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By the numbers, boating campaign is having an impact

“Welcome To The Water,” the theme of the current Discover Boating ad campaign, isn’t on nationwide TV yet, but that hasn’t slowed the broad reach and big numbers the campaign is scoring so far this year, revealed in an interim report for fiscal 2013 just sent to the Grow Boating Board members.

“We’re delighted with these results to date,” Grow Boating chairman Joe Lewis says. “These results show — and research backs up — that our message is resonating with the public. Our video enjoys one of the highest viewer completion rates in the business. Looking forward, our challenge in the evolution of this program is to continue to increase our audience by broadening its reach even more.”

If you like big numbers, check these out. Overall, more than 500 million boating impressions have been delivered, sending a record 621,033 prospects to manufacturer websites so far this year. These manufacturer referrals represent a whopping 285 percent increase over last year because of a much stronger emphasis on the campaign’s Boat Selector Tool and Boat Brands pages.

Notably, Discover Boating currently holds the No. 1 position on Google for: learning to boat; boat basics; boat information; new boater; operating a boat; among others. In fact, Discover Boating holds the No. 1 and No. 2 positions in Google for 704 boating-related keywords. It’s all the result of an expanded online video presence, increased search advertising on Google (and Bing) and targeted social media efforts aimed squarely at attracting new people to the boating message.

But that’s not all.

If you’ve been in one of the 388 movie theaters in 20 states, you could be among the 10 million movie-goers who have seen the exciting “Welcome To The Water” commercial that’s really impressive on the big screen. This is the first year the Discover Boating campaign has utilized the medium of movie-theater advertising on a pilot-program basis. At the same time, the campaign has continued its presence in the rapidly growing medium of Connected TV (sets connected to the Internet) that resulted in the Discover Boating video outranking every other advertiser in its pilot year of 2012.

Social media also continues to power the Discover Boating messages. For example, the Discover Boating Facebook page is steadily disseminating branded content while enabling the Discover Boating team to “listen” and engage consumers in boating conversations. Facebook fans now top 642,000 and have averaged 131,661 fans per post.

To boost the digital ad campaign this year, new elements have been added to both DiscoverBoating.com and DiscoverBoating.ca (Canada). For example, home page redesigns have included: upon selecting a specific activity in the header, the consumer sees a rotating list of boat types appropriate for a given activity; the social media section pulls real-time feeds from Discover Boating Facebook, Twitter and video accounts; a stronger focus on “The Beginners Guide To Boating” (available in English or Spanish) as a lead generator with more than 51,000 copies distributed in the U.S. and more than 9,400 sent out in Canada. In fact, five regional marine trade associations, along with individual dealers and marinas across Canada, continue to use these and other materials in their consumer events; among other new elements.

Finally, the Discover Boating media relations program has chalked up coverage across all media resulting in nearly 95 million boating impressions and more than 2,000 boating news stories. Longtime boating celebrities like Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt are “pitching” their love of boating during June and July on sports-talk shows across the country, like ESPN’s “Mike & Mike in the Morning.” Meanwhile, Discover Boating’s award-winning video, “Good Run,” played to 33,425 viewers during placements on CNN.com and NBCNews.com as a special Father’s Day promotion. And, in cross-promotional partnership with America’s Cup, Discover Boating will be on site for the three months of racing offering hands-on boating demonstrations showcasing the Discover Boating sailing simulator in the America’s Cup “Center of Sailing” festival area. Some 3 million spectators are expected for July-through-September racing. It also enables Discover Boating to tap into America’s Cup social media network of 173,000 engaged fans.

Overall, Discover Boating continues to be the industry’s dominant promotional effort to grow boating for the long haul. And all dealers should be taking advantage of the excellent promotional tools and materials you can use, most available for free. To learn more, go to www.growboating.com

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