Know your customer very, VERY well
So why should your diving business have qualities like Amazon?
Amazon began in 1994 when the creator Jeff Bezo’s shipped his first book from his garage. Amazon began as an online book store but Jeff Bezon’s goal was to ‘have every product in the alphabet’! This goal is shown in the Amazon logo. Take a closer look. The arrow goes from ‘a’ to ‘z’ and is meant to represent the ‘customer’s satisfaction’ by forming a smile. How often have you seen this logo? I have seen it so many times and I had never really thought about it before I began thinking about this article!
Similarity/opportunity number one
One of key’s to Amazon’s success over other online retailers is it tries it’s hardest where possible to ‘customise’ the buyer experience. What do I mean by this? When you buy an item from Amazon you have to register a profile with them by logging in for the first time. After that when you return Amazon recognises it is you and suggests some recommendations that are specific to you.
The beauty of this is that the more you buy, the better Amazon gets at these personal recommendations. They could be related books, electronic items, DIY tools etc. Amazon effectively becomes your very own personal shopper helping you through their massive product range. This is Amazon’s best approach to sales the take home message is ‘know you customer very, VERY well’.
In one my previous article’s (‘Trust, Facebook and making more sales‘) I wrote how ‘building trust’ and learning more about your customers can increase sales. Once customers start to see you as an expert and ask for advice then it becomes much easier to sell things.
Become a personal shopper for your customers!
So how can we bring this back to diving? Just look at the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (AOW) course as an example. Each of the Adventure Dives they complete for their course is essentially a taster dive for that specialty diver course. With each Adventure Dive they may try a bit of new equipment or dive at a new site. With this in mind you now have some ammunition to begin to think and act like Amazon…
Once your customer has become a certified PADI Advanced Open Water Diver you can start to send specific, anticipated and relevant marketing promotions to them about related specialty diver courses, equipment and trips. Boooooom! You are now working like Amazon simple hey!
Another trick that Amazon uses is the technique of ‘social proofing’ where people tend to follow the crowd. Amazon’s tells you when you are looking at an item that when other people bought this particular item what other things they bought at the same time. So if a student does the Night Adventure Dive as part of their PADI AOW course then when you are sending marketing messages to promote the PADI Night Diver specialty course tell them what type of torches or trips people bought when they booked onto this course.
Similarity/opportunity number two
Another successful strategy that Amazon uses is to allow almost anyone to sell almost anything through the Amazon website. Amazon has become a hub for selling things on the web.
If we look an successful modern day diving business what are the key components – courses, retail, servicing, trips? What else do you think should be included in this list? Let me ask you a question. Do you own your own Red Sea Liveaboard dive boat?
Many diving businesses are selling or promoting products and services from other companies and making commission from these sales.
Ask for help…
Don’t be shy! Ask the companies you are working with for assistance with marketing and advice on how to target your customer database to make your marketing and promotions more effective. Do they have imagery/video, text, posters, social media and email templates that you could use? Would they be willing to come in and do a presentation evening? Remember it’s in their interest to help you!