by Bob Wonders
The Marine Marketers of America (MMA), a professional development organisation working to enhance the success of marketing and communications specialists involved with the recreational boating industry, is to launch a pilot women’s boating education program.
A committee has been formed that will develop and validate a dealer-based program aimed at teaching the basic principles of boating safety and boat handling to women.
Planned to commence next year, the program’s curriculum will be tailored specifically for women boaters.
“Our research shows that there is a pressing need for an educational program to give women the skills and confidence necessary to operate a boat safely,” John Wisse, co-chair of the MMA committee explained.
“Many women are concerned that they might not be able to bring a boat safely to port in their male companion was disabled.
“By establishing this program as a dealer-based initiative, we believe we can provide an important industry service by enhancing boating safety.
“The program also creates a selling opportunity for boat dealers, who can leverage the education programs as a means to build leads and close sales,” he added.
Committee co-chair Jim Rhodes, president of Norfolk-based Rhodes Communications, Inc., said the MMA would also provide a turnkey marketing tool kit that would include branding guidelines, logos, taglines, advertising assistance, direct mailers, press kits and other relevant promotional material.
“Dealers can either collaborate with local certified boating education providers, such as the US Coast Guard, state boating agencies or can use our curriculum guidelines to teach the courses with properly trained and certified in-house staff,” Rhodes explained.
Participating boat dealers involved to date are based in Georgia, Illinois, Florida and Ohio.
Committee members will work closely with each dealer to fine tune and evaluate the program.
A Toronto, Canada dealership which has developed and implemented an effective women’s educational program, is serving as a project consultant.
Wanda Kenton Smith, MMA president, described the planned program as “a wonderful opportunity”.
“It will allow our members to contribute their talent, resources and skills as professional marketers to accomplish positive results which will benefit the entire boating industry,” she added.
For further information visit the website, www.marinemarketersofamerica.com