MattAsk almost any manufacturer’s marketing department or dealership owner about the goal for their marketing, you’ll get one of a few answers.

  1. “We are getting our name out there.”
  2.  “We are building our brand.”

What do you think? Should those be the goals of your marketing and the marketing/advertising dollars you spend?

If that’s your approach, you’ve also probably had this thought … “We are wasting half of our advertising budget but we just don’t know which half.” That quote was repeated to me the other day by an executive in the boat business (name withheld to protect the guilty) to which I just shook my head.

Branding as a primary goal is a total waste

Branding as a primary goal of your marketing is a total waste of time and you’ll throw a lot of money down the drain. That goal will cause someone to take actions that just don’t match up with smart strategic marketing and sales. Branding is just not the best way to fish if your goal is to actually catch fish.

Here’s the problem: You just can’t deposit brand or name recognition in the bank. You can only deposit money from sales!

So are you ready for the costly myth of brand building: “It doesn’t work as a primary goal!”

The cost is enormous … the results untrackable. The only thing good about brand building is that it’s easier than what really works.

What really works you may ask?

Results-based marketing is what works. It’s developing a lead generation strategy that attracts pre-positioned, pre-qualified and less price-sensitive boat buyer to get in front of well-trained (hopefully) sales people. Then, building a relationship with and educating that lead in a systematic way, motivating them to buy the type of boat you sell when the timing is right for them.

Easy to say, but this approach actually requires a bunch of nitty-gritty, down and dirty hard work. The good news is a lot of the really heavy lifting is done up front. Once created, it’s just a matter of continuous improvement and maintaining the systems.

Do you understand the conversation inside your prospects’ minds?

But it requires getting inside your prospects heads and understanding the conversations going on in their minds as they travel down the Educational Spectrum of a Boat BuyerIt requires communicating in a clear and concise manner how you are different and why you’re clearly the best choice. And, oh by the way, you must truly be the best choice for that prospect.

Let me ask you, will you do more business with Verizon because of their new simpler logo (If you want to know why I only like branding as a by-product of results based marketing, watch the CMO of Verizon explain their logo in the below 2 minute video).

If he or you think a logo will help any business sell more (increase revenue), they are just full of b.s.

Can you see the hard work and why it’s just easier to spend some money, hire a new ad agency, redesign your logo like Google and Verizon just did.

A better way… a smarter way… but it takes work

So, instead of changing the framing around your images, redesigning your logo, freshening up your website, spending a fortune on a world class photo shoot, ask yourself, do you want to take the easy way? Or, are you willing to put in the work and design a results based sales and marketing approach that will have true impact on your bottom line profits.

Like almost anything in life, only a select few will choose the more difficult approach but to them will go major rewards! I hope you choose the major rewards because in the end, your clients will receive a better experience and you will strengthen your ‘brand’ as a bye product for a smart results based marketing approach.

Matt Sellhorst is the author of the book “Marine Marketing Strategies” and Head Profits Coach at Boat Dealer Profits. Sellhorst was also the winner of the MDCE Best Ideas Contest, Boating Industry’s Movers and Shakers Bold Moves award, a top producing boat salesman, and a speaker and presenter at the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo. He now helps dealers, brokers and manufacturers sell more boats with proven sales and marketing systems.

 To receive a free copy of his book, visit  to receive instant access (and your special bonus training).