How to create a marketing plan for water sport companies 

Carla Vianna
Carla Vianna
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How to create a marketing plan for water sport companies 

For water sports tour companies, success hinges not only on the quality of the experience but also on effective marketing strategies that capture the attention of your customers.

With so many unique experiences to choose from, your company relies on a solid marketing strategy to set your experiences apart.

In this post, you will learn the ins and outs of tour marketing for water sport tour companies, helping you attract and retain the right customers for years to come.

Define your marketing goals

Every water sports tour company needs to consider its audience and short- and long-term objectives when creating a marketing plan.

The first step is to pinpoint your target audience. This can range from adventure seekers to tourists looking for unique experiences to groups of friends celebrating a birthday.

Next, you’d establish specific objectives, such as increasing brand awareness, boosting ticket sales, or expanding into new markets.

To achieve these goals, your company might focus on strategies like enhancing your online presence through search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing; partnering with local hotels and travel agencies to reach potential customers, and offering promotional discounts or package deals.

The key here is to set clear and measurable marketing goals that are aligned to your overall business objectives. It might be helpful to keep the SMART framework in mind. When setting your marketing goals, make sure they are:

  • Specific: Does your goal refer to a concrete and specific area of your business? (e.g. conversion rates)
  • Measurable: Can you measure your goal using quantitative or qualitative data?
  • Attainable: Can you (or your employees) truly achieve this goal?
  • Relevant: Does the goal align with your company’s long-term objectives?
  • Time-related: What is your deadline for achieving your goal?

OKRs vs. KPIs 

Goal-setting might seem like a simple task—achieving them is another story. We find that using established frameworks like SMART goals helps operators create a marketing plan that directly fuels their most important objectives.

Let us introduce you to two additional approaches to goal-settling in the tour industry known as OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results): Focus on achieving specific, measurable outcomes tied to broader objectives. They are often more aspirational and set a clear direction for the team. For example, a helicopter tour company might set an objective to increase annual revenue by 20% — with key results including metrics such as total bookings, average ticket price, and customer satisfaction scores.

  • Pros: OKRs encourage aspirational goal-setting, align teams towards a common purpose, and clarify what success looks like for your particular company.
  • Cons: They may be challenging to implement effectively without proper alignment and communication across the organization. Setting overly ambitious goals can also lead to an overall feeling of demotivation among your staff if they’re not achieved. It is therefore suggested to focus on clear and concise goals.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators): KPIs are specific metrics used to track and measure the performance of various aspects of a business, such as sales, marketing, and customer satisfaction. A helicopter tour company would measure its net promoter score (NPS) to gauge customer loyalty, for instance.

Other relevant metrics include conversion rate, customer acquisition cost, and customer satisfaction scores.

  • Pros: KPIs provide a clear snapshot of performance, enabling businesses to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.
  • Cons: Focusing solely on KPIs without a broader strategic framework may lead to tunnel vision, neglecting long-term objectives in favor of short-term gains.

Know your customers 

Once you’ve pinpointed your target audience, it’s time to get to know them.

One approach is to conduct customer surveys with current and potential customers about their preferences, interests, and needs. The responses will provide valuable feedback on the types of water activities customers enjoy, their experience level, and the factors that influence their decision-making process when choosing a tour operator.

You’ll also want to analyze data from your website, social media pages, and online booking system—where you can gather insights into customer demographics, browsing behavior, and booking patterns. Metrics like website traffic, engagement rates, and conversion rates, can help you identify buying trends and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.

And don’t underestimate the power of online review platforms: Paying attention to both positive and negative feedback can help you identify areas for improvement. Online reviews can give you a good idea about your customers’ overall satisfaction levels.

A combination of surveys, data analysis, and online monitoring will help you better understand your audience and create experiences that not only meet but also exceed their expectations.

The 4 phases of a successful marketing plan for a water sports tour company

Crafting a successful marketing plan for a water sports tour company involves navigating through four crucial phases: Attract, Convert, Retain, and Analyze. Let’s delve into each, tailored to the unique needs of your company.

1. Attract

At the top of the marketing funnel or TOFU, the goal is to attract potential customers and raise awareness about the exciting water sports experiences you offer. Strategies for attracting customers may include:

  • Optimizing your website for search engine optimization (SEO) by incorporating relevant keywords such as “water sports tours” and location-specific terms to improve visibility on search engines.
  • Honing in on your content marketing by creating blog posts, videos, and social media updates that showcase the thrilling experiences offered by your water sports tours.
  • Forming partnerships with local hotels, your city’s tourism board, and adventure travel agencies to attract visitors to your water sports activities.

2. Convert

In the middle of the funnel or MOFU, the focus shifts to converting interested prospects into paying customers. Effective conversion strategies for a water sports company may include:

  • Investing in an intuitive online booking system that allows customers to easily browse available tour options, select their preferred dates and times, and complete secure transactions.
  • Implementing dynamic pricing strategies based on factors like demand, time of booking, and tour availability to incentivize bookings and maximize revenue.
  • Leverage automated marketing tools to offer personalized deals and promotions to customers, encouraging them to book their water sports adventures.

3. Retain and Delight

After customers have experienced your water sports tours, the goal is to retain their loyalty and encourage repeat business. Strategies for retaining and delighting customers may include:

  • Maintaining regular communication with past customers through personalized newsletters, exclusive discounts, and special promotions tailored to their interests.
  • Gathering feedback from customers after their tours to assess satisfaction levels and identify areas for improvement, then using this feedback to refine the tour experience.
  • Implementing a loyalty program that rewards repeat customers with perks such as discounted rates, priority booking, or complimentary upgrades, incentivizing them to return for more adventures.

4. Analyze

The final phase of the marketing plan involves analyzing performance metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing efforts and identify areas for improvement. Strategies for analyzing performance may include:

  • Tracking website analytics to measure conversion rates, revenue generated, and customer behavior, and identifying high-performing marketing channels.
  • Analyzing customer feedback and satisfaction scores to identify trends, common pain points, and areas for improvement in the water sports tour experience.
  • Calculating the return on investment (ROI) for each marketing campaign or channel to allocate resources effectively and focus on strategies that deliver the highest ROI.


In sum, this is a marketing plan blueprint you can use to get more bookings for your water sports company.


Writer Carla Vianna

Carla Vianna

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