lack of support for increasing boating activity.
Another of the industry’s most accomplished show producers, Joe O’Neal is retiring.
It was Disney night this week on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars.” As I watched the competition unfold to all-Disney music, I couldn’t help thinking about how the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s alliance with Disney World is going. Turns out it’s going strong.
We’re confronted with them every day and everywhere: retail reference prices flashing on everything from boots to boats. But a question worth asking is: do reference prices really provide consumers with any informational value and, if so, how?