NASGW Chairman’s Commentary February 2012

Shooting Industry Trade Show NASGW
Shooting Industry Trade Show NASGW

Ohio –-( It’s been a mild winter here in northern Ohio which has made for a great hunting season.

The enthusiasm we saw at our recent dealer show also bodes well for 2012. Everyone seems excited and positive about 2012 sales. With record numbers at the Shot Show, dealer shows and other events, it should be a banner year for our industry. Manufacturing inventories may become tight with all this pent up demand.

This got me to thinking about what has changed in the way of sales and marketing with the development of all these new media to promote our products and how buyers find local businesses and make buying decisions.

A recent survey reveals that 47% of adults use the Internet to find information on local businesses, while only 1% turn to social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. Here’s some more numbers: (Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project.)

  • 36% use search engines
  • 16% turn to specialty sites
  • 30% Newspapers for local searches
  • 22% use word-of-mouth
  • 8% local TV
  • 5% use radio

For me, I still feel that our customers and our products are more attuned to “touchy / feely” buyers. Our customers want to look, feel, touch, operate and even smell what we sell. Our buyers are both customers and enthusiasts, i.e. avid hunters, fishermen, and shooting sports people so it stands to reason that they would like to try out what they will then sell to their customers – the end consumer.

There is virtually nothing better than a testimonial that says, “I have this same model and it is one of my favorite rifles.”

These numbers suggest that directing resources to search engine optimization and advertising may be the most productive marketing tool and that having a social media presence is also important. However, that one on one with the rifle, pistol or fishing pole in a potential buyers hand still plays as significant and important role in the decision process. It is often the final and determining decision. One need only attend the SHOT Show or the NRA Convention to see for yourself how important that interaction still plays to all of us in this industry.

We encourage your comments, suggestions, questions. Drop me a line ([email protected]).

Jack Baumler
NASGW Chairman of the Board


For additional information on the NASGW and the services and benefits it provides for members, visit or contact: Tracy King Kolojeski, NASGW Director of Operations at PO Box 721564, Orlando, FL 32872 • Telephone 407-362-6391

National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers (NASGW)