marine marketing best practices

Global marine marketing best practices to expand your boating business and pursue customers internationally

The question of how best to present your boating company to the international market is more pertinent today than ever before.  The millennial consumers across the globe have been an enthusiastic customer in boat shows and only best marketing practices will allow the modern marine company to take full advantage of the upward climbing market.

This article will illustrate the advantages of keeping your sights high and shooting for the stars.  Perhaps the biggest mistake made in this overripe field is taking the narrow local approach to marketing.  A global business strategy and international view of the market will allow you to target a greater number of potential customers.

This is also an important way to mitigate the harshness of the local market fluctuations that can leave you high and dry at every tiny recession.

Because boating is as loved in South Korea as it is in New South Wales, the boating industry is a perfect example of why thinking bigger and broader will ultimately take your business places where it MUST go to keep a competitive edge.

And this is not only true for those companies that sell actual boats either.  The concept of international perspectives applies to the sales and distribution of OEMs, maritime equipment and a vast plethora of products that make the boating sport the pleasure and thrill it is.



Global Marine Marketing

The boating industry is a prime example of how a global strategy can pay off big.  Recreational boating is definitely a worldwide passion.  Business opportunities for marine products that improve the enjoyment or function of boating can transcend borders and cultures.

OEMs, equipment suppliers, distributors and other marine businesses are recognizing that there is great potential for growing market share abroad.

A perfect example of this was experienced by boating companies all across the USA.  Even smaller organizations that dealt in the boating industry were enjoying boom-times in the growing market around a decade ago.  When the economy suddenly hit the skids and suddenly no one was buying boats or boating gear, who do you think grew and survived to become better and stronger companies today.

Only those boating companies that had the sense to make offers and pursue customers on an international level were able to maintain a steady flow of income and retain a steady list of projects on an international level.

While the rest of the country was twiddling thumbs, and taking time off for fishing, these international companies were making a killing offering their wares to clients in Curacao, the Bahamas, Maldives and even far off Australia, Italy and Dubai.

The reasoning is simple enough, water is global, the love of the sea is global, so why shouldn’t your boating operation be global as well.

Applying Technology to A Global Vision

Before you rush over to the world map and become discouraged with the sheer magnitude of an international venture, take a few moments to consider the advantages afforded you.  Today’s technological advances being made in communications has allowed us to take on the global markets from the comfort of your offices.

This following section will illustrate the various technological advantages that will come into play as well, how this technology can be applied to reaching the global boating markets.

Communications — There is no need to wait on the costly and inefficient methods of faxes, prohibitive international phone calls, and snail mail.  Today you can reach the people you need to speak with instantaneously with VoIP, mobile devices and more.

Software Engineering — with today’s cutting-edge designer software it is easy to create detailed digital designs and collaborate with builders from across the globe without ever leaving your desk.

Payments — payments can be made quickly and the modern financial institutions keep the wheels of international trade moving with fluid transactions.

Logistics — technology has greatly streamlined the logistics companies with sending pieces and equipment, even very large shipments can be made easily and quickly.

Quality and Cost — Finally, clients no matter where they are on the globe will always value top-quality products and materials being offered by professionals at a bargain price.  If you have a marketable product, then today’s marketing technologies can help you make it available internationally.

Best Practices for Applying Marketing Tech on an International Level

Speaking from the experiences we have enjoyed, following are some of the best ways to engender top-quality relations between clients and providers with the tools at your disposal.

Focus on Publicity

  • Keep an active relationship with your customers and suppliers and frequently use their quotes and observations in your press releases and publicity productions.
  • Create valuable partnerships with others in the boating industry or even those with whom you share a target demographic.  Even if your products are completely different, you will be providing value to your target demographic.  This can be used to set up some win-win promotions that can be a great benefit.
  • Create an incentive to sell with dealers and retail outlets.  Don’t expect that dealers will be promoting your options specifically for no good reason.  Give a valuable incentive that will inspire dealers and retail outlets to hard sell your products.
  • You will need to invest more in your professional photography if you will be reaching a global market. Be sure you get the most bang for your buck by making these digital images and videos readily available to your clients and suppliers.  Don’t wait around for them to ask either, take it to their doorstep and place it lovingly in their hands — or make them a clear offer.

Finally, never underestimate the value of word of mouth advertising in reaching the international market.  Find a way to get every client you have taking photos and images of their experiences with your products or services.  Nothing sells better than a vivid array of photos that depict boaters using your products.

Final notes on Marketing in the Marine Industry

Use social media to its full advantages.  This means keep your online presence preponderant and personalized.  You want to be wherever your partners and clients can be found and interacting with them as much as possible.




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In addition to owning Canvasback Media, a full service digital agency which specializes in the maritime trades related industries, Ryan has spent his life on the water.

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