Discover Boating’s casting call needs you

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Now’s your chance to make one of your customers or boating friends a star of Discover Boating. And read on to find out why Generation X is a demographic that should make a great marketing target.

First, the searchlights are on for the industry’s Discover Boating national campaign and the hunt for the next stars of “Stories of Discovery.” Following the success of the first season of the “Stories of Discovery” series that included three outstanding videos, Discover Boating is now casting for Season 2 and needs your help.

Do you know a boating customer with a fascinating, inspiring or unique story? Basically, if you have such a customer, friend or family member who turns to boating to connect with family and friends, escape today’s stress, or who is simply very passionate about being on the water with, perhaps, an interesting story of how they got there, Discover Boating wants to know about them.

All dealers are encouraged to submit any and all ideas by email to Ellen Hopkins at ehopkins@nmma.org. But don’t put it off: the deadline is Aug. 26, so share your story ideas with her now.

One further note: If you have never taken time to see any of the current “Stories of Discovery,” I urge you to do so and, remember, they are available to dealers free to include in your website. Go to www.discoverboating.com.

Marketing to Generation X

As an industry, we aim heavy marketing at the baby boomers while we’re trying to find the key to the Millennials, but perhaps the richest targets of all are the Gen Xers. A smaller generation than the boomers or the Millennials, there’s still upwards of 60 million of them born after the post-World War II baby boom ended. What’s more, studies show they spend for themselves and their kids.

According to a recent report by eMarketer entitled “Generation X: A Forgotten Population That’s Well Worth Remembering,” this is the generation that came of age at the same time the Internet did. Accordingly, virtually all use smartphones and the overwhelming majority is online using social networks. Some three-quarters of all Gen Xers in the U.S. will log onto social media at least monthly. In other words, they’re reachable with digital marketing. But which ones?

Most Gen Xers who use social networks are Facebookers. They were Internet users before Facebook hit. EMarketer estimates just under two-thirds of U.S. Gen X internet users will access Facebook at least monthly this year. But if you’re counting on marketing to Gen Xers using other social media platforms, you might be wasting your money. It appears Gen Xers are quite discriminate. For example, while it’s predicted that 30 percent of the 18-to-24-year-old U.S. Internet users will tap Twitter at least monthly, the figure for Gen Xers is half that. Likewise, a poll of mobile phone users by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project reportedly concluded 18 percent of respondents ages 30 to 49 (primarily Gen Xers) would use Instagram, while 43 percent of younger adults would.

The bottom line is that Gen Xers as a demographic are mostly settled into careers and are into their higher earnings years. For dealers who have or plan to have an Internet social marketing program, the Facebook-centric pattern of Gen Xers’ social usage makes them easier to target. And since Gen Xers apparently aren’t as likely to be drawn into the latest social media to come along, dealers who want to reach them using a social environment can start to find and communicate with them primarily on Facebook.

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