Panbo

Electronics survey, there's still time

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Feb 25, 2010
MTA_survey_first_look.JPG

Almost 400 marine electronics users have already taken the survey announced here earlier this month, and Marine Technology Analysts (MTA) has done a little preliminary data crunching.  Users were asked to name up to three of their favorite sources and, while 152 outlets were named, the top 11 seen above appeared in 60% of the surveys.  MTA also tells me that some strong patterns are developing in terms of what users most desire from those sources, not to mention what they want in terms of products.  But more data would be great.  Please take a 10-15 minute break to fill out the survey today; chances are good that the effort will help the marine electronics industry, Panbo, and ultimately you.

Comments

While it is nice to see both Pyacht and Fawcett in the top ten of the preliminary results of this survey, the results make me curious. Fawcett has only been selling electronics since acquiring pyacht in 2009. We use the Fawcett brand to sell to and provide full service for our customers on the Chesapeake Bay. We use the pyacht brand for Internet sales, and the pyacht brand has a much larger base of satisfied marine electronics customers.

I suppose that with a random sample of 400 people you might be able to see a trend that could be based on brand recognition, but I think now that this survey is in the wild the results could be skewed by internet resellers spamming the survey.

I look forward to reviewing the final results, but I will certainly take them with a grain of salt.

Rob Emmet
Pyacht.com
Fawcett Boat Supplies

Posted by: Rob Emmet at February 25, 2010 10:42 PM | Reply

Thanks, Rob. I did consider survey spamming before posting the pie chart, but doubt it's a real issue as a spammer would have to spend a fair bit of time just to 'fake' one data point. Besides, a look at preferred sources, and why they're preferred, is just one small piece of what the survey is trying to accomplish.

Posted by: Ben at February 26, 2010 8:15 AM | Reply

Rob, thank you for commenting.

Perhaps we can help clarify a bit:

1. So far, it appears that less than 2% of the 470 total to-date look like they might be dupes.

2. Approx 16% of respondents are operating primarily in the Chesapeake Bay ...

3. The combined response rate for your two brands would indicate that approx 30% of the survey respondents from Virginia and Maryland had their expectations met or exceeded by Fawcett's or Pyacht.

Hope this helps.

MTA Staff

Posted by: MTA Staff at February 26, 2010 10:03 AM | Reply

Surveys are always interesting, but I noticed that except for West Marine (and perhaps "other") all of the other places listed are either mail order only or Eastern USA based.

In California if I want to see something in person the only place is West Marine or a local marine electronics store. The smaller stores often do not have on the floor full lines or a large selection, thus we are back to West Marine.

Posted by: Thomas Petersen at February 26, 2010 10:16 AM | Reply

Along the lines of Thomas' comments, it would be interesting to know what percentage of respondents were East coast vs. West coast.

Having sold marine electronics for many years on the West coast, and not living in denial of internet vendors - this list looks heavily skewed to those users based East of the Mississippi.

Posted by: Todd Rickard at February 26, 2010 11:29 AM | Reply

Thomas:

Good point. Thank you for the feedback.

California, Orgeon and Washington State make up approx 22% of the total survey respondents.

You bring up a good point about physical displays. Now, we are only just beginning to analyze data, but, there are a couple of interesting trends that might be worth considering in regards to your point:
1. Almost 70% of the respondents stated that the physical location of the source was 'Not Important' when they considered where to buy
2. At the same time, most respondents cited availability for comparison to be a key source selection driver.

We will be digging into this issue -- and defining what constitutes 'Other' -- with Ben in March.

MTA Staff

Posted by: MTA Staff at February 26, 2010 2:03 PM | Reply

Directed @ Thomas' comments: Keep in mind, people have other opportunities to compare units prior to purchasing other than at the local store display. The 1st being other boats at the docks, freinds and associates. Ever notice certain geo area's, docks and marina's have very high percentages of the same brands? Some of that is the local vendor pushing a brand, but msot of it is word of mouth: "My unit works greak, look at the fish I caught..." and 2 days later the boat next door gets the same unit.

The 2nd way to compare units in person is at boat shows. There are boat shows everywhere now, and all year long. Some shows are boats and booth type vendors, some are just booth type vendors at indoor "Fishing trade" type shows. Both always have the major electronics manufacturers present with all the latest models to play with.

I think most people (myself included), look at the units on the boats around them, and compare at boat shows. Then login to Al Gores price reduction tax free shopping center system (aka internet), and find the cheapest guy that will ship today.

Posted by: Birdman at February 26, 2010 5:58 PM | Reply

Birdman, great points.

However, with respect to the comment 'find the cheapest guy that will ship today', you are dead on, but:

1. Not for all 11 technical segments of the marine electronics markets that we are covering. In many categories, price is not rated much higher than average importance, often behind other considerations.
2. Not for a significant percentage of the 560 captains that have taken the survey so far. Our respondents indicate that there is a significant population of users that are citing a number of other factors before price, including sales support and customer support experience.

We are pretty sure that you could identify a number of those products with more important considerations than price. Our goal is to build a database that evidences your experiences and assumptions. This is a good example.

We will be sharing more of this in the coming weeks on our website when it is complete. For now, we are working on building these databases.

Thanks for taking the survey.

Posted by: MTA Staff at February 26, 2010 10:03 PM | Reply

I am impressed by this survey. Its obvious that more people need to respond. I've promoted it to my sailing club and some of the forums I haunt. Have you guys done that?

Posted by: Sandy Daugherty at February 27, 2010 9:15 AM | Reply

Thanks, Sandy. I have, in fact, posted messages about the survey at The Hull Truth, SSCA, Sailing Anarchy, and SailBoatOwners.com; and Jeff Siegle put up a nice call to action at the CruiserForum.com. MTA told me that we were closing on 700 surveys last night, which is getting to be a significant data set.

I was a little nervous about getting forum flak for promoting Panbo, but instead have gotten some gratifying compliments. If I find the time, I'll try some more, like maybe the fishing forums.

Posted by: Ben at March 1, 2010 10:20 AM | Reply

Great for someone to spend the time and energy for these surveys.

Posted by: Travis Thorpe at March 4, 2010 1:46 PM | Reply

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