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Study: Dealership experience spurs boat sales

Dealership experience ranks as the highest contributor to new-boat sales influence, according to findings from a new report released by Foresight Research.

The 2010 Boating Industry Dealership Experience Influence Report is one in a series of in-depth reports on marketing communication channels that have the greatest effect on purchases. Marine industry organizations, led by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, commissioned the report.

Boat buyers in the national study rated 11 forms of marketing on how much each contributed to their purchase. They included all types of advertising, print and electronic editorials; brochures; experiential events, such as shows and seminars; the dealership experience; Internet searches; social media; and TV programming about boating.

Across all of the marketing channels that were studied, the calculated share of sales influence from the dealership experience ranked highest overall. The Internet, boat shows, print articles and brochures round out the top five sources of sales influence.

The top five sources provide 59.6 percent of the total sales influence from marketing communications, according to the report.

The study found that female buyers and prior boat owners express more influence from their dealership experience than men and first-time buyers. Female buyers also show a much higher degree of loyalty to a dealership.

"Based on the data from recent buying experiences of thousands of buyers, it is clear that the dealership is a lot more than a distribution point for boats," said Ron Hein, executive vice president of Foresight Research, in a statement

"The dealership experience provides a great deal of rational and emotional input, which buyers need to formulate or finalize their purchase decision," he added. "To be most successful, a dealership must understand what attracts buyers to the dealership, what are their needs and expectations and what key messages need to be communicated."

This report is available for $3,950. NMMA members can purchase it for $3,600.

Click here for the full release.

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