This news is being reported reluctantly, because I am getting emails and questions, I did not really want to talk about this and stayed quiet, but the ACBS made a call to the members and announced this. Why? I don’t know. So I thought we would get it out there for everyone to understand and not read more into it. This hobby sure loves some drama!
Earlier this past week, we were informed that the ACBS would not be sponsoring Woody Boater in 2018. Due to expenses was the reason given. We understand and have no hard feelings. As you know for ten years it’s never been about the money here, and we exist to promote the passion, culture of Woody Boating in an open environment for free. This move by the ACBS has been underway for a while as part of a bigger move on the ACBS’s part to change the way they promote the ACBS. As many of you know, I own a marketing firm and this is a very normal and un emotional thing for my world. But, and yes there is another but, we will in turn need to drop the local chapter banner deal. It was a bundled deal. Don’t be mad at me? The entire ACBS deal was a financial looser for us here. And to be honest and transparent, it’s been an absolute political nightmare as well.
Why you ask? We have had to turn down stories from friends, because they opted off Woody Boater last year. The deal only worked if everyone played along. Which also explains why traffic to the ACBS sites is down. Most of the traffic from WoodyBoater was too the local chapters and was generated from stories, not banners. Around 3,000 clicks to the local chapters in all. And lots of people to please. So it’s actually a good thing for my anxiety to just be ACBS sponsorship free.
I know some of you may see this as confusing, or some how blame us, it’s the internet and we all see the world through different eyes. But despite all that, for the betterment of the culture, we were willing to keep it all going to help. It’s the ACBS that dropped out, not us. Regardless, stuff was going to need to change.
So how does all this effect the local chapters, the life blood of the ACBS?
Because of the package deal made last year, a reduction on the ACBS International part, we were forced to increase the local chapters to cover the placement. And the ACBS had to handle the sign up. Many were fine and understood the value, many did not. In other words, buying as a bulk rate by grouping together helped everyone. But once that fell apart, it’s each chapter on their own. Which is frustrating for us, since our mission here is too help. And many of the people in the local chapters are friends and contributors to Woody Boater. FOR THE RECORD. We offered two years ago, trade for media space with the ACBS, so no money was needed and we were turned down based on the ACBS International perception that the Rudder Media was more valuable. We tried. Frustrated, yes, happy now, sadly yes!
So. Here is what we propose. We will leave the local banners up for a short time after the new year as good will and too help build up to summer, and help cover the recent increase in ACBS dues. And of course we can now promote, and be involved in your local events without any of the ACBS politics. In other words, we are still here for you with advice, air time, and no longer in a strange sponsorship corner. If you are a local chapter, email us to find out how we can help your local chapter.
Measuring Traffic and the ACBS
We are only bringing specific topic, because the ACBS told folks on the call, that “0 traffic from Woody Boater helped new membership.”
During the recent ACBS International show traffic to the ACBS site spiked to around 15,900 views for the 30 day period between mid Aug and mid Sept. By the way in comparison, that same time, Woody Boater had around 150,000 views. No stories on The 2016 International Show. A normal 30 day period here. But a huge increase for the ACBS for that period which is on average around 9,000 a month now. Email blasts, and facebook sponsorship is working on driving trafffic to the new ACBS site.
But the ACBS, measured our sponsorship by clicks. According to our records around 2,500 in a year for International alone, and 3,000 to local chapters, which is down from last year, and a reflection of less stories and a lower setting on the banner. We warned them of this when they lowered there sponsorship last year.
We no longer measure success with long standing sponsors by clicks since many of our readers are regulars and clicking on a site that doesn’t change much isn’t motivating. Or they already know about it and have it bookmarked. Most media companies also measure this way. We measure by impressions. 2 million in a year, is more than all the magazines combined which don’t have any clicks or frequency which is top of mind awareness. For example the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club gets over 30,000 clicks a year from Woody Boater. Why the difference? The Boat Buzz. It’s something new to see and a very useful tool for your classic boat needs. The Boat Buzz is a major asset to the culture, and worth the cost of membership alone. But if the ACBS feels it’s being responsible with there marketing dollars, then it does track, that if 0 members are being made by Woody Boater, its not a good use of the money. If you track only that way, which we do not. Membership and renewal of membership, comes from awareness and perceived value.
We wanted those who know to understand our position on this issue, so we can not have to respond to all the emails and calls. We are all in this together, and we will always try and help whenever possible. Even those that don’t sponsor our effort. Now can we get back to Woody boating?