Lifestyle Not Sex: Missing The Mark On Marketing

It's the dead of winter, which means the threads heat up on the OffshoreOnly.com message boards. Among the hottest discussion topics of late is a thread titled "AT vs. OL", shorthand for "Active Thunder vs. Outerlimits." For the most part, the thread is just what you'd expect it to be, meaning loyalists defending their respective brands and taking mostly good-natured shots at one another.

The Clarks are expecting a future performance-boat owner of their own in May.Avid go-fast boat owners, the Clarks are expecting a future performance-boat owner of their own in May.

But then, a few OSO members started including digital photos of their kids in their boats in the thread. They recalled the good family times they had on their boats during the years. And a light bulb—an admittedly dim one—went on in my head.

When it comes to the "babes in bikinis on boats" marketing approach, the go-fast powerboat world has its bases covered. But when it comes to marketing to families, which is exactly where the next generation of performance-boat owners will come from, the industry comes up woefully short.

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