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Spread the Word Through Integrated Marketing at your Marina

When it comes to building and sustaining your marina’s customer base, marketing is the key to success. But since there are so many ways to reach your audience these days, you need to wonder—what kinds of marketing do you need? The answer is simple: ALL of them. And the secret to making them as impactful as possible is Integrated Marketing.

Integrated Marketing is basically a cohesive campaign across all channels, where your brand is recognizable, your messaging is consistent, and each marketing piece seamlessly works together.

For example, let’s say your marina is hosting a special event like a fun-filled regatta (a great example is the San Diego Yacht Club’s August Beer Can Series). You want to get the word out to as many boaters as possible, not just participants…but onlookers, as well! To begin, you gather all of the critical information (registration details, dates, times, rules, fees), find great images to engage people, and then start on your marketing plan.

  1. Highlight Event Prominently on Website
  2. Create Engaging Blog Post
  3. Promote on Social Media (Facebook, Instagram & Twitter)
  4. Send Out Targeted Email Marketing (Eblasts)Include in Marina Newsletter
  5. Send Out Press Release About Event
  6. Advertise in Local Sailing Publications or Post Flyers at Nearby Businesses

As you build each piece out, remember the golden rules across the board:

Keep Design and Branding As Uniformed As Possible

Design all ads for your event with the same color scheme, same or similar looking graphics, same fonts and same logo position. You want the campaign to have a cohesive feel that’s instantly familiar. So, if someone receives an eblast highlighting the event… and then comes across a (similarly designed) social media post, the visual recognition will put your marina’s event at the forefront of their mind.

Communicate Well

Make sure the text on every platform has the same tone (friendly, informative, engaging) with similar messaging, the same event name (i.e. SDYC Beer Can Series), and accurate details. In the same vein as the design, the wording from piece to piece should be in the same voice and style.

Have Clear Call to Action

What do you hope to gain from this promotion? Whatever it is—that’s your CTA on all corresponding pieces—and it should be prominently positioned. In the case of a Regatta, for example, the call to action is most likely REGISTER NOW—and place it where it won’t be missed.

Link Out for Maximum Integration

Adding hyperlinks (aka: words or graphics that link to another website page) is a must for digital marketing platforms. First of all, using links can connect multiple pieces together, which is a sign of a truly effective campaign. You can link a social media post to a coinciding blog post. Or you could (and should!) link your call to action to the appropriate webpage—such as connecting the REGISTER NOW CTA directly to the marina events’ page.

Sound complicated? It’s not. Especially when you have RMS’s tools behind you. Take our Guest Marketing Solutions—we can help you set up and send amazing, professional looking eblasts and even SMS texts that will make your integrated campaign take off in no time. Case in point, check out how straightforward (and dare we say enjoyable) the RMS EDM (Electronic Direct Mail) feature is.

You just subscribe to EDM, add it to your Dashboard for quick access, and get your design underway without needing to hire a graphic designer or email provider services.

There’s nothing to it—EDM tools use drag and drop technology, meaning the feature is incredibly simple to use. Just select a template and make it your own by dropping in customized titles, images, text boxes, hyperlinked CTAs and more with a quick drag of your mouse. Once you’re happy with the design and the text is proofed, use our test email function to ensure things look great on all browsers and screens.

Now you want to send it to the right audience. So…you create your own targeted recipients list! And when we say “targeted,” we mean micro-focusing on exactly who you want to reach. PLUS, there’s a whole new aspect of RMS’s email marketing suite that can affect your selections too—and FYI, your customers are going to love it. We’re talking about the new Email Categorization feature (launching officially in August), which gives recipients the ability to choose exactly what kind of emails they receive from you. So, if general promotions, marina news, and maintenance tips float their boat, that’s the only kinds of eblasts they’ll receive from you! It’s a pretty big deal so check it out.

Once you have the recipients list nailed down—all that’s left is to schedule the eblast or get it out there right away. Then you can track the campaign’s effectiveness in real time, which is pretty nifty. You can see when messages are opened, which recipients interacted with the eblast, and even who unsubscribes from future emails. Having this info is a great way to understand what campaigns succeed or fall flat—and you’ll learn from both scenarios.

Inspired to get started, aren’t you? Just remember—with Integrated Marketing, every piece supports the other and it’s important to have at least four in place. The most powerful being your marina’s website, a targeted eblast, social media and your marina newsletter. If you have partnerships that will be part of the promotion, such as an on-site hotel offering weekend specials, be sure to cross promote on all fronts. It’s a great way to further the integration and reach your biggest audience.

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