Discover Boating's marketing message for 2011 is 'Welcome to the Water'. Now that Discover Boating's marketing budget has been restored through Grow Boating, the campaign will once again be able to resume television advertising as well as add some new social media tools that dealers can use to attract newcomers to the recreation.
“We'll be encouraging boaters to invite non-boaters to experience being out on the water,” says Tracey Hart, Discover Boating's Marketing Manager. “Hopefully that sparks a desire in them to get out there and leads them to get into boating in a larger way.”
In July of 2010, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) voted to redirect 85% of the Grow Boating assessments for brand specific promotions. “The Grow Boating funding returned to 100 percent as of January 1, 2011,” says Hart. “Our media budget has gone up by 50 percent, allowing us to invest more in consumer advertising.
Discover Boating has enlisted the help of Due North Communications, a Canadian marketing agency with offices in Toronto and Montreal, to assist with its television media planning. “We've built a strategy with them for a national television presence on The History Channel, National Geographic and CBC News,” says Hart. “We have a new commercial in the works for our new campaign, which should be appearing in mid June. This is a transitional year for us to get back into television and then next year, once we have a full year of funding under our belts, we hope to be back on television like we used to be. Initially our commercials will be on TV on long weekends and Father's Day.”
Discover Boating also adds a brand new social media tool to its arsenal, creating a Welcome to the Water Facebook application . “The application allows you to send a custom RSVP invitation to someone you'd like to invite boating. It features photo sharing and prizes for participants. It's also a great tool that boat dealers can use to invite their customers out on the water. The promotion will run from mid May until just after Labour Day.”
Discover Boating will also continue its traditional online marketing efforts including online search engine keyword marketing with Google and banner display ads. It will also continue to send out its Discover Boating DVDs.
Hart anticipates that Discover Boating will achieve 18 million impressions through television as well as another 120 million through online advertising and social media efforts this year.