For us, our customers are our best salespeople, so we do our best to keep them happy. We’re not perfect by any means but we try hard and we’re committed to their satisfaction. This commitment has led to a passionate customer base that is our greatest accomplishment as a company.
Because we have such a loyal customer base, we decided long ago to capitalize on this strength to have a unique marketing strategy. What is it? Basically, we believe we should take care of customers so they’ll tell more boaters about us. This “marketing plan” has worked in the past, so we’ll be using it for the foreseeable future.
When Starbucks was in their earliest stages of growth, they made a strategic decision to not advertise…instead, they chose to provide great benefits to their employees. According to stories told about the early days, the founder had to trump his own board to keep the employee benefits, and he was willing to give up advertising to do so. To the founder, great employees were more important than great advertising. Starbucks only started advertising in 2000. Think about it: you probably knew about the company before then, didn’t you? If so, you have their dedicated employees and customers to thank, because they’re the ones who spread the word-of-mouth about the company.
I feel PowerCat Group is in that same growth phase, and that’s formed some of my own thoughts on advertising and marketing strategies, especially when it comes to boating magazines.
I have a lot of friends at boating magazines and the work they do and the service they provide customers is amazing. I learn a ton about fishing and boating from reading these magazines.
However, my belief is that PowerCat Group can’t do it all and expect to maintain the high level of quality and customer care that we’re known for. A big part of running a business is making decisions about how your company uses resources. Therefore, PowerCat Group’s decision has been to sacrifice our advertising budget in favor of doing everything we can to keep our customers satisfied.
The way I see it, we have a choice: we could either give the money to a magazine—where our small ads would get lost among the bigger, splashier, ads from the big boat companies—or we could spend the money on an event for our customers or assist dealers with providing better service. They’re both forms of marketing, but taking care of the customer is more effective, more direct, and just plain more fun.
You see, at The PowerCat Group, we prefer to focus on our current customers, not our future customers. We know that our current customers are our best salesmen. No advertising budget, no matter how large, could ever match an energetic customer base that tells everyone they know all about how much they love their power catamaran. So instead of advertising, we’ve dedicated ourselves to making the best possible boats on the water and supporting the people who drive them.