MARKETING TIPS: CHOOSING THE RIGHT MARKETING BRAND
Written by Nathan Bees
Last updated: 05/06/2020
At Yachting Pages Media Group we are passionate about marketing – we love to help businesses flourish and fulfil their potential. It’s what we do. It makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside.
However, we understand the predicament businesses currently find themselves in. The world is in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic and economies had ground to a halt. It’s a difficult time and careful decisions are being made by business owners to ensure they can begin operations again as quickly as possible now that lockdowns are being lifted.
In these uncertain times one thing remains sure, however: Marketing is key – even in a crisis. With this in mind, we’ve decided to share some key marketing tips and advice in a new series of articles, specifically designed to help you help your business during these challenging times.
In the eighth and final article of the series, we outline everything you need to know when it comes to choosing the right marketing partner for your business to work with. Do they offer what you need? What’s their reputation like? Do they have a track record of delivering results for businesses like yours?
We share our top tips so you can identify the right brand for your business to align with.
Marketing with the right brand
It may seem obvious, but how do you know what ‘right’ looks like?
It’s easy to get fooled into working with a brand that tells you what you want to hear and talks the talk, but if they don’t have the results to walk the walk then there’s a strong chance your investment will be wasted.
It’s essential that you put the time in to work out exactly what you want and research which brands can meet your requirements.
Whether you’re looking to advertise or wanting to rebrand your business from top to bottom (or anything in between), you need to ensure you place your trust – and your money – in an industry leader who can get your business seen by the right audience.
When should you recruit the help of a marketing specialist?
Taking the time to work with a marketing specialist is worth considering for many different reasons. Every business wants results all the time, right?
Generally speaking, the time to seriously consider it is when you need help with a particular aspect of your marketing – whether that’s because you don’t have the time to do it yourself or you simply don’t have the skillset. It could be a really straightforward, one-off product like the creation of a brochure, or it could be something more involved that runs over an extended period of time.
It’s worth remembering that you do have other options. You can always use a freelancer or employ someone to do the job for you, but if you’re looking for specialist skills and industry experience then your best bet is to use a trusted marketing brand.
Most businesses pay for some form of marketing every year, with a dedicated budget set aside for it.
What audience do you want your marketing to reach?
Once you’ve decided to pay for specialist marketing, the first thing to consider is the audience you wish to put yourself in front of. This is essential before you think about the type of marketing or product(s) you want to commit to.
Consider who the audience is in as much detail as possible and the ways they are most likely to engage with your business.
For example, there’s next to no benefit in marketing your product digitally if your target demographic is slightly older (50+) and unlikely to be actively searching online. Printed materials at frequently visited locations may be a better option. If your audience is mainly captains and crew, however, then digital marketing is an absolute no-brainer given the technology available on board.
In the superyacht industry generally, a combination of mixed media marketing is incredibly popular as captains and crew working on board will likely utilise both digital and print resources, depending on their connectivity while at sea. This is particularly effective because owners, should they be on board, tend to consume a significant amount of print materials, so a mixed media approach ensures you have every base covered.
At Yachting Pages we even had one yacht where the captain used his laptop and Google religiously, the chief engineer used his phone, but the chief stew was a massive fan of print!
What marketing support do you need?
You’ve established that your business would benefit from utilising a marketing brand, and you have a good idea of the best way to reach your target market. Now you’ve got to hone in on exactly the best way to achieve it.
It’s good to research a marketing specialist’s products to see what floats your boat (pardon the pun), but you don’t have to make your decision based on this alone. It just gives you a good starting point when you contact the brand and begin discussions.
It always pays to be open minded to other advertising possibilities that they may put to you – it may be that they have a service they deem to be perfect for your business. Leading marketing brands will try and provide you with a tailored approach, incorporating different products and services that they think might work for you. It’s not simply a case of upselling you; they base their suggestions what worked successfully for other businesses, which is a key indicator that it works.
However, don’t be afraid to say no to any suggestions you're not entirely sure about. A good marketing brand will allow you to steer the conversation once they have made their recommendations.
Remember to only ever pursue a marketing brand with a proven track record of delivering results for similar businesses to yours. Whether you want to advertise online or in print, or you require further marketing services like a full rebrand, don’t go with a ‘specialist’ that doesn’t have a comprehensive portfolio of previous work they are willing to talk you through.
Ask them to show you which boats used their media to find businesses – this is the kind of information only an industry leader would be able to provide. If they can’t, they're probably trying to deceive you.
Big numbers of website hits, visits and page views can easily deceive you into thinking it’s great, but unless it’s for users searching for products or services related to your business, it’s no good. Being in a magazine with a circulation of ‘50,000’ is all well and good, but where are the copies being distributed? Have you ever seen a copy of this magazine? Is it really going to reach the right audience for your business?
Don’t be fooled by sparkly numbers alone. Asking questions is your right: Dig deep and push until you have the assurances and insight you need in order to make an educated decision.
If you narrow your search down to two options, make sure you're comparing apples with apples. At Yachting Pages we once had a situation where XYZ came along offered to 'beat' our price for a full-page advert in one of our directories. In fact, they didn't just offer to beat our price; they offered to half our price for the same full page.
The customer did get the same full-size page, but the big problem was that XYZ only printed 20% of the copies we did, so it wasn't a very good deal after all!
Get insight from a trusted customer
If you want more guidance on which media to advertise or place your marketing in, from someone with no vested interests, why not consult your target market?
Every business has a favourite captain or customer - why not ask them where they think you're most likely to get seen by other people in the industry? It will provide you with valuable, real-world insight into what they think works.
You can even use your contact to test some of the statements you get told by certain marketing outlets. If XYZ magazine said they distribute to every yacht, for example, you could ask your contact if they have ever seen the publication on board. If they haven't, that tells you everything you need to know about advertising with that brand.
The number one marketing resource in the superyacht industry
Should you be about to start your search for the perfect marketing partner, thankfully Yachting Pages can help.
The leading resource in the superyacht sector, we know how to put you exactly where you want to be. With a full suite of services, spanning every marketing need you could possibly have, Yachting Pages is one of the most recognisable brands in the yachting world. Sure, the pink helps, but it’s mainly due to our reputation for delivering results!
Feel free to check out what our other advertisers say about us if you want more information on that.
We have a wide range of marketing solutions across digital and print that can put your business in front of the decision makers in the industry. Yachtingpages.com and the Yachting Pages app welcome thousands of users every day, while our selection of Yachting Pages Print directories can be found on board 97% of the world’s superyachts. Meanwhile, Yachting Pages Delivers puts you directly in the hands of owners, captains and crew working on board at the most popular marinas in the Med and at the world’s biggest boat shows.
No matter what you need, Yachting Pages is the perfect platform to propel your business to the forefront of the superyacht industry. Captains and crew have grown up with Yachting Pages for many years – and they could seen come across YOUR business.
We can guide you towards both immediate and longer-term advertising options, to ensure your business is equipped to make the most of the coming season – and the months and years beyond COVID-19.