Discover Boating shows strong results for 2019

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Feeding new boaters into the sales funnel is the overriding objective of the industry’s national Discover Boating campaign, and while I contend the DB initiative merits increased funding, the results for 2019 once again demonstrate its importance to the industry’s continue growth.

Here’s a review of the impact the DB marketing campaign had for the industry last year:

Introducing new people to the boating lifestyle was the point of last year’s digital advertising campaign. Dubbed “Awesome Bay,” it reached the right people in the right places at the right time with video completion rates beating ad industry benchmarks across all platforms, including Connected TV, pre-roll and competitor retargeting.

Publicity and public relations initiatives put boating in mainstream lifestyle media with more than 2,500 stories incorporating our DB messaging in online, print and broadcast outlets. Boating lifestyle stories were featured in top-tier media, like The New York Times, USA Today, Men’s Journal,, Travel + Leisure, Maxim, theChive, and Yahoo and more.

DB partnered with 50 influencers across YouTube, Instagram and Facebook covering multiple areas including outdoor/adventure, lifestyle, travel, fashion, health & wellness, parenting and photography to share first-hand boating experiences and encourage their followers to get on the water. This included three YouTube content creators representing first-time boat buyer demographics with different boating lifestyles — BlackTipH, DevinSuperTramp and Knorpp and South. Through views, organic social engagements and sharing of more than 800 posts, these influencer partners helped bring boating to life and inspire potential first-time boat buyers.

A key result was that manufacturer referrals reached 2.3 million, up 9 percent over 2018. More specifically, social media drove more manufacturer referrals this year, essentially tripling results from the previous year. Boat manufacturers are being urged to check out their Google Analytics to see the traffic DB sites are driving to their websites.

Nearly 100 pieces of new content were added to last year — helpful boating-related information that can easily be shared from manufacturer and dealer social channels or websites. The result: DB sites in the U.S. and Canada saw nearly 4.5 million visits in 2019. Indeed, new site content is crucial to searches and to gaining top positions on page 1 search results, DB gained top placements in “Featured Snippets” (meaning Google sees the value and quality of the content produced). ranks in positions #1 - #10 for 5,771 boating-related keywords/phrases (a 90 percent increase from 2018).

Educating stakeholders through a longstanding partnership with the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, the second of a three-part e-learning series was launched, created especially for dealers and titled “Growing Your Business with First-Time Boat Buyers.” The Grow Boating Marketing Summit at IBEX, now a full day of digital marketing-focused education, was attended by more than 175 industry stakeholder attendees. Moreover, those presentations and recordings can still be downloaded at where dealers will find a wealth of marketing information and studies that can lead to more retail sales. In fact, any dealer that has never looked over has been missing out on outstanding support.

Grow Boating also hosted more than 300 industry stakeholders for a three-part educational webinar series presented by Heather Lutze of Findability University, focused on maximizing SEO strategy. Check out her SEO tips and tricks in the recorded webinars.

Finally, it’s boat show time and DB has a variety of excellent free materials dealers can use in boat show exhibits and showroom marketing. And, if you have any questions about the DB marketing campaign and the materials available, take advantage of a direct contact with the director of Grow Boating, Freya Olsen at


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