Whether you’re an existing marine business, or you’re looking to launch a new venture in the marine industry, no doubt you’ve worried about your competition.
An essential part of the success of any business, in the marine sector or otherwise, is understanding how to establish your niche so you become not just a choice, but the choice for your clients and customers.
From here you can go on to develop your brand in the marine industry, so you become a recognisable, trusted seller or service provider.
Start at the beginning
It may sound obvious, but in order to understand your niche you must have a complete understanding of your business and ultimately, what you’re really good at.
Perhaps your customer service is outstanding? Maybe you have an incredibly experienced team who have yet to find a problem they can’t solve? Or do you source the most cost-effective raw materials for your marine parts? Whatever it is, this is your starting point for establishing your place in a busy marketplace.
Once you know where you excel, you can see exactly where your marine business can deliver a real alternative to current offerings from your competitors.
Who actually are your customers?
So you know what you’re good at, but who is this good for? If you don’t have a crystal clear idea of who your customers are, you’ll miss the mark when it comes to reaching out and engaging with them, and you’ll struggle to identify a clear marketing strategy for your marine business.
Creating profiles of your clients, known as ‘customer personas’, is critical (and a really fascinating exercise). You don’t need hundreds, just a solid selection of your typical buyers. If you’re unsure of how to create a customer persona, begin by looking for trends in your existing customers, then assign names and attributes to each personality.
For example which social platforms do they use? What newspaper do they read? Are there particular clothing brands they like? How old are they? Where do they do their food shopping? What is their financial situation? Building a clear picture or your customers will mean you can find them, speak their language and solve their problems.
Begin a conversation
Effective marine marketing is not about cold calling and hard sales. Savvy consumers have the world at their Googling-fingertips, but we’re all looking for a sense of community and belonging.
This space is exactly where your marine business should be – offering advice, information, product reviews, top tips… it’s all about adding value to your user, and a human face to your business, in order to build trust and confidence in your brand.
Positioning your marine marketing in this way will also benefit your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), helping you to appear closer to the top of search results. Research shows that Google is increasingly becoming a ‘discovery engine’ rather than a ‘search engine’. Users want to learn more to be able to make a balanced, informed decision.
This is your opportunity to combine what you’ve identified your business excels at, with communications that speak directly to your customer personas. Help them, guide them, advise and educate them – step away from the ‘hard sell’ and understand that this approach will allow you to position your marine business as the choice when it comes to your products and services by consistently providing the answers to their questions.
Marine marketing advice and guidance
If all this sounds a little overwhelming, you don’t have to tackle it alone. As marine marketing specialists our team are on hand to offer support when you need it most, so you can get back to your To Do list.
Why not book a free discovery call with MD Sarah to understand how you can apply these principles in practice, and how we can help your marine business go from strength to strength?