BROKER'S CORNER 426 - Multimedia Marketplace

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  • Trade-A-Boat

Twitter, Facebook, SMS messaging and the Internet are changing the way we source information, like that next dreamboat. Sydney broker MATTHEW WILLETT reports marine businesses are now embracing new media technologies

BROKER'S CORNER 426 - Multimedia Marketplace
BROKER'S CORNER 426 — Multimedia Marketplace


There is no doubt the use of technology and social media affects many aspects of our lives and, in consequence, many industries have to change the way they operate, whether they like it or not.

Children are surrounded by Facebook, Twitter, and smartphones and see it as part of their everyday lives, while parents and grandparents try to come to terms with what it all means.

Businesses worldwide are embracing tools like QR (for Quick Response) Codes and newsfeeds to get the message to customers in the quickest, simplest way possible, and the methods they use are constantly evolving. The marine industry in the past had little need for such technology, however, it is also slowly picking-up the pace by using many of these mediums and the benefits to the consumer are plentiful.

WEB SEARCH
Take for example the way we search for that dream boat.
Ten years ago print media was king, but with the increased presence of the Internet we have slowly changed the way we look for things we like.

Today, you can search for makes, models, price ranges, location and so on to narrow down the search for the perfect boat. But what if you could have exactly what you are looking for placed on your lap within seconds of it being listed by a broker?

The use of social media is slowly gaining momentum in the marine industry and many brokers will now send their listings live through Facebook and Twitter automatically as they are loaded through their own websites.

SMS REVOLUTION
Some dealers embrace QR (for Quick Response) Code technology, which allows the user to scan a code by phone and download all the information on a particular listing from the shopfront window. What this does for the end-consumer is save even more time. It also makes a search anonymous, so even in the early stages of looking you are not getting three phone calls a day from salesmen trying to push their listings. A search can be narrowed down without even looking for it and in many instances may be something you haven’t even considered.

For the dealer QR is quick, hits a target audience and most of all is cost friendly. What we now find in the industry is that while the level of enquiry is less thanks to these mediums, the quality of verbal enquiry with the client is significantly better because the buyer has been able to narrow the choices themselves.

Other major organisations within the industry are also embracing this technology for the benefit of the end-user. For example NSW Maritime and the Bureau of Meteorology regularly tweet updates on weather warnings, boating events and restricted zones, as well as interesting news like salvage operations and policy updates so you get the information live as it happens. So before heading out on the water for the day rather than check the weather online, it is delivered to you the second it is updated.

GETTING TWEETED
If this all sounds wonderful but you don’t understand how to get it, the processes are simple. Go to www.twitter.com, grab a user account, then follow the people you are interested in and the news will start to come through as a text message thick and fast, straight to your phone.

If you want to read it, click the link in the text and less than a few minutes after the boat was listed you will be reading the specs and looking at the photos in the comfort of wherever you may be.

On Facebook, simply search for the business you are interested in. Many have their own Facebook pages that are full of news, photos and things the dealership is doing as well as listings.

Many may argue that the personalisation has been taken away from many aspects of our lives — we tend to text not talk, email rather than phone and I would say that this is true. The reality is, though, this is the way the world is changing and if you spend a few minutes looking into it and seeing the benefits firsthand, you will be amazed at the amount of information you can get your hands on without even trying.

After all it is still only the initial enquiry and once you have found a boat, you still need to rely on the professionalism and skills of the broker to walk you through the transaction, and no amount Tweeting, texting or Facebooking will replace that.

* Matthew Willett operates Matthew Willett Marine new and used-boat brokerage at The Spit, Mosman.

Embracing new-world multimedia, Matthew Willett (above) checks his iPad for live-feeds from a host of sources, including NSW Maritime (below) boating alerts.


From Trade-a-Boat Issue 426, Apr-May, 2012.

 


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