Marketing is Everything


Article by John Kinsella

When I was looking for a pithy marketing quote to grab your attention for this article, I came across an interesting article listing no fewer than 72 separate definitions of the term “marketing”. Two definitions really stood out. The first, attributed to Matt Blumberg, CEO of Return Path, a highly successful email marketing company, claims that when done well, marketing is the business strategy: It is the value proposition, brand positioning and image to the world. It must be largely measurable and accountable around driving business goals. When not done well, Blumberg asserts, it’s an endless checklist of advertising and promotional to-dos that can never be completed. The second definition emphatically makes the same point. Regis McKenna, writing for the Harvard Business Review, said simply, “Marketing is everything.” 

If you agree, it makes solid business sense to prioritize your marketing efforts and get as much help as you can. Especially when that help is basically free. One of the most important benefits of PADI®Membership is marketing support, and it’s yours for the asking (or downloading). There’s a plethora of detailed information in your back issues of The Undersea Journal® and the valuable resources on the PADI Pros’ Site are at your disposal. Here’s a look at a few initiatives that should be on your strategic radar for 2017.

wdd_logoWomen and Diving

The second annual PADI Women’s Dive Day saw a doubling of interest in 2016 over 2015. Events organized by PADI Members worldwide grew from 330 to more than 700 and it’s going to be a focal point again in 2017. The goal is to increase the number of women in diving and bring more families into the sport. Research indicates that women make anywhere from 80-92 percent of the vacation decisions for the family, so attracting more women to the sport will invariably bring the families. “This year, in PADI Americas alone, we had almost 400 million (media) impressions for Women’s Dive Day,” said Katie Thompson, Director of Marketing. “If you register an event on, people will find you.” You’ll see a preview of what’s in store this month, and there’ll be marketing support assets available in the first quarter of 2017. Mark 15 July 2017, the next PADI Women’s Dive Day, on your marketing calendar now.


My PADI Club

Another arrow in your 2017 marketing quiver has to be My PADI Club. This new premium membership product has the potential to become the cornerstone of your all-important digital marketing and social media marketing strategies. Take a look at the dedicated article in the December edition of the Surface Interval for early details of yet another great marketing initiative with PADI Dive Centers, Resorts and Members at the center. Make a point of being an early adopter.

New Advanced Open Water Diver Course

aow_name-315x203Along the same lines, speaking of cornerstones, the new Advanced Open Water Diver course is just that, for your entire continuing education program. Keep this front and center in your marketing strategy for 2017. Take a look at the article in the third quarter 2016 The Undersea Journal for detailed insights (and marketing tips) into just how the links between Advanced Open Water Diver and (almost) the entire suite of PADI courses can help you keep your continuing education courses full.

PADI Members have a wealth of wonderful marketing material at their fingertips; it just makes sense to make the most of it.

Specialty of the Quarter Launching Soon


Launching in July, the PADI Specialty of the Quarter campaign will focus on different PADI specialties each quarter. This important tool will help you to grow the interest in continuing education and increase the sales of PADI Specialty courses and student materials. PADI Specialty courses offer the perfect opportunity to widen the knowledge of your students, better understand their interests as divers, and make sure they come back and sign up for more courses.

How does the Specialty of the Quarter campaign work?

Students working towards their Master Scuba Diver certifications who sign up for one of the PADI specialty courses listed below with your dive center, will receive a free PADI eCard upon Master Scuba Diver completion.

Top Tip: Try offering your own Specialty of the Quarter prizes designed to encourage divers of all levels to keep diving with you. For example, the prize could be an additional specialty course free of charge if they complete their next certification with you.

Calendar for the PADI Specialty of the Quarter 2016:

  • Q3 (July – September): PADI Digital Underwater Photographer and PADI Wreck Diver
  • Q4 (October – December): PADI Deep Diver and PADI Dry Suit Diver

Tools for the PADI “Specialty of the Quarter” campaign:

To help you promote the PADI “Specialty of the Quarter”, you can download free digital marketing materials via the PADI Pros’ Site including posters, e-mail templates, headers, a specialty of the quarter incentive chart, and more!

To access the toolkit, visit the PADI Pros’ Site (Toolbox–>Marketing–>Marketing Campaigns–>Specialty of the Quarter).

For more information on the PADI Specialty of the Quarter campaign, please contact Emily Krak at


Casting Call: What Does My PADI Mean To You?

My PADI Talent

Share your My PADI story and inspire more people to start, keep and teach diving. Describe what PADI means to you in a 500-750 word response to the following questions and you may be featured in the new My PADI global marketing campaign:

  • What was your inspiration to become a PADI Diver:
  • How has PADI changed your life or career?
  • What does PADI mean to you?
  • Complete this sentence. “My PADI is…”
  • How would you describe scuba diving in a word or sentence to a nondiver?

Please email your submission along with a maximum of two photos (one of which must be a topside photo or head shot) to by 31 October 2015.

2014 PADI Marketing Money – Time is Running Out!

PADI Co-Op Marketing Fund 2014

PADI Co-Op Marketing Fund 2014

Less than half the funds in the 2014 PADI Marketing co-op fund remain. If you have a new marketing idea you’ve been wanting to try, get your request form in soon!

Funds are available for new activities (in other words something you haven’t tried before) to attract new divers. Looking for ideas? Here are a some proven marketing initiatives that may qualify for the co-op program:

  • Online Advertising (overview / ideas)
  • Update your website to be mobile-friendly
  • Participation in a non-diving event (Wedding, Travel, Adventure, Boat and Surf shows, etc.)

PADI Americas will match 75 percent of your ad buy, event fee, etc up to the maximum reimbursement amounts listed below.

  • PADI Five Star Dive Centers or Resorts – $750 US.
  • PADI Dive Centers or Resorts – $500 US.

Ready to apply for funds? We need two things from you:

IMPORTANT! Both the request form and proof of payment must be received for your request to be processed. Quotes cannot be accepted, and funds are distributed on a first come first serve basis.

Questions? Please contact Mica dot Matvia at padi dot com, or Claudia dot Sherry at padi dot com.

Wanted: Inspiring Stories from Students

PADI Ask Any Diver

Do you have a diver with an inspirational story: someone who conquered a fear of water or overcame a disability and transformed his or her life through diving?  Invite your students to share their stories and they could be featured in a global advertising campaign: Ask Any Diver.

PADI’s Ask Any Diver campaign will feature stories from real divers sharing how they overcame personal obstacles or preconceived notions of scuba diving on the way to earning their certifications. In addition to inspiring others to try diving, your diver’s story will spread the word about your dive business.

How to Enter:
Divers should submit a video describing obstacles they overcame and how scuba diving changed their lives via the Ask Any PADI Diver page on for consideration. Please note: Submitting a video does not guarantee the diver will be featured.