Frank's Desk: Using Research to Safeguard Our Industry's Future

"The best vision is insight" – Malcolm Forbes

Strong research is the foundation of everything we do at RBFF. With the Take Me Fishing national campaign being our most visible output it’s imperative we know who we should be talking to and how to best connect with them.

With the landscape of outdoor recreation changing drastically over the past 20 years, and projections showing even more changes to come, now is a great time to look at who our audience is. With that said, here are my key takeaways from our latest marketing segmentation study:

Focus on diversity, equity and inclusion will be increasingly critical as today’s new and potential participants are more culturally, ethnically, and economically diverse than ever before.

It’s not always about who catches the biggest fish. Anglers are becoming more concerned with growing their social clout and spending quality time with friends and family than hitting their catch limit.

Many of these potential anglers and boaters are already outside, enjoying camping trips, hikes and picnics.

That said, common barriers still exist. Lack of knowledge on how to get started, not enough experience or equipment, and friends and family who prefer other activities competing for their time are all cited as reasons for not participating.

Lastly, some 100 million potential boaters and 88 million potential anglers were identified through this research.

That’s great news for our industry, but how do we engage these potential participants?

Luckily our friends at Ipsos, who carried out this report, have a few recommendations:

  • As the name suggests, Active Social Families are active both outdoors and on social media. This group skews younger than some others, so focus on trendier social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube to engage them.
  • Avid Adventurists are in it for the thrill. Promote new adventures to this crowd via more traditional outlets – everything from Facebook to print media – to draw them in.
  • While Family-Focused Relaxers may need more upfront education, the ability to reel in the entire family could pay huge dividends for your organization and the industry. Use partnerships with other outdoor activity groups and advertisements in online news outlets and social media platforms that skew towards women to reach this market.

While the market as we know it is changing every day, we can continue to utilize solid research to capitalize on trends and ensure fishing and boating remain top-of-mind for generations to come. Don’t forget to take a look at all the insights from this Marketing Segmentation Study and gain even more knowledge from our other research projects.