Panbo

Welcome MTA, MI for ME at last!

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Feb 8, 2010
market_intelligence_diagram_courtesy_Quirks.JPG

I'm not the sort of guy who usually spends time looking for diagrams and explanations regarding a field like Market Intelligence (MI), but I'm pretty darn sure that the Marine Electronics (ME) industry could really use some help from such specialists.  That's why I'm very pleased to introduce a new company called Marine Technology Advisors, whose entire focus is market intelligence.  And I'm super pleased to add that Panbo is involved, and that you -- the readers of Panbo -- can really help.  It's a win-win-win situation, I think, and I'm excited.  You can read more details below, or just dive right into MTA's first Panbo marine electronics survey.

As you may well know, the whole marine electronics industry is relatively small, and it's fractured into a global mishmash of companies ranging from one-man shops to substantial public corporations (and even those don't necessarily reveal the size of their marine components).  The customer base is also highly fragmented, particularly on the recreational side, given the enormous variety of boats and the ways people use them.  And there's no trade organization, let alone an MI firm, trying to track and analyze ME.  Heck, I could only get a vague gross sales figure when I asked around  five years ago, and I don't think that situation has changed a bit.
   Lack of information makes it hard for an industry to evolve rationally and to serve its customers.  Without good MI, how does a bank or investor judge the potential value of some company's great new idea?  Without good MI, how does an ME company truly know its market position, let alone what customers actually want?  Those are just a couple of ways MTA hopes to serve this industry.  While its web site is still under construction, the company is already collecting market information in a number of ways, and it's partnered with Panbo in order to survey marine electronics consumers like you all.
   In exchange, I'll get to share some of the survey findings here, and Panbo will also get a portion of revenues derived from more detailed reports sold to companies.  Plus I'll get some demographic information on readers which may help attract more advertisers.  And more revenue means that I get more time to work on Panbo.  Meanwhile, the industry gets a new way to understand how much you value specific technologies, and what qualities you're looking for.  The survey will also give you a chance to name brands and sources, appreciated ones or otherwise.  In other words, you get an anonymous, professionally organized way to express yourself.  And, as an added kicker, each completed survey -- it takes about ten minutes -- earns a dollar donation to your choice of two good aid organizations.
   All of which is why I call this win-win-win...for the ME industry, for Panbo, and for marine electronics users.  The only downside I can foresee is that I will feel compelled to harass readers mercilessly until we collect a statistically significant number of surveys.  So, please, fill out the survey now

Comments

Incidentally, members of the marine electronics industry who also buy and use electronics are certainly encouraged to fill out the poll like any other boaters. Please be honest, of course, and remember that your responses are completely anonymous.

Posted by: Ben at February 8, 2010 4:04 PM | Reply

Uhhhh...survey blew up about 3/4 way through.
Plan B? Try again? How do we know when it works?
HNick

Posted by: HNickM at February 8, 2010 4:24 PM | Reply

It's great that there will be an MI service focused on the marine market. What will be important is that the manufacturers buy their information. Perhaps a few months from now you can advise us whether this has happened.

Posted by: Russ at February 8, 2010 4:27 PM | Reply

Sorry you had a problem, Nick. I've been through the survey twice myself without any problems, plus one of those times I left it open for hours, sometimes paging back and forth (while writing edit notes and multitasking). My impression is that it's rock solid, but I sure understand the frustration of having something like that crash before your efforts are recorded. I notified MTA.

Posted by: Ben at February 8, 2010 4:49 PM | Reply

Great to see this come about! It should serve the industry well if it gets critical mass.

Posted by: Mark at February 8, 2010 8:06 PM | Reply

Great questions but they forgot include Texas in the list of states

Posted by: Mike G at February 9, 2010 9:56 AM | Reply

Interesting survey, worked well, and hopefully it will help marine manufactuers. It was a bit boring on the various most/least part of the survey.

I also mentioned companies who have a bad reputation for consumer response, since that is extremely important for the marine industry.

Posted by: Bob Austin at February 9, 2010 1:45 PM | Reply

Survey site all better. Waited a day, tried again, and it picked up where I left off. HNick

Posted by: HNickm at February 9, 2010 3:07 PM | Reply

A big thanks to about 150 readers who filled out the survey in the first 24 hours. Now, how about the rest of you?

Posted by: Ben at February 10, 2010 5:17 AM | Reply

Eat your Wheaties, kids...it's good for you.

Posted by: Ben at February 11, 2010 7:08 AM | Reply

This will be a fantastic resource for the marine industry if enough people take the poll!

Posted by: Mark M at February 11, 2010 1:37 PM | Reply

Made it to 81% and then the program locked up. I gave up at that point. Even if the survey had been problem-free, it would still have been a time suck. If you ask me, a former marketeer, they're trying to drill down too far and in too much detail, attempting to capture the uncapturable.

Posted by: Larry Brandt at February 12, 2010 5:17 PM | Reply

Sorry for your trouble, Larry, but note from HNick above that you may be able to pick up your survey where you left off. It's built using Survey Monkey, which is purportedly one of the most robust and well respected tools available. Good market intelligence does involve detail, which is hard to get, but it's oh so valuable to all parties involved.

Posted by: Ben at February 13, 2010 7:42 AM | Reply

We've got over 300 surveys so far, which is great, but let's double or triple that! Please take a little time this weekend to fill it out...win-win-win...

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5TW6ZDB

Posted by: Ben at February 13, 2010 7:47 AM | Reply

Have you filled out your survey yet?

Posted by: Ben at February 15, 2010 6:29 PM | Reply

Do I have to come by your house?

Posted by: Ben at February 16, 2010 10:30 AM | Reply

With a belaying pin?

Posted by: Ben at February 16, 2010 11:17 PM | Reply

I added a bunch of interesting new sites to Panbo's resource section today, like:

http://themarineinstallersrant.blogspot.com/

http://kennebeccaptain.blogspot.com/

http://www.edsboattips.com/

But before you wander off, isn't time to fill out your survey?

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5TW6ZDB

Posted by: Ben at February 21, 2010 3:28 PM | Reply

MTA has collected over 700 surveys now -- which is great -- but 80% are from North America. Readers on other continents are most welcome to fill out the survey and, again, that includes people who work in the marine electronics industry but also acquire and use their own electronics.

The survey will end on March 7...five more days to go. Do it, please!

Posted by: Ben at March 2, 2010 9:22 AM | Reply

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