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What's On Your 'hot Topic' List?

Discussion in 'Business of Diving Institute' started by John A Lewis, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. John A Lewis

    John A Lewis Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: DFW
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    What is a burning issue for you as it relates to the business of scuba?

    Is it a business practice that needs to stop? One that needs to happen? To be examined more deeply?

    Is it something else entirely?

    Here's the forum, gang. Time to sanely look at all the things we talk about concerning us in the business of diving.

    So what's your concern?
     
  2. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
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    One of my main concerns for the industry is the complete lack of meaningful market research to guide decision-making. What little research has been done has been of limited utility, if any utility at all. Flawed studies, no research with non-divers, no validation of current messaging, no evaluation of potentially superior messaging, etc, etc.

    As the Cheshire Cat counseled Alice... "If you don't know where you're going, it doesn't matter what road you choose."

    [​IMG]
     
  3. John A Lewis

    John A Lewis Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: DFW
    360
    99
    28
    Could you give little bit more when you refer to meaningful market research? What's lacking right now?
     
  4. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    13,460
    6,035
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    Not trying to be contrary, or a smart ass, but let's turn the question around for discussion: What meaningful market research exists currently?
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
  5. John A Lewis

    John A Lewis Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: DFW
    360
    99
    28
    The only thing that comes to mind are the self-serving things that come out of DEMA, and the limited ones from that industry survey done quarterly that depends on honest self reporting from shops.

    What would it take to make either better, or replace them entirely?
     
  6. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    13,460
    6,035
    113
    A desire to do so is really all that is needed. With the added incentive that the cost to "do it right" would be less than what is currently spent doing it wrong. Far less.

    The problem with the quarterly self-reported industry survey is not that it's self-reported, but rather that it not market research. It's an audit. The results are as useful as using your rear-view mirror to see where you're going.

    The other stuff is just silly. When an industry trade group's recommendation is tantamount to saying "your ideal customer is someone with money who lives or works near your location" it's time to turn somewhere else for guidance.

    I'll have to look through my post history. About a year ago I wrote a pretty good strawman of a market-research plan and posted it here somewhere.
     
    John A Lewis likes this.
  7. BabyDuck

    BabyDuck Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Winterville, NC
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    this is probably less 'business' and more 'symptom of underlying problem in the business', but i hate all the emphasis on tits and skulls on black tshirts being most of the dive shirts you can find. can we at least pretend that some divers are female??
     
  8. MaxBottomtime

    MaxBottomtime Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
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    I've always felt that there are too many prerequisite courses required. If a diver is interested in tech diving he first must take Nitrox, Advanced Nitrox and a few tech level courses. I realize it's a big money maker for the agencies but I think more divers would consider further education if it were offered in fewer courses.
     
  9. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
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    RJP shared some insights in some threads from not too long ago. Here are a couple:

    1.) Marketing: Are we ok, or do we need help? (I linked to Post 235; the research leading up to the Quaker Oats marketing campaign made interesting reading).

    2.) Why aren't more people taking up scuba diving? (I linked to Post 145).

    There's been a lot of discussion on past threads about the issue of marketing. 2 Things I found interesting about the Quaker Oaks backstory:

    1.) They narrowed down their targeted demographic; not just 'everybody who eats and can't afford the product.'

    2.) They researched the demographic extensively, trying to identify needs. Some people being interviewed/researched didn't even know what product they were to be sold.

    This was far different from what some would probably do; open a 'free sample' booth at Walmart or similar, get thousands of people to try it, and hope enough like it well enough to become customers.

    Richard.
     
    John A Lewis and RJP like this.
  10. John A Lewis

    John A Lewis Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: DFW
    360
    99
    28
    Your point is well-taken, and I don't know how to address it.

    The fact is that the items you talk about all seem to sell, and quite well, too. What do you think can be done to change that, and what alternative merchandise could be offered instead?
     

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