Discover Boating lives up to its billing

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I must admit I get fired up when I can report something in our industry is not only working, but exceeding expectations. It seems like we don’t get to say that about too much these days. But the latest update on our Discover Boating industry campaign is good news for now and makes it easy to predict that the campaign will reach even greater success in 2008 and on.

Because we see mention of the Discover Boating marketing campaign so often in the media, it may seem like it’s been around a long time. Not true. It’s still an infant, just 18 months old. In that light, facts just released clearly demonstrate the campaign is delivering remarkable results on behalf of the recreational marine industry.

New and current boaters alike are taking note of the comprehensive campaign. Here are a few of the impressive results for 2007: 

• 3 million visitors went to DiscoverBoating.com in 2007
• On average, the visitors spent 11 minutes on the Website
• DiscoverBoating.com generated 250,000 referrals to manufacturer websites
• In 2007, 20,000 visitors to the Website requested to be contacted by manufacturers
• Each prospect’s name was retrieved an average of 29 times by manufacturers and certified dealers
• Discover Boating news stories from the PR outreach appeared in 800 newspaper & magazine articles in 2007
• PR efforts alone, which included more than 100 TV and radio stories, reached 200 million people

All those figures are great, but here are the two biggest indicators that our industry campaign is gaining momentum and having a real impact. (1) The campaign has now distributed more than 95,000 "Get Started in Boating" DVDs in response to direct requests from prospects; and (2) Of the first 34,000 people who registered for a free DVD, 14 percent purchased a boat by July 1, 2007! Impressive numbers, indeed!

There are two other things about these results. First, with over 20,000 visitors asking to be contacted by manufacturers, most dealers should be receiving some referrals from their boat companies. If you’re not, it’s past time to ask why not? 

Second, it’s now clear that all support for the campaign coffers is proving to be effectively used. Accordingly, all dealers should also be contributors to the campaign through their local marine trade association or, lacking that, directly to the Rising Tide Fund.

For information on the latter, contact Grow Boating manager Freya Olsen at (312) 946-6255; folsen@nmma.org.

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