Discover Boating logoNational Grow Boating marketing initiative makes headway promoting the boating lifestyle and boating experience in U.S. and Canada

Discover Boating, the recreational boating industry’s public relations effort managed by the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) for North America, has released results on July 29, 2013 of their Grow Boating industry-wide marketing campaign.

The mid-year marketing campaign results cover the period of October 2012 through June/July 2013 and measures activity from strategies and tactics across a variety of marketing mediums.

Discover Boating reconfirms that all marketing activity in the Grow Boating campaign is aimed at promoting the boating lifestyle and improving the boating experience in an effort to increase participation in boating and increase sales for the recreational marine industry.

A primary measurement of the campaign is the number of qualified leads generated through its website to boat dealers and manufacturers. The interim campaign results report 621,033 leads generated October – June, up 285% from the previous year.

Highlights of the Grow Boating marketing campaign include:

  • Advertising – focused on building brand awareness and qualified referral leads, advertising efforts generated 500 million impressions with ad placements in movie theaters, online rich-media banners with video, search engine advertising with Google and Bing, and mobile and tablet video ads
  • Social Media – social media engagement has grown significantly; in the U.S. Facebook fans grew to 666,721 (one of the largest outdoor recreation pages on Facebook worldwide) and Twitter followers increased 66% to 11,000. In Canada Facebook fans increased to 29,000 and Twitter followers to 1,298. Efforts are underway for growing a presence on Google+ as well.
  • Web – new design elements have been added to DiscoverBoating.com and DiscoverBoating.ca to make finding boat types and brands easier for visitors; More than 51,000 copies of the Beginner’s Guide to Boating guide have been downloaded via the websites; Search marketing has increase website traffic by 13.9% from previous year; DiscoverBoating.com holds #1 placement on Google for primary boating search terms (like how to boat, boat basics, boating information) and #1 or #2 for over 704 other key boating keywords; New targeted content by geographic location implemented
  • Public Relations – more than 2,000 news stories on boating generating over 95 million media impressions nationwide; Celebrity Athlete Boating Ambassador program launched with radio interviews; On-Water Media Experiences hosting national media for coverage; Blogger Ambassador Program engaging bloggers to write about boating experiences
  • Special Events and Programs – new events and programs underway including a cross-promotional partnership with America’s Cup, Accessory Coupon book for consumers and an expanded National Marina Day that included marine businesses alongside marinas to engage new boaters

Get the full Discover Boating detailed report of the mid-year marketing campaign results for the Grow Boating initiative for more details and stats on the progress.



Marine Marketing Best Practices

Discover Boating is certainly leading the industry with their marine marketing efforts. Although they likely have a larger budget and specialized agency support not available to most marine businesses, there are many industry best practices to be borrowed from their efforts. Their integrated approach to marketing (using advertising, social media, online marketing, events) casts a wider net on their target audience, as people view and respond differently to various marketing efforts. However throughout their marketing campaign there is a consistent message and a consistent goal – an important aspect of a well-integrated marketing effort.




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