It’s February Already – Whaaaaatttt?
by Gene Muchanski
Editor, The Dive Industry Professional
Holy Smokes! It’s February. How did that happen so quickly? I was prepared. I was ready. I made my plans and executed them in a timely manner. But still, the month of January zoomed by.
How was it for you? Did you do your business planning during the Holidays and hit the ground running in January? We did and had a great month because of it. We’re up 35% over this time last year. And it’s not just us. All of the dive show organizers were delighted with their attendance in January; Boot, Baltimore Dive Show, Lone Star State Dive & Travel, and two Adventure Travel Shows. We are getting ready for Our World-Underwater in Chicago, followed by BTS and then the Scuba & H2O Adventure Show in Tacoma. And we have plans to do more diving and resort site visits. It’s time to get some new pictures, videos, and stories about our diving businesses so we can take their story to the public. This is going to be the year of the “BIG Dive Promotion.” Divers will have more money to spend on equipment, training and travel this year and we owe it to them to help them spend their money wisely.
I don’t have a crystal ball or anything like that but after working in the Business of Diving for over 45 years, I do have a strong “gut” feeling. Especially about this year. Diving businesses are going to be listening to Dive Industry Mavens (Knowledgeable & Experienced Opinion Leaders) more seriously this year. Mavens who have years of hands-on experience combined with a strong background in diving products, diving company history, marketing techniques, consumer behavior and countless hours of water time. Successful businesses will want to know who will be buying this year, what they will be buying and why they are buying. Companies that want to succeed will need to know the best ways to be in front of consumers when they are ready to make a buying decision. This year will not be a time for rookies. Only Mavens need apply.
Here are a few things we need to know to help businesses that want to succeed; Product Knowledge. What’s HOT, What’s NOT. What’s NOW, What’s NEW, What’s NEXT. Customer Knowledge. Wholesalers need to know who the better Retailers are. We don’t need many. We only need good ones. Retailers need to focus on Active Divers – Current Customers, Former Customers & Future Customers. Again, we don’t need many, just good ones. Marketing Knowledge. We have to have a message that resonates with our Divers and we have to reach them the way they liked to be reached, not the ways we like. So is that all we need to do? We just have to become Mavens at three things. What we sell – Who we sell it to – How we reach our customers. Easy? No. Manageable? Yes.
Throughout the year, we will be discussing these three segments of Marketing Success; Product Management; Customer Acquision, Maintenance, & Retention; and Marketing Strategy. Each topic opens up a whole new field of study, but we can organize it and break it down into easy-to-understand topics. I’m looking forward to speaking with our industry leaders this year to learn and share some of our industry best practices in marketing.
Stay in touch. Have a great season. We’ll see you in Chicago.