by Jeni Bone
One of the informative and no doubt feisty presentations on the program at Marine13 will be a panel discussion on the crucial value of women and families in the approach of recreational boating and its marketing.
What Women Want
In a session ambitiously called 'Empowering Women in Boating: Who Really Makes the Decisions?', authors, researchers and journalists will involve the audience in discussing this expansive topic.
'There’s a lot more to it than running an ad in pink,' says Darren Finklestein, who will take his place among the female marketing experts on the panel and is quite content to be the 'token bloke'.
Darren is the Dealer Principal and co-owner of St Kilda Boat Sales and has been in the brokerage business for 10 years and in boating since he was a boy.
He believes boating is egalitarian and doesn’t belong to any or demographic or gender.
'Boating is inclusive. There’s something for everybody and it should be promoted as fun for all.'
As well as operating his brokerage, Darren spent many years in senior management with Apple, one of the world’s most versatile and progressive consumer companies and has written a book called 'Honey, Let’s Buy a Boat' – launched in October 2012 and 'going great guns' – a summation of many years figuring out the ins and outs of what buyers big and small, seasoned and novice want to know about getting in to boating.
He admits to being slightly daunted about being on a panel titled 'Empowering women in boating: who really makes the decisions?', but he comes well equipped with reams of research and personal coaching from his wife, who works for Women Leadership Australia, an organisation which supports equity and opportunity for women.
'One thing I have learned over the years is that everybody, male or female, is an individual. The onus is on us as skilled professionals to tailor our sales approach to each person, whether they be part of a couple, family or any variation on those.
'It’s really a life lesson, that people come in all varieties and we have to personalise our service to their requirements and preferences.'
The other key member of the panel is Karen Phillips, PR dynamo, professional MC, founder of Early Risers women’s networking events and author of best-selling book, 'Women’s Words of Wisdom, Power & Passion'.
This best-selling book has been called a 'handbook for life' and includes anecdotes and inspirations from 50 of Australia’s leading lights including Olivia Newton-John, Miranda Kerr, Kasey Chambers, the Governor-General Quentin Bryce, Catherine Freeman Terri Irwin and the PM, Julia Gillard, among many more influential women.
Specialising in communication, branding and performance, Karen helps business leaders better achieve the results they need through understanding and connecting with the female market.
In demand at all levels for her corporate coaching and advice on branding and strategy with multinationals and businesses all over Australia, Karen has recently completed research on the conundrum of 'What Women Want' from surveys and testimonials from women of all walks of life.
Karen uses the latest research in neuroscience, emotional intelligence and psychology to truly understand ‘What Women Really Want‘. The results provide illuminating insights on how to capture this market and essential techniques to maintain and expand a female client base.
From this vantage point, and her experience working with brands such as Sunseeker and other prestige marques, Karen will be a witty and wise panelist with the credentials to shed light on how companies can leverage female consumers’ appetite for quality, value and family-friendly offerings.
'In all, it will be an invaluable insight in to what motivates women,' says Nik Parker, General Manager of BIAA. 'There will be nowhere else in 2013 to get such a diverse range of business support delivered directly to the industry.
'Being at Marine13 is a must if you are serious about tackling the issues facing our industry – those topics we are continually discussing in the media, in association meetings, in the boat yard or dealership, day-in-day-out.'
More at www.marine13.com