Digital Marketing Analysis, Strategy, and Planning

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NRS is the leading paddlesports brand pioneering the development of gear and equipment for every paddlesport and every level of paddler.

The Challenge

NRS was ready to take their social media and digital marketing to the next level, but wasn’t sure how. As their social media presence had expanded to include more networks, the small team found itself stretched thin without strategies tailored to each digital channel and social network or written long-term goals or planning. Departments essential to overall brand communication and content creation were also isolated from each other, making the smooth development of integrated content across channels difficult. NRS came to Current Shift for help in streamlining their systems, identifying strategies and tactics to grow their consumer base, build their Instagram following and put into place integrated strategies and planning across digital channels.

Why It Matters

More than 78% of consumers are connecting and communicating with brands through at least one digital channel, only 14% of companies say they run coordinated marketing campaigns across channels. Without a plan and strategies to integrate messaging across channels to and develop targeted content marketing that resonates with consumers, resources devoted to marketing deliver lackluster results at best and are totally wasted at worst. To get where you want to go and reach your goals, a comprehensive, integrated plan is your most valuable tool.


When Current Shift first started working with NRS, the marketing director summed up his goals pretty simply: “I want to be able to take a vacation, or even a weekend, where I don’t have to check my phone.” NRS needed comprehensive analysis of the existing digital channels, combined with developing a clear understanding of their multiple target consumer groups that range from young bro’s to families to retirees.

NRS also needed comprehensive planning with strategies and tactics to develop and target content to the varied consumer groups, while not alienating any. They needed more resources in some areas; and more streamlined systems for managing overall workflow, along with systems and tools to allow them to efficiently manage the process of content planning, creation and publishing. Last but not least, the team needed efficient tracking tools and systems to allow them to pivot and adjust to changes in the digital mediums, trends in the industry and marketing in general, as well as their consumers’ changing behavioral patterns.

What We Did

We started working with NRS in 2013, beginning with an in-depth digital channel and content analysis. In collaboration with the marketing team, we used the insights and key takeaways from that report to develop an overarching digital marketing plan and content strategy with the goal of integrating content across channels. In addition, we identified various needs in terms of human resources, and NRS was able to bring additional people onto the team to assist in implementing the plan.

Over the next two years, we continued to work closely with the team, providing updated reports twice a year; working in collaboration with the team to write the annual digital marketing plan using all the information we gained from both the trends within NRS’s own channels and also overall industry and digital marketing trends; developing, implementing and tracking large annual campaigns, and acting as an advisor and resource for the team.

We continue to work with NRS as an active and integral member of their marketing team, helping them manage two brands in addition to NRS, as well as guiding some of the strategies and content marketing overseas.


  • Baseline Digital Analysis, Assessment and Report
  • Ongoing quarterly reporting and monitoring (2013-present)
  • Development of Consumer Personas and Profiles
  • Annual Digital Marketing Plan and Content Strategies (annually, 2013-present)
  • Campaign Concepting, Planning, Implementation, Tracking and Reporting (Guidevibes, 2015)
  • Training and Assistance in Campaign Concepting, Planning, Implementation, Tracking and Reporting (Drawn To Water, 2016)
  • Campaign Concepting and Planning (Just Add Water, launch date 2019)
  • Training and Team Development: Brand Voice & Personality Implementation via digital content, Social Media advertising, Digital Marketing & Social Media Trends, Reporting and data analysis, and Impact oriented storytelling, conversations and communication)
  • In-depth analysis of email newsletter used to guide newsletter redesign and overall implementation and strategy shifts
  • Ongoing guidance and consulting to support and empower the team

The Results

We’ve been working with NRS since 2013, assisting the marketing team in long- and short-range digital marketing and communications planning; development of macro and micro strategies and tactics; campaign development, planning, execution and reporting; ongoing goal setting combined with tracking and reporting; ongoing training as needed and more. During that time we have gone from helping the team manage one brand (NRS) in the United States only, to managing three brands (NRS, NRS Fishing, WRSI), plus helping guide the  expansion of NRS internationally.

With such a broad scope, it’s challenging to sum up the impact of our work, especially since it’s ongoing. But here’s a small snapshot of some of the results we’ve helped the team achieve:

  • In one quarter we grew Instagram from 2,396 to 6,357 followers using a campaign that focused heavily on collaboration and partnerships with like-minded brands that brought in highly engaged consumers who have real and authentic connections to the brand.
  • The Instagram community has grown from just more than 1,000 to nearly 30,000 and as a result of our ongoing analysis of content and performance, the team has also increased the engagement rate each quarter compared to the same time period the previous year.
  • The overall engagement rate for NRS’s Facebook content is consistently almost three times higher than the average on Facebook.
  • We have used social media advertising to effectively target new consumer groups and grow the social media communities and drive newsletter sign-ups, resulting in an overall increase in sales.
  • We conducted an in-depth analysis of the email newsletter and provided a set of recommendations. The team implemented them, resulting in an increase in direct to consumer sales from the newsletter of more than 27% compared with the previous year.
  • With our guidance, the team redesigned the blog resulting in nearly 50% increase in traffic, higher reader retention, and better flow of traffic from the blog to the product pages of the website.
  • In 2017 we worked with the marketing team to respond to changes in the market and industry and to pivot core marketing strategies and tactics, writing a new 3-year marketing plan that will guide the team through 2020.
  • The team has developed a clear vision of the voice and communication style for the brand, which is reflected and integrated across all content on all digital channels.
  • The team now has multiple systems in place to streamline communication, content planning and management, and project management is has become a highly efficient, well-oiled machine.
  • We have developed, planned and executed two highly successful brand awareness and consumer engagement campaigns, exceeding almost every goal we set for both, and are now working on a third comprehensive messaging campaign for 2019.
  • As the team has grown and overall performance has improved, we have continually guided them and helped them take it to the next level, over and over again