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3 Ways To Modernize Outdoor, Conservation and Hunting Brands

If you’re a guide, outfitter, lodge owner, travel company or brick-and-mortar retail shop looking for ways to more meaningfully engage the modern tech-savvy consumer, read on. Like many small business owners, you’re facing all sorts of challenges nowadays including understanding what’s what related to social media, marketing, video, and achievable growth strategies for an affordable budget.

The challenges the SMB business owner above faces is uniquely different than if you’re the VP of Marketing, CMO, Founder, CEO of an online business, brand, or non-profit like RMEF, NWTA, or DU. You’re likely looking for more efficient ways to spend your marketing dollars, how best to acquire a younger demographic, find fresh donor acquisition strategies or sorting out how emerging technologies (AI, Blockchain, Machine Learning, VR/XR/MR/AR) could benefit your business.

No matter if you own a small fishing shop or run marketing for a $100M+ company serving the outdoor, conservation, hunting & fishing markets, this 3-part topic is written for you.

Modern marketing topics covered in this post:

(1) Retooling your brandBranding, Websites, Search, Marketing Automation, Video, Content Marketing.

(2) Personalized MarketingBeacons, Location Based Marketing, Wearable Integration

(3) The Next Era In StorytellingUncharted Virtual Reality w/ Jim Shockey, Haptics and Immersion.

To glue it all together, I wrote up a fictitious location-based marketing campaign centered around the 2018 MTN OPS Total Archery Challenge in Salt Lake City, UT. It may be hard to believe, but Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Big Data, IoT and Emerging Technologies (AR, VR, MR, XR) highlights a high-pace of innovation, disruption, and change that still has a few gears left before things slow down. If they do at all.

Big chunks of businesses supporting the economic side of the outdoor and conservation industries are largely a decade or more behind similarly sized businesses in comparable industries. If SMB’s grow in a modern online marketplace, it means more people are buying the products and services the small to medium businesses provide.

However, just the opposite is happening. Fewer SMBs and mid-market brands supporting hunting, firearms, and the broad outdoor category exist today than just a few years ago. Many that exist, aren’t thriving. Fewer brands means fewer people buying the products and services from companies who contribute back to the outdoors. Plus, the associated revenue that comes from people buying licenses, products, and goods to support their outdoor hobbies helps fun habitat restoration, DFW enforcement, and more.

If outdoor SMB brands fail to modernize in this era of emerging technology, disruption, and innovation, the business and consumer economic engines that supports public and National Forrest land runs out of gas. Given the modern conservation model, we can’t expect continued access to public and National Forrest Lands without a thriving SMB & mid-market business community. We cannot expect one without the other.

In other words, brands that don’t modernize will eventually result in slowly losing access to habitat, sporting rights, and the tradition we love. If that happens, we all lose.


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