2017 Best in Class: Best Marketing

Best Marketing

Pride Marine Group Ltd. 
Bracebridge, Ontario

From social media to augmented reality, anything and everything digital was at the forefront of Pride Marine Group’s marketing strategy in 2016.

The Canadian dealer group focused its marketing efforts – both increased digital and limited traditional – on their newly defined target market, known to the company as “Roger.”

Pride Marine Group put a large emphasis on its social media presence during 2016. Money was repurposed for social media and Internet lead generation.

“Facebook is the only social media outlet we are using at present, as the Facebook Business Manager allows us to determine the effectiveness of our ads on with great accuracy,” says Executive Assistant Ellen Soper. “Beyond boosting ads, we also design event and location specific promotions that are highly targeted at the geographic and interest levels to ensure we are only showing ads to the Roger profile.”

At the forefront of the company’s social media focus was a brand new Facebook video campaign, used for the Toronto International Boat Show as a means to increase social presence and attract consumers to the show.

“A total of 18 videos were created with subject matter experts and representatives for each of our boat brands. Each of the videos was delivered to targeted audiences based on the topic,” Soper says. “For example, a review of a Robalo boat would be specifically targeted to audiences who have ‘Liked’ the Robalo brand on Facebook and have also shown interest in competitors for the category such as Boston Whaler and Grady White.”

As a result, the Facebook campaign led to over 19,000 views – overtaking the No. 1 rank in social amongst competitors – and an increase of more than 200 followers on the company’s Facebook page over a 10-day period.

In order to maximize its digital marketing efforts, Pride Marine Group also put an emphasis on digital analytics for social media and website. As part of this emphasis, Pride Marine Group hired a marketing professional who specializes in analytics, leading to an increase in leads per dollar spent on social media marketing.

Over the past year, Pride Marine Group has nearly doubled its clicks, more than doubled their click through rate, and quadrupled its impressions, all while decreasing the average cost per click.

As a result of the improved click through rates and average position, Pride Marine Group has reduced the amount of investment in digital ads, due to their effectiveness in reaching in-market customers without the requirement of a large investment.

Pride Marine Group is constantly pushing forward with new methods to better track the results of its digital marketing efforts.

“Beyond reporting on traffic statistics, we are working toward using Google’s conversion tracking capabilities, so that we can better achieve a direct measure of a digital ads leading to a sale,” Soper says. “Working with our new in-house customer database system, our aim is to have a means to connect a digital ad to online form submissions and subsequently to our customer database.”

In conjunction with Pride Marine Group’s push towards digital, even the company’s limited traditional advertising is being paired with digital tracking methods to better analyze the effectiveness of traditional methods.

“As a means to better track the effectiveness of traditional advertising, we are now creating vanity URLs and phone numbers that are used for a given type of campaign to track its effectiveness,” says Soper. “For example, if we publish a print campaign with a Sea Ray yacht, we include the vanity domain searay.pridemarinegroup.com that is only used for Sea Ray print campaigns and nowhere else. We then track traffic through that vanity domain to determine how print advertising is creating traffic through to our website.”

Additionally, Pride Marine Group applies similar tracking tactics to specific and unique 1-800 phone numbers. The company also plans to apply the same technique to other advertising mediums such as radio, that aren’t usually tracked via quantitative means.

All of the company’s marketing efforts helped lead Pride Marine Group to a 14 percent increase in revenue for 2016.


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