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3 “Must Read” Outdoor Industry Digital Marketing Case Studies

By Case Study, Inbound Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Marketing, SEO, StoryBrand

Most marketers looking to start a digital marketing program for their company in the outdoor, hunting, shooting sports industries are usually met with some resistance from the higher ups.

After all, PR, print, and tradeshow have always been the industry norm. But COVID has changed everything. The need for a robust digital marketing program that focuses on D2C sales is essential in 2022 and beyond. 

If you’re still on the fence about pulling the trigger on the benefits of a cost-effective digital and inbound marketing program and are serious about getting on track to building your digital footprint for the future, now’s a good time to reconsider. 

In this post, I share three case studies that we’ve worked hard on over the past 2 years that received some outstanding results.

12-Month E-commerce Case Study

Garrison Everest was approached by a 2-year old consumer products company who had big growth goals that were having trouble getting traction in the marketplace. Due to the cost of entry to place print advertising—they were looking for other means to make their brand known. 

A rebrand was conducted that included new packaging, logo, and e-commerce website to make their products more appealing and more attractive to prospective buyers. Next, we built out three digital marketing programs that included SEO, email, and industry partnerships. To build brand awareness, the SEO program utilized content and industry writers to build backlinks on popular publisher sites. On-page and off-page optimization was also included. Lastly, we began engaging on social media daily, which added a human component versus a faceless brand image with their followers who in the end, shared the client’s brand goodness with their followers.


firearms digital marketing


  • 400% Increase in traffic from the previous year
  • 40% in social media followers across Facebook and Instagram
  • 112% increase in email subscribers 

 The amount invested provided the client with a 624% return on investment. The program paid for itself six times over.

 “That’s like putting a dollar into the stock market and getting six dollars back.”


12-Month Influencer Case Study

A mid-growth company was having problems getting its product to penetrate a competitive accessory segment. Print and banner advertising provided diminishing returns, which set them looking for other ways to get more bang for their marketing dollar. Garrison Everest provided an influencer marketing strategy that worked with prominent industry celebrities and social media influencers to raise awareness of their product.



  • 9.1 M Impressions
  • 7.2 M Estimated Reach
  • $6.5 CPM
  • 670K engagements

What made this influencer marketing program remarkable was the low CPM. Compare a $6.5 CPM to the cost of placing a banner ad on leading sites where CPM costs can be as high as $25. Influencer marketing provided great value to this company. 


24-Month Inbound Marketing Case Study

Faced with growing competition and a changing landscape, a B2B company contacted Garrison Everest to help them differentiate in the marketplace and generate leads and customers online. 

They were already placing large print buys but were not getting good returns, nor were they able to track their results which made them feel like they were throwing their money out the window.   

We started with a comprehensive brand development assignment that led to a website redesign and a 12-month inbound marketing campaign. Over the course of the next 12 months, traffic increased, leads multiplied, and through automation, we were able to nurture those leads into customers. 

The first campaign was so successful that they renewed for an additional 12 months.



  • 233% increase in traffic
  • 564 leads
  • 383 new customers
  • 664 additional blog subscribers
  • 225% in social media followers

So does digital marketing work in the outdoor, shooting sports and defense industry? 

Yes, it does— unfortunately banging on this drum is difficult because for most marketers putting all their money towards print, PR and tradeshow is more comfortable. However, with the customer base skewing younger, I would argue traditional is becoming a risky bet. 

Digital marketing is all about daily repeatable tasks. Identify a clear message, the right channels, launch, track, optimize, tweak, rinse, and repeat. 

As you consider this year’s marketing budget, think about what a reliable digital marketing program can do for your company’s growth and the added benefits of a profitable revenue channel that works for you 24/7/365.  





Is your brand getting noticed?
In this ebook, we’ll give you 5 keys for 2022 that will help you differentiate and grow your business. We’ll share why it’s important to have a clear brand message, how to build a website that works, a simple marketing plan, how to gather testimonials the right way and a few marketing tactics that offer the biggest bang for your buck.



storybrand guide

Three Game Changing Takeaways From The StoryBrand Conference

By Brand Development, StoryBrand

I just completed a ground-breaking week-long study on consumer behavior, by Donald Miller, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author, on how to use the power of story to clearly communicate for better results. I wanted to share with you my three biggest takeaways from the StoryBrand Certified Guide Training that is sure to get you thinking differently about your business and how to communicate your brand’s message with greater clarity.

We are at a point in human history where your prospective customers and clients are bombarded with an unprecedented amount of noise and clutter. Facebook ads, phone dings, bings and bops, emails, podcasts, pop up banners, click-bait and unsolicited phone calls and texts have made it difficult to make any money spent on marketing work as good as it used to.

Furthermore, these intrusive methods have made brands untrustful as some companies have tricked customers into buying their products which have driven trust among brands past the point of no return. This barrage of distraction has the potential to stymie your business growth, waste thousands of dollars on marketing that doesn’t work and ultimately bring your business to the precipice.

However, there is a unique proven framework to fight against this to make your marketing work—and it has to do with the power of story. You see, storytelling has been a way to communicate with just about everyone since the dawn of time. It’s the sole reason the 43 Billion dollar movie industry continues to thrive year after year. And when you think about it, it’s the reason we love to sit around the campfire and listen to someone who overcame impossible odds that ended in success. And since story is used to create clarity in our understanding—it’s a perfect tool to infuse into your business and marketing communications that cuts through the clutter, grabs your customer’s attention and ultimately drives more sales. This process has been proven in thousands of businesses including brands like Chik-Fil-A, Pantene, Car Max, Intel, Berkshire Hathaway, and even Presidential political campaigns.

So in the following, I’ll give you my three biggest takeaways from last week’s StoryBrand Conference with some links to some resources that will give you more understanding on the power of story and how to use it to grow your business.

1. People don’t read websites, they scan them.

Website Wireframe

People don’t buy the best products, they buy the ones they understand the clearest. When you’re trying to build your business, clarity beats cute and clever every time. Your website is the hub of all your marketing activities and is the easiest way to track marketing spend. If a prospective customer lands on your website and you can’t spell out to them how you solve their problem within 8 seconds, you lose them. They bounce off and find someone else who can, usually a competitor.

2. Customer’s buy products or services based on internal problems, not external problems.

The difference between an internal and external problem is this:

The external problem is the tangible obstacle your customer has to overcome to get the thing that they want.

Ex. I need a new set of binoculars, mine just busted.”

Because your character is facing the external problem, how is that making them feel internally?

Ex. “I have a big adventure trip coming up and if I don’t have good set of binos I’m going to miss out on seeing all the wildlife.”

See the difference? The internal problem miss out has much more meaning behind it because the results are more tragic than the external problem. Most marketers communicate the external problem and don’t sell the internal problem.

3. Your product/service should show how the customer will transform into something better.

People naturally want to become better. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, become a better speaker, hire a better candidate or grow a bigger business—we all want to be aspire to our future itself. For example, a hunter in the below MTN OPS post wants to become a “conquering outdoor athlete.” For a hiker, it could be to become a “conservationist sojourner.” For a fitness fanatic, it could be to become “the athlete everyone wants to be.” Whatever your customer wants to become—you have to show how your product or service will get them there. Most companies put all the focus on their products benefits and features, not what their customer’s want to become. This doesn’t trigger the emotional responses in the brain needed to help your customer understand how you can help them or move them to the desired call to action.


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@chadmendes taking it all in at last light during his Utah Mule Deer Hunt. | #MtnOps #ConquerMore | 📷 @luke.dusenbury

A post shared by MTN OPS (@mtnops) on

By taking the time to clarify your message and figure out these aspects of your messaging, you will be able to transform your marketing and grow your business. In the following weeks, I will be rolling out a series of articles based on story and the StoryBrand process.

If you’d like to check out the book and learn more about the process yourself you can:

You can also schedule a call with me and get a clear plan on how to move forward that will allow you to grow your business more effectively in the age of distraction.



Clarify your marketing message

3 StoryBrand Outdoor Marketing Fixes That Will Save Money

By Outdoor Hunting Shooting Sports, StoryBrand

Whether you’re someone starting a business, a marketer trying to move the needle for your company—or an executive trying to figure out how you can grow more effectively—foggy and confusing marketing is costing you thousands of dollars and keeping you from seeing your way to the top. 

Humans have a tendency to complicate things—especially our marketing materials because we don’t understand how to connect and engage customers correctly. The human brain is drawn to CLARITY and away from CONFUSION. If customers are confused about what you offer, they’ll look past you for somebody who can say it clearly. (Source: StoryBrand)

In the following, I’m going to list three factors on why you are wasting thousands of dollars on marketing and why your marketing is foggy and confusing your customers. 

1. You leave marketing to a designer

Most businesses will approach their marketing material (website, ad, brochure, email, catalog etc.) by looking to a graphic designer or a design agency. This is all well and good, but the problem with this approach is that that designer is not concerned about how to communicate your product or service as much as they should be—they are only really concerned on making your marketing material look amazing.

Don’t get me wrong—amazing visuals are important and graphic designers are extremely critical to your business’ success, but this one-sided approach is not going to grow your business or give you a faster return on investment.

I started my career as a designer back in 1998. Back then and for the next 10 years, I was only concerned (ninety percent of the time) on making a website, brochure or advertisement look awesome for my client. This is what was taught to me in College. “If it looks good, it has to be good,” because at our core, we think like artists, not marketers!  As time went on, I began to wonder why my work wasn’t generating the results my clients expected, especially when data and analytics became more prevalent in marketing campaigns. These lack-luster results lead me on a journey to discover how to communicate more effectively. I wanted to know the secret behind what moved people to buy? I wanted to uncover the key on how to hold a person’s attention long enough to create a memorable brand connection.

What I concluded after almost 20 years of design and then marketing is that people love pretty pictures, but if the words don’t address your prospects fundamental problem—plainly and directly—“you confuse them and eventually lose them.” (Source: StoryBrand) Sounds simple enough; however, you’d be amazed by how so many brands fail to capture this on their websites and every other piece of marketing they produce. 

2. You’re not addressing your customer’s problems

Humans are natural problem solvers. We love to figure out our best friend’s relationship woes, we ponder and argue over politics, we post advice on Facebook about someone’s issue with their dog, and we even seek in our own lives to get smarter, faster, slimmer, or at least be more accepted. This natural human inclination is the first step in understanding how to make your marketing more effective. The more you talk about your customer’s problems, the more you will hold their attention and have greater success in moving them to your desired action.

People who have a deep desire to solve a baffling problem will take to the internet 90% of the time. If your website doesn’t communicate the customer’s problem clearly, when they first hit your home page, you lose.

3. You are not the hero, they are

Another great mistake that is costing you money is that businesses tend to put themselves before their customers in their messaging. They lead with messaging about how great they are, how many awards they’ve won, how superior, their product’s features are and how excellent their team is. That’s all very important, but that information means nothing to a customer who is quickly trying to understand your service or product over your competition. Moreover, to further complicate the issue, in most cases, these customers may not even know or have clearly defined what their problem is! You must put your customer’s problems first, seek to determine the problem and then show them how you solve it. Then and only then, through their journey of discovering who or what can solve their problem (best and for the right price) do you communicate these other great things about your company. So many businesses lose customers because according to the customer, all they knew about your brand was that they were the best at something that meant a lot to them, but not much to the customer.

Wasted marketing dollars take away from your ability to make that next hire, upgrade your equipment, expand office space or save for retirement. Not getting your marketing right is stymieing your growth and success.

By taking the time to clarify your message and figure out these aspects of your story, you will be able to transform your marketing, attract new customers and stand out in the crowded marketplace.

Schedule a call with me, and get a clear plan on how stand out in the crowded marketplace.



Clear Messaging Tasklist for Outdoor, Hunting and Shooting Sports Business Leaders


Is your brand getting noticed?
How much is unclear messaging costing you? The following tasklist will help you (the business leader, director or executive) in the outdoor, hunting, adventure or shooting sports industry determine if your message is clear. It will help you and your team think about how to make your customer “the hero,” and position your brand as the “the guide” that will revolutionize your marketing.

What you get:

  • Introduction to a 7-part framework to clarify your message
  • Know what to say and what order to say it in
  • Give your team a messaging process that can be implemented across all your marketing materials