It’s one thing to buy a marina and another to fill up all the slips. However, the keys to creating demand for your property are relatively simple and straightforward, and there’s no reason you can’t conquer this skill if you follow the established paths. So what are the top five ways to advertiser your boat marina?
Internet search visibility and website
Boat marinas have been around for thousands of years, stemming directly from the Latin word for “of the sea”. Meanwhile, the internet began in 1983. It’s amazing how this new invention has so dramatically changed the marketing of marina properties. The first step you need to have is Google search visibility if somebody enters “boat marina in ________”. That’s how 99% of Americans begin their selection of a marina. In addition, you have to have a terrific website to harness this traffic and convert it into new customers. These days, you can find great web designers on-line that can make you a professional-grade website for a reasonable cost, at places like www.creativewebstudios.com.
Social media is even younger than the internet, beginning in about 1999. But its power has grown enormously in a fast span of time. Probably because people feel that social media is more personal and honest than standard advertising fare. You will need to be all over Facebook and other outlets, as well as to control your positive ratings on social media, as many people refer to that as the official score card of customer satisfaction and you have to guard yourself against that one rogue customer (or competitor) that attempts to damage you by posting false claims. If you are older then 40, you probably have no idea how to master this arena, but there are ton of young people you can hire to get you up to speed quickly – you can literally hire your college-age neighbor to do this for you.
Banners and external advertising
One of the best sources – probably the best – is reaching those who drive right past you in their boats. They know exactly where you are and what you have to offer. They are educated consumers. The one element they don’t know is that you want their business. Do you? If so, put up some large banners to let them know you have slips available and even what your specials are. You’re going to reach a huge percentage of all boaters with this simple formula. And the cost of banners today is very inexpensive – roughly $1 per square foot for professional quality, durable vinyl ones.
This is one of the best ways to build awareness as everybody respects the viewpoints of a peer who is enthusiastic about something they’ve found or frequent. So how do you create this marketing channel? The only way is to do a great job of customer satisfaction. Here’s an unusual stat. Studies have found that an unhappy customer that you make happy is more loyal than a customer that has never been dissatisfied at all. So that means you can always get a second try even if your customer is not satisfied. The bottom line is that you should neverhave an unhappy consumer and work like crazy to make sure that everybody who rents from you is a walking billboard for how great your marina is.
Talk to boat dealers
Every time a boat sells, the odds are it’s going to go into a marina. So why not get a tactical advantage by making the boat dealer a salesman on your behalf? Meet with the dealers and tell them how much you want their business. Give them stacks of attractive brochures. Wine and dine them. Give them commissions on each customer they bring you. This will pay huge dividends.
Properly marketing boat marinas is not rocket science – however, too many owners lack either the knowledge or desire to do it correctly. Follow this list and you should be in the top 90% of owners.