We’ve always heard that “the customer is always right.” Why, if I look back at old blogs, I undoubtedly wrote those words, too. But when I did, I was wrong. The customer isn’t always right — or good for business.
By now we’re all aware that the economy grew by a healthy 4.2 percent in the second quarter (April-June) topping early predictions and strongly suggesting growth is picking up speed.
Answering the growing calls for more boater education, the United States Power Squadrons and BoatUS Foundation Wednesday released their newest online educational offering called “Weather for Boaters.”
I don’t normally see a drop in boat show attendance as a good thing, but to assume it’s not in this case would be a mistake.
Now’s your chance to make one of your customers or boating friends a star of Discover Boating. And read on to find out why Generation X is a demographic that should make a great marketing target.
If you’re like me, you’ve assumed that IBEX, the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibit & Conference, is just for boatbuilders. Maybe that’s been the case in the past. But another serious look at this year’s IBEX is in order because dealers can benefit from the many changes slated for the Sept. 30-Oct. 2 event being held in […]
Wisconsin warned boaters and swimmers that there’s blue-green algae in their lakes. Toledo, Ohio’s recent “don’t-drink-the-water” was a national disgrace. People who touch or ingest water containing it (microcystin toxin) can become sick. Certainly not a climate in which we can grow boating. Is it time, then, for the marine industry to take a page […]
Some say it’s just about red snapper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. But the truth is it goes much deeper and will set a dangerous precedent for all saltwater anglers and the dealers who sell them their boats.
Arguably, the Internet decreased face-to-face communications and caused serious changes in the way we socialize with friends and family. We don’t call; we text or email or post on Facebook. But if we assume the hours spent on the Internet are at the expense of friends and family, it appears we could be wrong.
With the industry’s long list of fall boat shows opening Thursday at the Progressive Michigan City In-Water Boat Show near Chicago, organizers are making changes that will cause thousands of visitors to pass through their gates around the country.
Two good ideas today come from our industry’s Discover Boating campaign and from a successful marketing concept in the restaurant business.
It’s a conundrum.
When it comes to selling boats to women, we’re not getting it done. At least that’s one conclusion I got from the excellent feature entitled “Band of Sisters” in the July issue of Soundings Trade Only by associate editor Reagan Haynes.
In Chicago, it is said, dead people still vote. But until now, I didn’t realize Chicago could be the seat of brain-dead office holders.
The three largest in-water boating expositions held annually on the Great Lakes have worked together to set dates that avoid conflicts and make it more convenient for exhibitors that traditionally display in each event.
We can always learn from good events. So when they occur, they’re worth noting.
In the current issue of Soundings Trade Only, editor-in-chief Bill Sisson is spot-on when he cites things such as lack of time, student loans, less income and troubles finding good-paying jobs as major hurdles for millennials who we want to be buying our boats.
It was back in the summer of 2007. The phone rang and a lady on the other end said: “Now that you’ve retired from the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association, we think you’re just the guy to start a blog for marine dealers.”
With years of declining sales finally behind us and our recovery from the Great Recession, while disappointingly slow, well under way, you’ve gotta like the solid evidence that our future is good as shown in the Coast Guard’s latest National Recreational Boating Survey.
Cost control is something we often consider in the context of budget cuts. But as a priority part of our business plan? Perhaps not. Still, if it can prove a successful strategy for an airline, it could be useful in a boat dealership.
A lot of spring rain isn’t necessarily welcomed in all parts of the country, but for dealers in the Houston area, rain could be making a big difference. At least that’s the feeling around the Boating Trades Association of Metropolitan Houston as organizers just wrapped up the 27th annual edition of the Houston Summer Boat […]
Reputation is one word that can impact everything.
There’s no denying we continue to see modest improvement in boat sales as the economy delivers slow growth. But as dealers approach a new model year, attend dealer meetings and project orders, there are some clouds on the horizon that could upset any sustained growth and dealers should remain particularly alert to current issues and […]
There might be no other state where boating groups are more engaged in efforts to secure the marine industry’s future than in Florida, proving once again that our industry’s marine trades associations do what individual dealers couldn’t accomplish by themselves.
When Yogi Berra uttered his famous “You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you,” he could have been talking about the nation’s retailers and their courtroom loss in their quest for lower debit card swipe fees. Now the case could end up in the Supreme Court.
If you want to catch a tasty red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico today, you’re too late. The red snapper season ended at 12:01 a.m. this morning after running for just nine days.
“Up to my ass in alligators” is a popular metaphor we all know isn’t taken literally. Unless, that is, you’re Joe Lewis, chairman of the industry’s Grow Boating board, and Carl Blackwell, helmsman of our Discover Boating national campaign. They have reason to see it from a different perspective.
I must be traveling through another dimension. I’ve been beamed into a war zone where the Great Lakes are being threatened by approaching armies of Asian carp and there’s no agreement on how — or even if — the battle to prevent an ecosystem defeat.
With all the talk about using social media in business today, one might assume that the good old email that started it all is now passé. That’s not necessarily so. Social media has its strengths. But email marketing is alive and well.
Last week I reported on the results of a survey being conducted by the education task force of the Recreational Boating Leadership Council.
The results are in from the recent survey conducted by the education task force of the Recreational Boating Leadership Council and there’s nearly unanimous belief among the 166 respondents that boater education and training are important to boat buyers (97 percent said yes, 3 percent no).
No fisherman ever wants to see thousands of fish suddenly doing the backstroke … unless they happen to be Asian carp.
Talk about warming: Discover Boating continues to be hot, while what to do about the planet remains a dilemma.
The education task force that is part of the Recreational Boating Leadership Council is seeking input from dealers on boater education.
There will be plenty of excitement when MarinaFest 2014 hits Burton W. Chace Park in Marina del Rey, Calif., on May 17 for a day-long boating celebration.
If you read this blog regularly, you know I believe strongly in our industry’s Discover Boating national campaign. And the launching last week of “Stories of Discovery” just adds to my enthusiasm.
I asked my son, a Gen Xer, why he doesn’t have a boat. He certainly knows boats — he grew up in a boating family. It’s not a question of money — he can afford one. He likes boating — whenever he visits he wants to go fishing on my boat. So why?
The Southwest Florida Marine Industries Association will hold a “Marina Operators Roundtable” on May 7 in Fort Myers. It’s being billed as a special opportunity for marinas, boat dealers and related service companies to network, identify and explore a variety of common interest issues facing the industry on Florida’s west coast.
There are training simulators for just about everyone these days — pilots, police, tanker captains, military personnel, driver’s education classes, on and on. So why not a simulator for boater training?
Sunday was the fourth anniversary of the explosion aboard the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil rig. The passage of time might be fading the memory, but it shouldn’t be forgotten.
Taking a page from the National Marine Manufacturers Association playbook, state and local marine trade associations should be active in encouraging the formation of caucuses in state legislatures that are sensitive to pro-boating policies.
In what is the most intense campaign to date to attract more diversity into the ranks of the nation’s boaters and anglers, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation recently unveiled the Spanish language Internet portal “Vamos a Pescar” that targets the growing Latino market.
“If you’re torn between two or three models from different brands, the quality of the dealership and its staff may well sway your decision,” Jim Hendricks advised readers in the February issue of Boating magazine.
I was fishing in lower Tampa Bay during the weekend when Carnival’s “Paradise” and Royal Caribbean’s “Brilliance of the Seas” passed by, heading out on their weekly cruises to Mexico. It reminded me there are some interesting parallels between their kind of cruising and ours.
As we enter our best selling months, good news comes our way. Consumers are more optimistic; home equity loans indicate people are feeling wealthier; and there are expectations that pent-up demand alone could gives boat sales a good spring.
Kudos to the National Marine Manufacturers Association and BoatUS as they fight fire with fire by supporting the American Petroleum Institute’s launch of ads urging Congress to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard and its disastrous ethanol mandate.
No, I don’t mean literally. But three experiences in the last few days have made me, as a customer, 1) feel good, 2) feel recognized and 3) makes me want to be a customer in the future. Here they are.
In a blow to the nation’s retailers that have fought (and won) for nearly four years to limit bank “swipe fees,” a U.S. appeals court recently reversed a lower court’s decision that sided with retailers and ordered the Federal Reserve to rewrite its rules governing allowable fees that banks can charge each time a customer’s […]
Many knowledgeable people in our industry say we need to build less expensive boats, especially if we hope to attract the Gen Xers and the Millennials. Friends I talk to in dealerships echo a similar theme: “These days, every deal always comes down to price.”
Turn on the evening news these days and it’s mostly negative. Doom-and-gloom reports of slow growth. A missing airliner. Fear of terrorist attacks. A Cold War-type crisis. Climate change. Rising interest rates. An exhausting winter that never ends.