Fiskars boosts boat sales
with a multichannel campaign

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The Buster aluminium boat is the Fiskars group's boat business' brand product, and has been made since 1977. It is Finland's most popular leisure boat and the biggest-selling aluminium boat in the Nordic countries.

Buster has extensive export markets throughout the Baltic region. The boat's absolute trump cards are its multiple uses and modifiability: It can be used as a utility boat, fishing boat and general-purpose boat for summer-cottage owners.

Busters are made at the Inha Works in Ähtäri, Finland. The boat business is part of Fiskars' Outdoor business area, which had a turnover of 128 million Euros in 2009, accounting for 19 percent of the group's entire turnover.

The Challenge
The global economic situation resulted in a very quiet period for boat sales last year. And, on top of everything, the boating season in Finland is very short, only a few months in the spring and summer. Boats are made to be kept in stock ready for the next season. But it is hard to predict sales, and warehousing is expensive.

Fiskars' boat business wanted to change its normal sales practice, and improve sales around the end of the year.

The Solution
The boat business, in collaboration with Luovia, set about creating a Buster Internet service - a configurator - that allowed potential boat buyers personally to design a Buster boat to suit their needs, to choose the model, the fittings and the colour. The service was launched at the start of last November.

To market the service, a multichannel campaign was devised to be directed at carefully considered customer groups. Target groups were offered Yamaha-Buster boat packages. Also sharing in the collaboration was Konekesko, which markets Yamaha outboard motors in Finland.

The goal was to sell fifty boat packages. The chosen targets were people who had just bought summer cottages, i.e. potential boat buyers, summer cottage owners who already travel by water; and fishermen.

Each one received a targeted postcard inviting them to visit Buster's website. The personal code on the card was used to offer boat packages appropriate to the recipient's target group. In addition to a traditional mailing, targeted e-mails were sent to people interested in boats.

The Result
Buying a boat became interesting, when customers personally got to do the designing and to think about the alternatives. Buyers could now choose from five colours and from various fitting packages. The campaign worked. The Buster service met with a positive response from both buyers and dealers. The result was almost a hundred boat packages sold.