Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Do Some Competitive Research

(0:53) When was the last time you checked up on your competition? If you want to effectively market your services, you need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and how you stack up.

(0:49) You can't know these things unless you have taken some time to research your competition. Don't depend on what you believe to be true or have heard from others. Find out first hand. Go to their website, make some phone calls, maybe even pay them a visit.

(0:42) You should begin with prices, fees, discounts, the special offers they have, plus what amenities they provide. Then step back and look objectively at your offerings and determine how attractive they are to boaters. How can you improve them to beat out the competition?

(0:35) Next, turn to boater reviews. Do boaters agree with your assessment? Is there a critical point you are overlooking, under estimating, or simply being unrealistic about?

(0:31) It's easy to assume that the services and pricing you offer boaters are superb, when in reality they might be pretty average, or lacking, when compared to your competition. Often a business will depend too heavily on what they hear from the competition's unhappy customers.

(0:25) Relying on negative comments can give you a biased and worst case view. Instead, you'll learn far more by knowing what boaters who are happy with your competitor have to say. There is no better way to obtain an objective view of you and your competition than by reading boater reviews.

(0:18) Finding out what boaters like about other marinas can cue you into changes you should consider at your marina. It could be something new and innovative, or just a small touch that you've overlooked or forgotten. There's no shame in copying a successful idea or using it as an inspiration for your own unique twist.

(0:10) Also note what your competition is doing poorly. This can reveal the competitive advantages you have. Or it can highlight a service or amenity you should add to give you a leg up.

(0:06) By keeping an eye on all reviews coming from your potential customers, you can make better decisions, spend your money more wisely, and capture more business.

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