Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's no longer 2012...

(1:03) We have been cruising aboard aCappella for 10 years now and during that time we have witnessed many changes. The most dramatic have been in the area of technology. Cruisers are far more technically sophisticated and are expecting certain services when they pull into your docks. When a cruiser comes into your facility they now expect that you will have a good quality WiFi system.

(0:54) A very common question I received just a few years ago was, "Should we install WiFi?" Today it is hard to find a marina that does not offer this service. Unfortunately, too many marinas are treating WiFi as merely a check off item. Boater reviews show that this isn't good enough. If you want to be viewed as a marina of choice you must have good quality WiFi that works consistently.

(0:46) Although this shouldn't be a budget breaker, you do have to spend some money and do it right. Not having reliable WiFi that runs at a reasonable speed is pretty much guaranteed to shave a point or two off of a boater review. You must make this a budgetary priority.

(0:39) One of the things we love about what we do is stopping in to chat with our Sponsor marinas. We use our real life experience and marketing background to help them reach their goals and see things though boater's eyes - we don't hold back telling them what we see and think with the goal of being constructive and helping them to become more profitable. Many want us to look around and let them know what they can do better. It is surprising to us how many are still spending money on outdated technologies such as phone, cable TV, and clubhouse workstations. I do not believe there is a single review for any marina in ActiveCaptain that has mentioned, let alone complained about the lack of these services.

(0:25) Today's cruising boat has 2 mobile phones (at least). Almost every cruising boat has two laptops onboard along with an iPad or two. Boaters are bringing their technology with them and are looking for a way to connect to the Internet. Now is the time to evaluate diverting money from phone hookup and cable TV into a high-quality WiFi setup.

(0:15) Look around your marina at the services you are offering to boaters. Make sure you are focusing on the ones that will bring them in and eliminate the ones that are no longer relevant. Expenditures have a way of lingering long past their usefulness. Make sure you're spending your budget where it counts.

(0:07) We'll discuss some specifics about WiFi technology and things to consider in future Minutes. There are some marketing, branding, and a variety of technical issues that you should know about before enhancing your WiFi access.

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