From the Helm, The Voice Newsletter



The Voice, Spring Issue | March 2019

I just wanted to personally take a moment to thank some folks for their contributions to this year’s highly successful Neptune Awards, which is covered in this issue pretty extensively.

A dozen years ago, a group of hard-working marine marketing folks envisioned an association that would focus on the marine marketing community. No such organization existed and our collective voice and work was never collectively recognized. A meeting was held at the Miami Boat Show and 90 people jammed the room as a few of us shared an initial vision.

Read More

Six Trends for Marine Marketers in 2019


Published December, 2018, Soundings Trade Only

Anyone involved in marketing today understands that the changes to our craft are both exponential and exceptional. We’re inundated daily with revolutionary technologies and app launches, platform breakthroughs and changes, not to mention the latest findings about new-customer preferences. Staying up with these fast-evolving trends requires constant study and monitoring. Read More

Emotion and Authenticity: The Keys to Going Viral

Published September, 2018, Soundings Trade Only

For a brief moment this past summer, the news media was fascinated by unknown and longshot candidates for public office winning primaries against entrenched congressional incumbents. In New York, 28-year-old political novice Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez knocked off a 20-year congressional veteran and power broker. Her success was attributed to the skillful use of video that went viral, capturing the attention of voters and creating a buzz. Read More

Jim Krueger Recognized for 46 Year Sales & Marketing Career

IMG_3930Long-time industry sales and marketing executive Jim Krueger has retired after 46 years of continued industry service. Krueger was recognized at a special retirement celebration and luncheon by Regal Boats, where he spent the final seven years of his career as the Midwest/Central US sales manager.
Krueger’s stellar marine industry career began in 1972 at Cruisers Inc. including stints in engineering and sales, followed by senior sales and leadership roles at Sea Ray, Bertram Yacht, Trojan Yacht, Tollycraft Yacht and Shamrock Boats. He worked 15 years from 1996 through 2011 with the Luhrs Marine Group overseeing sales and marketing for both Luhrs and Mainship brands, prior becoming director of Mainship in 2004 with general management responsibilities.

Read More

FLIBS MMA Meeting and Experts Marketing Panel Share Best Practices, Score High Marks

NEWPictureAn enthusiastic crowd of 100 gathered for the annual MMA meeting and luncheon at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show on November 1, 2019 sponsored by FLIBS/Informa, Sea Tow and MarineMax. As usual, it was an opportunity to meet, mix and mingle with fellow marketers from throughout the industry plus learn from a top-notch professional development panel of industry marketers latest practices regarding the hot topic of “CX: Why It Should Be Your Marketing RX.”

The event, which scored a 96% excellent rating by attendees, included an introduction and overview of the emergence of CX (Customer Experience) by MMA President and panel moderator Wanda Kenton Smith of Kenton Smith Marketing who noted CX is the #1 marketing priority nationwide among top marketing organizations. As the national marketing columnist for Soundings Trade Only since 1998, Kenton Smith had recently produced a column in September on this topic that generated industry buzz and interest.

Read More

FLIBS 2018: ‘Customer Experience’ is the buzzword at Marine Marketers’ gathering

One hundred marketers and industry leaders gathered yesterday afternoon at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show for the annual meeting of Marine Marketers of America. The discussion focused on the topic of CX and the need for marine businesses to understand, adopt and implement it.

“CX refers to the customer experience, the sum total of all touchpoints between a customer and a business, embodying the entire life cycle and all phases of the relationship,” said MMA president Wanda Kenton Smith, who facilitated the panel discussion. Kenton Smith noted that CX embraces everything from a customer’s initial awareness and discovery through the stages of nurturing, purchase, post-service and advocacy. Read More

Video Revolution and the Invisible Sale

Being at the recent Grow Boating Marketing Summit at IBEX was like the proverbial kid in a candy store. Regular readers know I’m always lusting after marketing insights to share. The summit satisfied my cravings, serving up a sweet fix of digital marketing content while infusing a refreshing rush of energy and excitement.

I believe meaningful professional development programs should not just educate, but also recharge and reignite enthusiasm. Bravo to the entire Grow Boating team for delivering on every front. About 160 marketers from all segments of the industry gathered for this high-octane knowledge fest featuring relevant digital strategies designed to help us better understand and navigate change. Read More

One small step to 5G, one giant leap for boating

Published September, 2018, Soundings Trade Only

With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the new year just over the horizon, forward-thinking marketers should set their sights on what Santa has in store for us in 2019. At the top of my list is 5G, the next generation of mobile internet connectivity that will give smartphones and marketers the video power to connect to consumers in ways unimaginable until now. It will also allow recreational boating to be portrayed in all of its visual glory.

According to Roger Cheng of CNET, “the 5G technology promises to change our lives by connecting everything around us to a network that is 100 times faster than our cellular connection and 10 times faster than our speediest home broadband service” Read More

Why CX should be your marketing RX

In 2013, a global study of executives concluded that brands were at risk of losing up to 20 percent of their revenues to poor CX. It brought the financial impact of the customer experience into sharper focus.

For 2018, two major studies among leading marketing groups ranked CX as the No. 1 area of marketing focus. The “Digital Marketing Trends Report” by Econsultancy and Adobe and the “2018 State of Branding Report” by OnBrand and Bynder independently polled marketers in multiple industries, and both found that CX commanded the top spot on must-do lists.

Read More

Why the Digital Age customer is always right

Headshots2Michael Sciulla

Something clearly was in the water a decade ago when the e-commerce marketer Groupon offered a marketing platform linking small business directly to consumers. As an inveterate bargain hunter, I recall being thrilled at being able to get a Groupon entitling me to 50 percent off at many local restaurants. As a marketer, I thought it was a great way for restaurateurs to attract new customers. If there ever were a win/win in marketing, this had to be it.

My mind changed after I had a chat with a restaurant owner who told me that this particular e-commerce model had a dark side. He confessed that his restaurant was losing money serving patrons who were dining at half price not just once, but multiple times. Read More