50 Innovators of the Year 2021
"When you become part of the GAT family, we make you our priority. We focus on what makes your brand unique, and we work hard to form lasting, quality partnerships across the industry."
Search engine restrictions are on the rise for weapons manufacturers and gun dealers as regulators are trying to suppress gun ownership for hunters and individuals looking out to protect themselves from adversaries. Many new firearms market entrants are finding the volume of competitors overwhelming as online restrictions jam the place. As we understand that there are many roadblocks and barriers, how can firearm dealers stand out from the rest?
It is highly advisable to partner up with a marketing firm that is well-versed in firearms marketing so that you have someone who can understand everything from the basics of keywords to the latest digital marketing strategies that can navigate your business through restrictions. Globally there are various marketers specializing in marketing for the firearms segment, but GAT Marketing stands out from the rest. GAT Marketing is a full-service marketing agency that has established itself in the digital marketing industry by focusing on the firearms segment. It is the leader excelling in this niche marketing area. We interviewed Charles Anderson, the CEO of GAT Marketing, to know more about the company's services. Here are a few noteworthy excerpts of the same:
Tell us about the history of GAT.
GAT Daily began as a place to publish my personal development as a firearms enthusiast. It grew, and it gained traction beyond a simple hobby site. I worked with the manufacturing companies on reviews. As they experienced my email marketing strategies and SEO, they began to ask for assistance. That's how GAT Marketing was born, as the most successful accident I have ever had!
What challenges did you face in the initial years, and how did you overcome them?
The greatest challenge is the multiple levels of restrictions imposed on the industry. The foundation of firearms manufacturing and marketing has always been traditional media, mainly because of the limitations placed by digital gatekeepers. Few companies took the time to understand digital marketing and its unique intricacies fully. And as big tech limits what and where they can market, initially, our most significant barrier was educating the companies on what is possible. We also ensured they had the proper tools to track results.
Today we face increasing limitations from Facebook, Google, AWS, and major publishing networks that limit our ability to reach consumers. New client acquisition is further restricted with the loss of even the most basic of retargeting ads. We have to be resourceful to address the limitations and find creative solutions that educate manufacturing companies while also reaching consumers. That has been both our greatest struggle and the source of our tremendous success.
How is GAT marketing unique? What is its specialization?
GAT Marketing is a niche agency entirely focused on outdoor space and, more specifically, the firearms industry. By focusing on that segment, we can be both product and consumer experts. We are a full-service agency that offers support from creative services through ad purchase. GAT Marketing specializes in digital advertising for restricted products. Our digital marketing experience is a key factor to our explosive growth within a sector still struggling to develop high ROI campaigns.
What are the firm's approach and specialties?
GAT Marketing goes beyond the specific campaigns and strategies that can be marginally successful. Instead, we have developed a holistic approach to advertising where we use each campaign to strengthen the entire marketing strategy leading to a larger and better-qualified funnel. Each marketing avenue is part of a much greater whole. In our experience, combining print, email, SMS, and endemic placement with paid search and SEO increases the ROI dramatically. There is no silver bullet. And new client acquisition will continue to be restricted due to the loss of basic retargeting ads. So we work effectively to bring in new users and maximize conversion in the sales process to achieve a higher and consistent return.
What is your range of services?
We are a full-service agency, so we touch every part of the marketing and sales processes. We have a team of in-house designers that handle creative planning and UI development for websites. Our dev team can manage any heavy lifting or app integration for eCommerce websites. GAT's media buying team can then map out the best digital and print placements focusing on SIPs and themed issues to target the most likely to buy consumers. Our emailing department manages newsletters, sales, and dedicated email drops for our clients across multiple platforms. Lastly, we offer complete consulting on expanding reach, conversions, and overall revenue for companies ranging from retail to manufacturing.
Tell us about your digital advertising and marketing strategies.
We focus on reaching consumers despite being deprived of the access to Facebook and Google other agencies enjoy. That limited platform access requires us to assist our clients to "control their own sandbox." GAT Marketing uses a direct-to-consumer strategy that relies on email, SMS, and browser notifications to get in front of our clients' consumer base. We work heavily with publisher networks that allow us to use geo-targeted data to focus on consumers interested in firearms. Firearms is a polarizing topic, and big tech has not actively curated consumer data. Typical look-alike audience services rarely target the right consumers. With our market experience and custom targeting, we have built a proprietary consumer list that accurately represents actual firearms enthusiasts and serves as a value proposition on purchased advertising.
How do you craft measurable relationships between your clients and their customers?
GAT Marketing's greatest strength is our holistic approach. We know our industry. We know that even within a specific niche, individual companies have different goals and relationships. Since we work with manufacturing, wholesale, retail, and services clients, we know that each niche has different KPIs. Our perspective of the industry's nuances is a strategic advantage for our clients. We continuously stretch what is possible so they can locate and create effective relationships with their consumer base.
About the CEO
Charles Anderson is the CEO of GAT Marketing, a firearms-focused full-service marketing agency. Charles has over 20 years of experience in marketing focused on direct sales and digital spaces. Having worked at a mid-sized Venture capital firm for 14 years, Charles's expertise is centered around bringing new products and developing new markets. This focus has led to a passion for the detailed reporting and ROI offered by digital advertising.
During his more than six years in the firearms industry, Charles has learned to work with budgets of all sizes focusing on the few available tools to firearms-based businesses. An expert in local search, email, SMS, and other non-sandboxed technology, his goal is to help his clients reach their consumer markets in the most cost-efficient and brand-effective manner. With an average ROI of 6X on ad spend, GAT Marketing has established itself as an industry leader.