Budget Marine is the Caribbean’s leading marine chandlery with retail locations throughout the Caribbean. Budget Marine’s customers range from live-aboard cruisers, to power boaters, to megayacht captains & crew. Right now, Budget Marine focuses on product promotions and education. It does not use social media specifically for service development. So, for this blog, I decided to write about ways in which Budget Marine can use social media as a tool both to engage customers and to enhance their presence in the market.
1: Brand Impact
Budget Marine is an iconic presence in the Caribbean. It’s name, and Robbie Ferron’s name, are recognized throughout the region.
Budget Marine could better utilize social media to promote its brand to a customer base that is part ever-changing and part local. Budget Marine already does this successfully via traditional media, community participation, and event sponsorship. So, it’s just a short step to engage customers on social media.
Reach out to customers via Facebook and Twitter with product promotions, after-sales service advice, and broadcast local knowledge. For example, the island of St. Martin has two lift bridges and one swing bridge that allow access to the lagoon. Budget Marine could advertise these opening times on a regular basis.
2: Increasing Quality / Value
By encouraging feedback, Budget Marine can more quickly target customer interests, needs, and buying trends. They can also identify the types of challenges that customers are facing and provide answers/solutions.
Budget Marine can become more active in encouraging customer feedback, both through its own Facebook page and through pages like the frequently visited Sint Maarten Cruisers & Boaters (SXM) page.
3: Complaint Management
Cruisers are notorious DIY’ers. So, if a customer makes a mistake, and blames the cause on a product they bought at Budget Marine, Budget can quickly resolve the issue by responding immediately via social media. For example, if a cruiser wants to hook one manufacturer’s radar up to another manufacturer’s display panel, it’s just not going to work. Both parts may have been purchased at Budget Marine, but combining them is going to create problems. As is applying teak oil over deck caulking, or using aluminium fittings in carbon fibre.
Budget Marine can exploit customer complaints to their advantage; by responding quickly and by using the information to train sales staff to ask the right questions and advise customers accordingly.
Lessons for Others
Budget Marine recognized, early on, the potential advantages of utilizing social media. It still has a lot of potential to tap social media as a tool to improve organizational performance. Three ways that Budget Marine can do this right now are: showcasing its brand, engaging its customers, and exploiting negative feedback to its advantage.
Industry: Marine Retail Sales & Service
Name of Organization Contact: Robbie Ferron, Founder, Director
Authored by: klkgifford
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.
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Budget Marine Logo retrieved from LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/940656/. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
Retrieved from: https://learn.uwaterloo.ca/d2l/le/content/306785/viewContent/1822911/View
youtube.com. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
https://www.facebook.com/BudgetMarine/. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/195582740528156/?multi_permalinks=1352198398199912¬if_t=group_highlights¬if_id=1496111281012913. Retrieved May 30, 2017.