Professional Development - Surveys

Professional Development - Marketing: Surveys are Important to Us 

by Gene Muchanski

When was the last time you surveyed your customers? Do you know why they purchase from you? Do you know why the ones who don't buy from you, buy from your competitor? Do you know what is important to your customers? If you don't, the solution is simple. Ask them. 

Many times we, as an industry, seem to operate in a vacuum. Maybe it is because there are many qualified and talented people in our business with a lot of diving experience. When we create products, sell products, recommend products or teach people how to use them, there is a tendency to inject our personal bias. Sometimes a little too much! Giving our customers the benefit of our opinion and experience is a good thing but failing to find out what is important to them is a sure sign of arrogance, ignorance and an over inflated ego. It also leads, in most cases, to a lost sale and a non-returning customer.

Since the early 1980's pressure selling gave way to the age of modern marketing. In the old days, we created products we thought were fantastic, filled our warehouse with inventory and sent our sales "force" out to sell the products to an unsuspecting public. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it resulted in a warehouse full of unsalable stuff that the public didn't need, didn't want, and wouldn't buy.

When modern marketing was introduced, we put our customer's needs at the beginning of the product development sequence. Using surveys and focus groups, we found out what our customers needed, wanted, could afford and would purchase. Our Engineers had a better idea what to design, production knew how many units to produce, and sales had a more accurate forecast.

Conducting a survey is the art of asking your customers about things. What do they like, what would they purchase, what events would they attend. Dive Industry Association released a survey last month to the U.S. Retail Dive Centers, asking them about Surf Expo. Although we only received 34 responses, we learned that 30% were going to attend the Surf Expo in September and 65% planned to go to DEMA. That tells the planners and exhibitors of both shows what to expect. If we had more responses, the results would show a more accurate picture. We used Constant Contact to conduct the survey. It was easy to do and the results were automatically tabulated. And the best thing is that each participant could read the results after taking the survey.

We plan to do more surveys to learn more about our industry and the companies that share this market. Without your willingness to respond, it is all for nothing. With your co-operation, the dive industry can make a significant step toward making this industry everything it can be. Join us in learning more about our community.

For more information, contact: Gene Muchanski, Director, Dive Industry Association, Inc., 2202 Lakewind Lane, League City, TX 77573. Phone: 281-554-2025. Fax: 281-554-8050. email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Web:

We are asking all Retail Dive Centers to take the survey. You can go to our Facebook page, find the Survey post, click on it and take the survey. All responses are kept confidential. Click our Facebook logo below.

Orlando, Florida - Sep 6-8, 2018

Exhibits at Surf Expo: Surf Expo will open its doors on September 6th for three days of watersports equipment and fashion apparel. Over 4,000 brands will be represented.



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