Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Show Off!

(1:06) I've recently published a couple of Minutes on marina WiFi. Response has been strong. I think there is little doubt that good, fast, reliable WiFi is necessary if you want to be a preferred marina to all boaters.

(1:01) From talking to many marina managers, everyone sees the importance of being able to stream video along with having reliable web access to pay bills and communicate with friends and family. We've now been involved with a couple of marinas cutting over to new technology and the new WiFi setups we have been involved with have performed even better than we expected.

(0:53) So that got me thinking about other advantages of super fast WiFi - advantages to you, the marinas. WiFi becomes a marketing tool in ways you might not have thought about. And I'm not just talking about promoting fast WiFi for boaters.

(0:48) Consider this. If boaters are now able to stream movies into the boat, watch YouTube, and use the full capabilities of Skype, well that means you can stream video out as well. Think what can be done with some well placed webcams at your site.

(0:43) First, cameras can become an amenity you can promote to your long-term and transient boaters. The ability to look in on my boat from home or other locations is not only comforting but is an added safety measure. We did just that this past winter when we left the boat to travel to relatives for the holidays.

(0:38) The marina we choose to leave the boat at not only had security gates but they also had a variety of webcams placed around the marina. We could go to their website and select the webcam near our boat and then zoom and pan to zero in on her. My husband left an AC light on in the pilothouse so we could easily confirm that the boat was still getting shore power. He checked it every night.

(0:29) That's a simple and inexpensive way to give me a reason to leave my boat at your marina. Another terrific use is as a direct marketing tool for your marina.

(0:25) To the joy of quality businesses (at the expense of poor ones), the internet has provided consumers with a better way to get the real story. In the same way that paper guidebooks written by self-proclaimed experts have been replaced by the real experiences of actual boaters, your glossy brochures and professionally crafted photo shoots are being replaced with real photos on blogs, Facebook, and YouTube.

(0:15) You can take part in this as well. Let prospective customers look around your marina using your webcams. They'll know they're seeing the real deal and can check back at various times to see what's happening.

(0:10) Of course, this requires having confidence in your facility. The fact is if you are concerned right now whether you want to let boaters take a peek at your marina, any day, any time, then you have some work to do. If you know that your marina can pass that test, then be proud and show boaters what you've got!

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