This summer brings a different customer opportunity

Andy Adams

June 29, 2021

Back in the 1980’s when I was a marketing VP in the television industry, we were following a pair of marketing innovators who developed a concept they called “LTV – The Lifetime Value of a Customer”. It was a different way to see the customer relationship back then. In reality, here in the Canadian boat business, many of us already operate with this type of “Lifetime Value of a Customer” thinking, yet I rarely hear people speak of it. More to the point, we may be missing opportunities to capitalize on the idea.

In the June 22 edition of Boating Industry Canada News Week Digest we ran a story from the MRAA about a webinar they offered that was titled “Marketing When You Have No Inventory”. I was intrigued by the clever title.

I did watch that webinar and it was very good in many ways. It may even still be available if you are interested. Check out .

But, I wanted to mention this to our Canadian readers because while it may seem that we have no (boat and engine) inventory right now, most of us actually have lots to sell and I’m thinking of much more than service, storage and all our customary inventory.

I’m thinking of selling the boating lifestyle – the experience that we help our customers to enjoy. Going back to authors Rapp and Collins and their Lifetime Value of a Customer concept – this is the year to find ways to help and support your customers with valuable information and skills. Ideas might include offering a morning coffee class on basic boat operation, or maintenance – we are the experts after all.

Maybe you have a towed water sports school in your area that you could invite over for free coaching, or a tournament pro who could offer fishing pointers.

It might just be a free dockside socially distanced gathering that covers the most basic things, but if you, or your top tech could devote an hour to this, you might find your customers really appreciate the effort, and they might be open to discussions leading to all sorts of future sales.

Selling a new boat is a profitable goal, but creating a customer for life is almost certain to be more valuable. Especially with so many new cottage owners and new boaters entering the market, this summer might offer a different, but more valuable customer development opportunity.

Andy Adams – Editor

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