Press Releases

More than 110 Industry Marketers Attend Grow Boating Marketing Summit to Explore Role of Brands, Discover Boating Campaign in Reaching New Boat Buyers

The first-ever Maximize Your Grow Boating Investment: Marine Industry Marketing Summit was held September 18, ahead of the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) in Tampa. More than 110 industry marketers were in attendance to hear from marketing and research experts on how to reach new boat buyers and how the Discover Boating campaign is crucial in helping to attract first-time boat buyers.

“The Summit was designed to cover topics relevant to our industry’s marketers, and based on the feedback we received, many left the room with knowledge they could immediately apply to their efforts while better understanding the role of the Discover Boating campaign,” said Carl Blackwell, Grow Boating president. “The Summit reinforced that Discover Boating alone doesn’t sell boats. While the campaign attracts first-time boat buyers and sends them to boat manufacturers, manufacturers and dealers must utilize nurture marketing strategies before they sell to these first-time buyers.”

Summit attendees included boat, engine and accessory manufacturers, as well as dealers, boat clubs and marine industry service providers. Attendees reported that the Summit demonstrated the important nurture marketing role manufacturers and dealers must play when it comes to making the efforts of Discover Boating work.

Nathan Abdalian of Boston Whaler said, “It was great to get some incremental insights and be challenged to continually refine our existing marketing approaches.”

Captain Gary Spivack from Maritime Operations LLC/Bertram Yacht said, “I was unaware of Grow Boating's position and purpose in the marketplace and now have a much better understanding of the valuable work that you do. I am sure we will be taking advantage of your resources in the future. All the speakers offered important opportunities for learning which our industry needs to grow.”

The Summit featured marketing and research experts who outlined industry data insights, exploration into the mind of the first-time boat buyer and best practices for how the recreational boating industry can stay engaged with today’s increasingly digital consumer through their own marketing strategies and with Discover Boating.

During the Summit, marketing expert and keynote speaker, Marcus Sheridan, one of Forbes magazine’s “Top 20 Speakers You Shouldn’t Miss the Opportunity to See,” reinforced the importance of understanding and delivering what today’s digital consumer is looking for in their online research and shopping and called out the success of Discover Boating noting, “Discover Boating is doing some pretty amazing things. I’ve looked at the stats of how much traffic they’re sending your sites through web referrals. It’s unbelievable. But if the consumer comes to your website and they’re not fed, then they’ll just die on the vine.”

Key takeaways from the speakers at the Summit included:

Recordings and printable versions of all Summit presentations can be found on

Added Blackwell, “Given the positive feedback we’ve received from attendees, we hope to create an annual marine marketing summit to bring the industry’s marketers together to ensure our industry has access to the most effective marketing intelligence for targeting potential new boat buyers.”

About Grow Boating
The purpose of Grow Boating is to identify growth opportunities within the marine industry, and champion those opportunities through consumer communications, targeted programs, and by developing industry education and resources. To find out more, visit

About Discover Boating
Discover Boating is a national awareness campaign developed by the North American recreational boating industry. Discover Boating programs focus on improving the boating experience and building interest in recreational boating by providing a resource for Americans to explore the benefits, affordability and accessibility of the boating lifestyle. To find out more, visit