Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Before & After

(1:00) When a transient boater comes into your marina, do you know where they came from? Do you know where they are going next? This information could be helpful in developing a strategy to draw more transients into your marina.

(0:51) As boaters move along common waterways there will be natural stopping places based on distances, boat speed, amount of daylight, and even services available. These points will frequently develop into patterns and knowing those patterns can provide insights into how to reach more boaters. If you are already well positioned with a stream of transients you will want to reinforce that habit. If you are not filling your transient spaces it could be that boaters are hopping over your location because you are either too close or too far from the last and next stops.

(0:37) Start by asking boaters where they have come from and where they will be headed next. It needn't be an interrogation but can easily be part of a welcoming chat. We all like to talk about ourselves and what we are doing. Write down the responses you get and look for patterns by boat type. Are they coming from a specific marina or from an anchorage? This can help you determine the typical distances they are traveling.

(0:26) Think about the marinas they may be visiting in the days before they reach you and after they have left you. Consider contacting those marinas for some cross marketing. Explore how you might work together to make it easier for boaters to move from one marina to the other. Some possibilities might be offering joint discounts or simply having information about the partner marinas displayed and available at checkin or in your welcome packet. This is especially effective if the before or after marina is similar to yours and will attract the same types of boaters.

(0:13) If you find that you are in a location that is an awkward hop, it's even more important to try and work with other marinas who probably have the same hop issues. Work with them to find ways to entice boaters to change their old habits and try something new.

(0:05) It will take some work, some creativity, and some patience, but the results will be real and long-lasting.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.