Discover Boating unveils 2014 marketing plan

A continued focus on video and digital efforts will highlight Discover Boating’s plan to spread the word this year.

Discover Boating president Carl Blackwell shared the group’s marketing plans for 2014 during a webinar this week.

There are three major industry challenges for 2014, Blackwell said.

  • Youth – the industry needs to appeal to youth and focus on getting future boaters on the water
  • Diversity – reflecting the changes in population, the industry needs to invite new audiences into boating
  • Affordability/value – show that there is a boat for every budget and that boating is worth the investment

Those three areas will be major points of emphasis for the Discover Boating marketing message this year. With the recognition that “content is king,” Discover Boating will focus leveraging inspirational boating content, especially video and photos. Those have resonated well with consumers and continue to do so, Blackwell said.

Starting May 1, Discover Boating will launch a series of new videos that will run as 15- and 30-second pre-roll videos on YouTube. The videos will also be placed as native advertising on major consumer media sites, such as

The new videos this year include three subjects: a wakeboarder who lost his leg to bone cancer but still enjoys the sport, a family and country music star Jake Owen. The Discover Boating team is also working on a video featuring a Hispanic family that will be shot in both English and Spanish.

The Jake Owen video is part of a larger program with the singer that includes Discover Boating sponsoring his Days of Gold tour this year. That sponsorship will also include Discover Boating videos at concerts, tour branding and social media integration.

Other efforts this year include banner ads, paid search and social media. With more than 677,000 Facebook fans, Discover Boating has a large audience to which it can spread the word. Using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other outlets, Discover Boating can direct people to its website and drive leads. Last year, Discover Boating, drove nearly 1 million consumers to boat manufacturer sites, Blackwell said.

Discover Boating is also adding responsive design to its websites this year, which means that the site optimizes its appearance based on the device a consumer uses to visit the site.

The webinar is available on the Grow Boating website at

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