Tom Ingram, DEMA Executive Director, presented DEMA’s new marketing campaign “Go Dive Now” to over 150 Diving professionals in the last seminar of the DEMA Show 2015.
The discussion revolved around marketing research completed by MOB Media that breaks the scuba market down demographically. Showing results for the approximately 470,000 customers nationwide, the analysis broke the customer base down by target-appropriate households, looking specifically at behavior patterns and identifying appropriate media channels to deliver the industry’s message.
The expected finding was that the SCUBA industry is, by and large, over-represented in all of the categories in the higher-income bracket and in older generations. Most underrepresented were Millennials and lower-income households. As Ingram stated:
“We have an affluent income customer base because diving is not necessarily cheap.”
He acknowledged that we “are an aging population as an industry” and, in keeping with the trend of many of the seminars at DEMA Show 2015, the focus and emphasis was on how to target a younger, more social-media attuned audience. Ingram added:
“We need to reach the next generation — the 11-17 year olds.”
The audience was able to view statistical data that covered 16 different categories of variables: household income, age, highest education level, marital status, etc. The results can be used to “put your store in the center of a drive-time radius and tell you who is in your area in your target market”, explained Ingram.
The results of the market research drives the evolution of the new marketing campaign by asking “Who to reach”, “How to reach”, and “With what should we lead”. The conclusion was that the new message should be a visual one, aimed at the family unit in a cross-generational message, and should be social media driven.
The audience was invited to participate in a PollEverywhere marketing research poll that mirrored what MOB Media had done. There were a number of broad topics that the audience members were asked to text their answers to during the seminar, with instantaneous feedback displayed. Among the topics were:
“What motivates people to dive”
“What Go Dive Now tools would be most useful to you”
“What is the most important goal for Go Dive Now?”
The first questions the audience was asked was what they thought motivates people to dive, with categories such as “You+Water+Fishes=Fun”, “Diving is Social”, “I can protect Marine life”, “SCUBA diving is adventurous”, “SCUBA Diving is fun” and “other”.
The clear front-runners of the ad hoc poll were that SCUBA Diving is adventurous and SCUBA Diving is fun.
Ingram informed the audience that the DEMA Marketing Committee had looked at numerous activities and their trade organization campaigns to see what seemed to be the most effective and aligned with what DEMA wants to do. The committee identified the Recreational Vehicle industry, represented on the website gorving.com as an example of getting the message across to the target audience. The idea is to generate a “lifestyle stuff” concept model for the dive industry.
So, the media strategy that MOB Media came up with focuses on a three-prong campaign to increase traffic to Go Dive Now. Pay-per-click advertising such as on Google, a Mobile Display and Video Advertising element, and Social Media advertising, such as on FaceBook, YouTube and Instagram.
The initial goal is to launch the campaign in February 2016, says Ingram. He says it will depend on dive profession input and responses, but the expectation is that as the industry embraces the resource and feedback comes in from the target audience, the marketing will become more focused and incorporate the voice of the customer.
In response to the audience question on coast to the shop owners and dive professionals, Ingram said:
“We have to start somewhere, DEMA is taking the time to do this…and direct the advertising dollars…funding will be out of DEMA initially, but those funds are limited.”
He assured the audience that the Go Dive Now tools would be free and available to the industry.
Concluding the seminar, the last audience poll indicated a clear preference of all social media platforms for exposure on YouTube (40%) and on social platforms like FaceBook (45%)…validating the market consensus that a visual, socially-directed market thrust was the way to go.