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Discover Boating lives up to its billing

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 in 2007
• On average, the visitors spent 11 minutes on the Website
• 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;


4 comments on “Discover Boating lives up to its billing

  1. Phil Keeter


    It should be noted that all Marine Industry Certified Dealerships have direct access to those leads without having to wait for the mfgs to send them to them. In such a slow environment for dealers, as it relates to store traffic, it would seem to me that these leads are very important. Those leads are people asking to get info and committing to buy a boat. Not all of them will buy instantly and some will need to be contacted repeatly but they are buyers! Money spent to become certified will pale in the light of a few sales. Ask some of the certified dealers(a list can be found on DicoverBoating). Get certified ( contact Lix McAllister at 312 9466500 or
    ASAP and reap the benefits.

    I agree with you Norm, in just 18 short months Discover Boating has achieved remarkable results. The industry will see even more movement in 2008 as a result of this well planned and executed campaign. The staffs of Grow Boating and the agencies hired to do the work need our thanks. Some industry campaigns such as cotton, beef and milk took years to move the needle and we’re seeing some in less than two years. Lets all get on the bandwagon and support the program and as I said before reap the benefits.

  2. David

    OK guys, tell us what has trickled down to known sales? What manufacturers and what type of boats have directly benefited? Give us something other than hits-clicks & resonse cards.

  3. Carl

    As was mentioned in the original posting, 14% of those that registered for the DVD have already purchased a boat. That is determined by matching boater registrations and the names registered on Still early and due to lag time in obtaining boater registrations that number will only increase over time. Remember, Discover Boating is aiming at those that currently have no interest in boating so the campaign will take time but there are tangible results now.

  4. Capt. Doug Dickinson

    I host a radio talk show called “Boat Talk” here in Wilmington, NC – a great boating market and one of the hottest on the east coast for population & real estae growth. With over 20 years teaching boaters, I’ve learned that first impressions are priceless. My company provides one on one training and owner assisted deliveries. We give people the confidence to move into bigger boats, and navigate on the ocean…so I would be pleased to offer information on the grow boating effort to our listeners, if someone from the GBO has an interest, please contact me.

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