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New free tools are must for every dealer

Those of you who regularly read this blog know of my disappointment that the “Discover Boating” national ad campaign was dry docked this winter, a victim of the current economy. I believe in that program and look for it to come back ASAP!

But, the lack of TV ads has not meant “Discover Boating” is dormant. In fact, it is very active in PR efforts, digital media, social networking and electronic communications. And, now, as never before, superb new tools are being offered every dealer. It’s an “Offer you can’t refuse!”

The marketing and PR team at NMMA has just created a new “Discover Boating Toolkit.” According to Carl Blackwell, vice president of marketing and communications, the toolkit is loaded with materials that will boost every dealer’s marketing efforts in a first-class manner. Here are some highlights of the new “Discover Boating Toolkit” to whet your appetite:

• You can now add popular “Discover Boating” features to your Web site, customized to fit your needs. Features like: the Spousal Conversion Kit (the most popular section with the media); the Affordability Tool & Budget Planner (a great time to use this); and the award-winning “Good Run” short video. Never seen “Good Run”? You must, because it reminds viewers of the value of building family memories with boats and it will be a great addition to any dealer’s website.

• You can also add some “Boating Guy videos” that effectively address barriers to boat ownership. Plus, any references to the Discover Boating website have been taken out so it will look like it’s your dealership’s “custom content” and it will keep viewers on your site longer.

• The toolkit also contains a selection of PR materials that can be easily personalized. Using these can help you get valuable local media coverage.

• There are timely talking points – both defensive (what to say when the media comes to hound you about the state of the industry) and positive – outlining the benefits of boating. Many of these points can “arm” your sales team when they are asked questions – not just by the media, but by prospects.

• Boost your in-house sales training program with new sales tips from the well respected sales trainer, Glen Roller.

• Need exciting video for your Web site? The toolkit has high quality videos you can download to your website that will help visitors enjoy your site more.

• How would you like immediate access to valuable industry research to help in the development of your business plans and strategies? You got it!

• You can identify ways to maximize leads generated through “Discover Boating.” Yes, the program is still generating leads, even without the national TV spots.

• Review best practices and ideas from dealers around the country about how they’re growing and nurturing their customer base.

DO I have your attention, now? Here, then, are two really important points: (1) All the links to the “Discover Boating” website have been removed from these materials, so it will appear to be your custom content and the viewers stay on your Web site; and (2) It’s FREE! I repeat, FREE!

Says Blackwell: “Our goal is for dealers and manufacturers to make use of this material like it was there own. We’re convinced it will drive sales for those who do.”

Frankly, I can’t believe any good dealer won’t! So, get started right now. You’ll find the toolkit at:


5 comments on “New free tools are must for every dealer

  1. Natalie Friton

    I’m also glad to see that the NMMA is trying to put some effort into its Grow Boating campaign but I’m at a loss for how Grow Boating itself is actually helping to promote boating. Providing tools, widgets, and downloads to dealers is great, but I think the NMMA needs to figure out how to get the idea of boating into the hands and minds of the public who is not already thinking about boating. Of course boat dealers can benefit from promotion tools to generate sales of their own product, but what the industry needs as a whole is leadership toward getting the word out to the bigger general public. How is the NMMA and Grow Boating reaching that audience?

  2. Ron Knapik

    Advertising, which is lost due to conditions. Until that changes, there is no other way to promote boating to the masses, and I don’t think the boat companies have utilized returned funding to do it on their own.

    Promotions and rebates that end in March or April just does not cut it in this environment. These kind of programs are going to be needed in May and June.

  3. Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

    Dealers and manufacturers should consider partnering with municipal and county parks and recreation agencies in devloping youth- and first-time boating programs that get people into paddle sports, small sailboats and power boats. It’s done in this community and it really has taken a foothold in interest in boating.

  4. CarlM

    I was at a sold out major league baseball game last night and noticed on a 3 ft wide x 5 ft high electronic billboard which changed messages or ads every 10-15 seconds an ad for “Go RV-ing” & how to get a free CD to family fun. This repeated about every 10th ad or other display of information. (they have at least 100 of around the park). I saw nothing related to boating. Rv industry may be in worst shape than marine with major manufacturers like Fleetwood, Monaco and others in Bankruptcy but they continue to pay for advertizing.

  5. Captain Andrew

    All the comments above make very good points. Unfortunately–Boating is still most often perceived as a high-priced luxury. Lets face it–all the marketing in the world will not do anything unless the industry changes it’s mindset and can show real examples of the cost-benefits of boating. The industry needs to specifically show how ANYBODY can take advantage of boating cost-effectively. The industry needs to come up with alternatives to one-boat-owner paradigms and start providing programs such as fractional yacht ownership and club ownership. Two examples I can think of are Manhattan Yacht Club (NYC) and Liberty Sailing Club (Philadelphia.) The former being a for-profit organization and the latter being a not-for-profit organization. It is my belief this model of yacht-club can often be used as for-profit entity. Furthermore it is my belief organizations such these bring ALOT of people into the sport/lifestyle. Both clubs have one design fleets requiring purchasing boats 3 or 4 at a time. I encourage anyone reading this comment to look at their websites:

    Granted both these clubs are racing clubs. There are other clubs that use 30-40 foot cruising boats instead of racing. This is where the demand will lie for people (middle class and rich) who want to boat who are not wealthy. The difference between Rich and Wealthy you ask? Rich–a person works for their money; Wealthy–the money works for the person.

    the point is: These clubs have large memberships. The industry needs to respond with on-the-ground ideas–not just marketing.

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