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Grow Boating Marketing Summit Drew 175 Industry Marketers at IBEX; View & Download Presentations

More than 175 marine industry marketers attended this year’s Grow Boating Marketing Summit, an IBEX Special Event. A panel of leading marketing and research experts provided insights on the evolving digital marketing landscape and offered actionable strategies to help businesses boost their sales. Summit attendees included boat, engine and accessory manufacturers, as well as dealers, boat clubs and marine industry service providers.

“Now in its third year, the Grow Boating Marketing Summit attendance has grown from approximately 75 people to more than 175. We stacked our speaker line up this year with experts who could both inspire and provide practical insights that could be applied to attendees’ businesses today. I know the Discover Boating team walked away from this meeting learning a lot,” said Carl Blackwell, Grow Boating president. “Marketing in today’s evolving digital world has changed consumer expectations, so we are doing our part to bring this critical information to the forefront for marine marketers to help us all understand the new tools and strategies needed to effectively attract potential boat buyers.”

Summit presentations outlined how to successfully market to the next wave of boaters by leveraging digital marketing channels, such as display ads, video, social media, email, search and websites, to move the sales needle.

The speaker line-up included:

• Jack Ellis, Info-Link – The Who Behind the How: The People We Need to Reach with Digital Marketing

Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion The Shift: How Sales, Marketing & Customer Experience Have Changed Forever

Heather Lutze, Findability University Findability Formula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing

Steve Pizzolato, AVALA Marketing Group & Julie Hagemann, ICF Next The Boomer & The Millennial: A Generational Conversation on Digital Marketing

Mari Smith, Mari Smith InternationalFacebook Marketing in a Changing World: What You Need to Know

Recordings and printable versions of all Summit presentations can be found on, and we encourage you to consider sharing these presentations with your team.

Five Key Takeaways from the Speakers

  1. It is a biological and mathematical fact that to grow our industry, we must get younger generations more actively involved in boating now – and digital marketing plays a key role.
  2. To stay ahead of the marketplace, it’s imperative to recognize and take advantage of combining sales, marketing and customer experience into one unified effort.
  3. Optimize search results and adjust your content accordingly to better serve your audience and help attract more potential customers.
  4. A blend of experienced, seasoned perspectives and newer, younger thinking is a valuable combination in which everyone can learn from each other. Do something digitally that connects with your audience and stretch your imagination and budget to try techniques that may be outside your comfort zone.
  5. To enhance Facebook marketing, publish more compelling video content, embrace ephemeral micro-content, use Messenger for private conversations with consumers, consider creating a Facebook group for boat lovers and use the ‘Mari Method.’

“Marketing to new boaters is the future of the success of the marine industry. With this Summit we are able to bring together the best minds in the marine marketing landscape and provide relevant information that helps their mission. All the speakers are engaging, knowledgeable on the current digital marketing techniques and they provide attendees actionable items that can be implemented tomorrow.” – Joe Lewis, General Manager, Mount Dora Boating Center & Marina

“The speakers challenge the industry to do things differently, think about how we’re attracting consumers and try new approaches to capture their attention. The inspirational learnings along with the more practical advice offer a range of new techniques that we can use to educate our teams in order to improve our marketing and ultimately grow our business.” – John Stockman, VP Strategic Initiatives, Polaris

“There’s no other summit like this in our industry so it’s beneficial to hear from others within our industry about the trends they’re seeing and things they’re doing that we may not be doing. This is the second year I’ve attended the Summit, and each time I have left with several actionable learnings that I can implement when I get back to the office.” – Katie Freeburn, Digital Marketing Specialist, Boston Whaler

“The Summit is always a great to come together with industry leaders and learn about new trends in marketing and what techniques your peers are using. Having new members on my team, I wanted to make sure they had the opportunity to meet industry veterans and new professionals just like them, learn about the industry and gather takeaways to help educate our consumers.” – Abbey Heimensen, Director of Marketing, MarineMax