Geared for Outdoors for Info DISKovery Inc.

Marshall Lind's Geared for Outdoors (GFO) slogan of "More time Outdoors... Less Time Online" was perfect for the time. It was 2001 and the slow, unreliable dial-up connection speeds of 56 Kbps required zen-like patience when downloading graphic-rich material. Realizing this was a serious technical impediment to Online commerce, Marshall created a CD-ROM catalog designed to expedite search speeds and capitalize on the forecasted surge of Online retail sales.


GFO PRODUCT CONCEPT: Marshall targeted outdoor gear manufacturers because the highly competitive industry produced impressive sales margins, fueled by low Chinese manufacturing costs, high brand recognition and growing disposable income levels. The CD-ROM Catalog was designed to be a direct marketing and sales vehicle for outdoor gear manufacturers, with product and gear advice content developed for gearhead appeal. Cross-indexed by brand, product and sport categories, it was designed for ease of navigation and the CD-ROM format allowed users to search at the super fast speed of their computer's CPU until they were ready to purchase a product. "Purchase" buttons then interfaced with a brand's own Online Website, giving gear manufacturers complete control over the purchasing process, with regards to direct sales or retailer referral decisions.

CD-ROM CATALOG DISTRIBUTION: Marshall realized the most credible way to convince gear manufacturers that GFO's new marketing and sales tool could reach their target markets was to distribute it through outdoor sports publications. These magazines had already established their reputation for reaching outdoor product consumers with gear manufacturers. Marshall negotiated with the magazines to accommodate the Geared for Outdoor CD-ROM Catalogs in a detachable protective sleeve integrated into a full page ad. The synergistic advantages of having multiple clients on a single CD Catalog meant GFO could keep its rates competitive with the price of a 1/2 page magazine ad, while offering superior product and brand representation.

Marshall worked closely with outdoor magazine ad departments, CD-ROM producers and the U.S. Postal Service on the logistics, feasibility and pricing of what is still an original sales collateral concept.


MARKETING RESEARCH: Mr. Lind conducted a marketing survey and project feasibility study at the 2002 Outdoors trade show in Salt Lake City. He concentrated on building relationships, communicating his marketing idea and collecting valuable industry, sales and contact data from over 124 manufacturing marketing and sales managers.
CD SALES SAMPLE CATALOG: Motivated by an enthusiastic level of interest for the Catalog project, Marshall designed and produced the CD-ROM sales sample catalog, including copy, graphics, label, rate sheet and triptych cover using Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. He also photographed all product, people and outdoor locations used throughout GFO electronic marketing and promotional media. Using a revolutionary Web-integrated video program called Hyperpublish, Marshall even wrote, starred and helped produce a short, campy sales promo movie imbedded within the CD's HTML layout.
PROJECT OUTCOME: Marshall Lind sent periodic CD-ROM Catalog progress e-reports to his list of gear manufacturer marketing managers to promote the project before appearing at the 2003 Outdoors trade show with a sales associate to distribute CD-ROM Catalog samples and secure sales commitments. Despite sales to a half dozen gear manufacturers and tentative sales to more than a dozen more, the project fell short of the projected client synergy and capital requirements needed to financially justify project execution.

The proliferation of Spam and computer viruses and AOL's aggressive CD campaign of the time greatly contributed to the Project's shortcomings as well.

Geared for Outdoors CD-ROM
1498 Bird Ave., San Jose, CA 95125
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