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Working together can make things happen

If you missed the announcement, the members of the Marine Trades Association of Metro Atlanta have apparently embraced the most-memorable line from the movie Network — “I’m fed up and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

Victimized by national publicity about Georgia’s water problems, 99 percent of the members of the MTA voted to begin spending $100,000 to promote Lake Lanier, Lake Allatoona and other lakes in the Metro Atlanta Region. The promotion will begin immediately and run for the next 4-months, according to a Dealer Alert about the plan issued by MRAA yesterday.

“We want to get the word out in Georgia that we have water in our lakes and to come out to our dealers to check out new boats.” “We have a win-win solution to help promote our dealers and our lakes,” explained Bill Sommerfield, president of the MTA and vice president of Lazy Days Marina, Lake Lanier. In addition, this fall, Holiday Marina and JOA Marine are offering their dock space for a large in-water boat show for all MTA members.

The joint actions in Atlanta are just what is needed in these tough times. But Atlanta’s example isn’t unique. Here’s another:

Last weekend, downtown Cleveland was the site of a “Boating & Fishing Fest” built around Discover Boating demo rides. Three dealers — Sima Marine (Eastlake, OH), South Shore Marine (Huron, OH) and Ivancic Marine (Cleveland) — teamed up with their boats to take more than 1500 adults and children for Discover Boating rides. According to South Shore Marine’s Tom Mack, whose dealership is some 40 miles from Cleveland: “We believe its good business to offer people the chance to experience boating first-hand. So, rather than sit back at the store and wait, we’ll go out prospecting wherever we might make something happen.”

Just 3 weeks ago, MarineMax and Bass Pro Shops announced a joint promotion in markets where the two have stores. That promo is slated to run thru June 15.

The point of all this should be obvious.

For those who want to successfully get through the down market, aggressive actions and new thinking are in order. In these examples, dealers are closing ranks, ignoring areas of competitiveness and combining resources for mutual gain. If the members of the MTA of Metro Atlanta weren’t pulling together, or if the dealers in Ohio hadn’t combined for a big weekend event, no one could have done it alone.

Now’s the time for all dealers to look around, see the common ground and promote together for mutual success.


3 comments on “Working together can make things happen

  1. mike webster

    As noted recently in Trade Only, Jacksonville, Florida marinas,dealers and a host of related marine service providers and neighborhood support facilities have banded together as “Jacksonville Marina Mile”.The trend towards promoting mutual interests and uplifting our respective ,wonderful and always special boating areas is exciting.

  2. arch

    I think it’s NAIVE for any of us to ASSUME these new marketing ideas and associations are going to work and be productive. It’s nothing new in the business and most of these ideas have already been tried. I agree that JOINT ACTIONS should be considered and implemented, but before bragging about it, let’s see the results and then we can use actual FACTS to form our own opinions.

    I think something that industry DOESN”T NEED is knee jerk reactions and wasteful spending. IN a severely down market like we have right now, you can advertise and combine resources all you want, but you will not reverse the trend, change consumer confidence, or address the primary issues regarding why people are not buying boats right now.
    I”m not being negative, I’m being realistic. The dealers around ATLANTA need to understand that it’s not the water levels that are severely affecting sales. Yes, it’s had an affect, but it’s much more than that. LOW Consumer confidence, fuel prices, housing industry, rising unemployment, rising loan rates, war in the middle east, election year, etc etc. This PERFECT STORM is what is affecting the market.
    NOW, don’t get me wrong, I”m not against new ideas in marketing and advertising, and I think what they did in CLEVELAND was smart, but spending a $100,000 isn’t the answer.
    FRONT PAGE and TOP HEADLINE in todays Atlanta paper says….DROUGHT GETTING WORSE.
    This $100,000 amounts to using an umbrella during a hurricane.
    I hope and pray you prove me wrong.

  3. dave boso

    The market idea that works is; sell your heart out, features and benifits, trial close, more selling, trial close, more selling final close. and be prepaired to do it over and over till you make the sale.
    It’s hard work the days of taking orders is over. Too many savy buyers, and too many dealers that would just as soon give their proffit away just to say they made the sale.
    If you have sales men ( I don’t) make it worth their while to work hard, and any that think this is an easy job; fire them.
    Most of these fancy ideas come from guys that would’nt know to sell heatlamps to Eskimos,oops Native Inuiat peoples.

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