I almost called this editorial, It Is What It Is. But I remembered what former President Bill Clinton once said; “It all depends on what your definition of is, is.” Meaning that the post-pandemic recovery of our recreation is going to be different than it was before, even though we don’t know exactly what it is going to be like. So I guess we’ll just have to reinvent the way we do business and make it up as we go. Hence the title, Reinventing the diving industry.
So here we are, 70 years later, reinventing the recreation of scuba diving and its related water sports. Many things have changed since the beginning of our recreation and we have learned a lot in the past 70 years. Those of us still working in the industry know many things that worked in the past and many things that did not. Hopefully we won’t make the same mistakes twice. In most professional careers, the first time we do it for love, the second time we do it for money. But I have a Hybrid solution – This time, let’s do it for both!
To me, the business of diving is all about three things. The products we sell, the people we sell to, and the means we use to make an exchange possible. Two of the three concepts have not changed in hundreds of years. One is constantly changing and that will take some training and education on our part to make it work for us in the new century.
The International Diving Community is made up of Buyers and Sellers. People who buy stuff are Divers and the people who sell stuff are business people. We call them Dive Industry Professionals. Buyers and sellers meet at a market place to make an exchange that benefits both of them. The more that buyers know about the sellers and their products, the more informed they are as consumers. The more that sellers know about their potential customers, the better they are at meeting their needs. The right product, for the right person, at the right price.
The business of diving in the international diving community is mainly about the sales of diving equipment, training programs, dive travel, and lifestyle products. As we move into the post-pandemic recovery, it is so important that we create and sell quality products at a reasonable price that meets the needs of our customers. A person only becomes a customer of ours if they have a need for our product, a desire to acquire it, and the financial ability to purchase it.
The concept that is forever changing in our society is the means we use to bring our customers and our products together. We use the word Marketing, to describe the process of moving products from Concepcion to Consumption. The marketing tools we have available to us in the 21st century has never been better, thanks to the digitization of words, objects, and images. If any of the three mentioned concepts (Products – Customers – Marketing) need to be reinvented to rebuild our industry, it’s this one.
So as we venture off into the post-pandemic recovery, let’s stay close to our knitting and become Masters of Three Disciplines. Product Management – Customer Management – Marketing Management.