Client: BlackJack Boats (K2 Marine)


K2 Marine asked the Sells Agency to help rebrand and develop a marketing plan for its premier line of center-console bay boats, BlackJack Boats, to increase awareness and demand as the boat manufacturer began expanding its production capabilities.


Ultimately, Sells was tasked with helping BlackJack achieve parity with its competitors in regard to marketing efforts. To do so, the agency was asked to revamp the BlackJack website, create a brochure and digital advertisements — both firsts for the line — as well as increase engagement on its social media channels.


First, Sells conducted an analysis of competitors, including a thorough review of marketing and communication practices of the largest and the fastest growing competitors, such as websites, marketing materials, etc. Also, Sells conducted two surveys, one with BlackJack’s network of dealers and another with BlackJack owners; doing so allowed Sells to determine the line’s strengths from both those charged with selling the boats and those who’d purchased them.

Next, based off survey findings, Sells was tasked with developing and executing a marketing plan based on agreed-upon objectives and goals. Goals were to: 1) increase sales in 2018 compared to 2017, and 2) for BlackJack to be more widely known among saltwater bay boats owners/buyers as a brand that offers high quality bay boats with show-stopping design and an unmatched ride from long-time, well respected boat builders. Objectives included: 1) increase traffic to our website and social media properties from potential buyers who are researching bay boats; 2) increase engagement on our website and social media channels; and 3) increase inquiries about BlackJack boats through our dealers

Media plan — Sells developed a mixed-media plan aimed at increasing awareness of the BlackJack line in targeted metro areas throughout the Gulf Coast, where BlackJack dealers are located, as well as driving prospective customers to the website. Media tactics for 2018 Q3/Q4 — once the website was live — included display banners and paid search. For 2019, media was planned for Q1, because the 3-month period of Jan. - March is the industry’s “boat show season,” in which the majority of annual boat shows are held and a large percentage of purchase inquiries are initiated. Media tactics for 2019 Q1 continued the display banners and paid search campaigns; also, selected boat shows were geo-fenced to drive attendees to BlackJack dealer booths.

Creative —Sells developed digital marketing materials that were both visually compelling and driven by messaging anchored around key strengths found in the research. To be visually compelling, the ads would be photo driven, featuring images that showed the boats in action (going full speed, people fishing, etc.) and features that distinguish BlackJacks from competitors. Messaging focused on the following messages: superior performance, hand-crafted quality, show-stopping design and limited availability. All would include a call-to-action of clicking to learn more by visiting the website.

Website — Sells and its partner company, Pixel Perfect Creative, designed and developed a website aimed at being both visually compelling and informative. The design was driven by large, colorful
photos of the boats and people fishing, as well as a simple, clean layout with colors found in the
creative and brochure for brand consistency. Floating navigation tools and buttons allowed for easy search. The key-performance-indicators for the website were to: 1) learn more about BlackJack models, 2) view a brochure (by either downloading a PDF, viewing an interactive flipbook or ordering one mailed) and 3) visit a nearby dealer.

Brochure — The BlackJack brochure, like the ads and website, was aimed at being visually compelling and informative. It features large, colorful photography of the boats and people fishing, as well as side-by-side comparisons of standard features and options for each BlackJack model.

RESULTS (2018)

Below are website traffic data for the first three months (Aug-Oct 2018) after the website was launched, compared to the previous six months (Feb-July 2018):

  • Users: +135%
  • Sessions: +111%
  • Overall pageviews: +161%
  • Pageviews in target states:
    • Texas: +171%
    • Florida: +211%
    • Louisiana: +50%
    • North Carolina: +237%
    • Georgia: +164%
    • South Carolina: +237%
    • Alabama: +86%
    • Mississippi: +68%

Comparing the same time periods, the BlackJack Facebook page saw the following engagement metrics:

  • Page likes: +37%
  • Average daily users: +987%
  • Average daily organic impressions: +1,145%

Also during Aug-Oct 2018, paid-search ads garnered 10,990 clicks at a click-through-rate of 3.86%, and display ads saw 1,701 clicks (CTR 0.11%) and 405 view-through conversions.


Research; Branding; Website Design; Creative Design; Media Planning