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Dealers should identify stores with Discover Boating brand

The NMMA’s president, Thom Dammrich, addressed the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association’s annual meeting last week and, as anticipated, he talked about the progress of the Grow Boating Initiative.

In high energy fashion, he up-dated the audience on the growing success of the program and offered a sneak preview of what’s in store for 2008.

The 2008 program details will be fully unveiled at the Miami Boat Show. The Grow Boating Initiative special meeting is slated for Wednesday, February 13, in the Miami Beach Convention Center, at 3:30 p.m. I urge everyone in Miami to attend this important presentation.

Indications of Grow Boating’s building momentum are very real. For example, on the dealer side, there are now 602 dealerships enrolled in the marine industry dealership certification program.  Of those, 346 have completed the certification process and 256 are on their way. On the manufacturer’s side, there are now 270 boat brands with NMMA Certification, up 50% in 2007. In effect, over 90% of all boat brands built in the U.S. is now certified. Boat trailer builders are also moving quickly with 30 manufacturers certified and 15 more in process.

Everyone in the industry should want to get the progress report. After all, we are spending upwards of $13 million annually to Grow Boating and we’re staking much of our future on its long-term market impact.

But, after Dammrich left I began wondering just how tuned in the Cleveland area dealers really were to Grow Boating and, particularly, the Discover Boating marketing campaign. So, I started asking around. While all dealers knew about the program, nearly all  admitted they’d done little to capitalize on it. For example, no one used the Discover Boating logo in their ads. No one displayed the Discover Boating window clings or posters around their stores. No one has used any of the available direct mail pieces or ad layouts. On the bright side, several do follow up on hot leads sent by their manufacturers.

Obviously, most dealers are not taking advantage of the materials available to directly participate in the Discover Boating effort. That’s hard for me to understand, given the fact millions of dollars are spent to make the Discover Boating brand widely recognized. Dealers need to do more than just follow up on leads. There is a direct benefit by cashing in on the Discover Boating message.

That’s done by identifying showrooms with the brand. If a prospect is convinced by the Discover Boating national ads to look at boating, doesn’t it make sense to have those prospects immediately see your dealership as a Discover Boating center? It’s easily accomplished by using the materials available.

Today, go to, register as a stakeholder, examine and order materials that will turn your showroom into a Discover Boating center. Remember, you’ll have a multi-million dollar ad program behind you.


3 comments on “Dealers should identify stores with Discover Boating brand

  1. Growing tired

    Pleasssseee!!!! the motor tax has done nothing… Mr. Dammrich himself has yet to purchase a boat or the minion running the program…
    How about using that $$$ for free parking at NMMA boat shows or
    Free Fridays or
    Family of 3 or more discount. Something -I’ve been to 5 boat shows since October the attendance is off at all of them… It seems now that everybody has shirts on that identify themselves we can all talk to each other using first names…
    I have yet to see any year round out of the box marketing or idea from this tax…
    How many Super bowl ads will there be ????
    How many ad’s will be played while the Opra’s show is on or any day time soap… we agree weoman control the family purse strings??
    Oh yea they will be air on the Outdoor chanel or some cable out lets where most guys already look at boats…. let’s get main stream
    Sorry Norm it still looks like it’s every man for themselves

  2. Anonymous Bob

    To Growing Tired:
    Excellent idea about the Super Bowl ad! Yes, it’s expensive as h**l, but the impact, the visibility, and the “out of the box” thinking would be amazing. Wouldn’t it be ironic if our industry advertised during one of the biggest sports games watched by millions of people when our boat shows absolutely empty out when a big game is on television? I’m so tired of our industry preaching to the choir, as I’ve heard it called, by advertising in publications geared toward those already in our industry. If we’re marketing a lifestyle, then we should advertise in lifestyle magazines. There are so many different advertising alternatives that could and should be tried to spread the boating word. Just do it!!

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