A black square logo featuring a stylized white 'T' and 'H' integrated above a grey anchor. The word "MARINE" is written in white capital letters below the anchor.

Chameleon Collective & T-H Marine: A Fully Immersive Partnership Case Study

Three smartphones display various pages of a boating equipment store's website. The screens show sections like "Boating Essentials," "New Arrival," and "Trending Specials." The background is a light blue color.

Case Study

Challenge

In the vast marine expanse of boat parts and accessories manufacturing, T-H Marine had distinguished itself as an industry leading brand, especially within the bass fishing niche. Beyond its vast wholesale distribution network, T-H Marine nurtured a growing eCommerce presence. Aspirations loomed large on the horizon – they envisioned quadrupling their digital footprint in a mere two years. To chart this ambitious course, T-H Marine sought the strategic expertise of Chameleon Collective.

When T-H Marine reached out to Chameleon Collective, the response was swift and strategic. Recognizing the expansive challenges and ambitious goals set by T-H Marine, Chameleon Collective applied a holistic approach, dividing the journey into three foundational pillars: Lead, Deliver, and Recruit.

Lead

The first step in Chameleon Collective’s approach was deploying its unique C.L.E.A.R. Assessment framework to holistically understand T-H Marine’s aspirations and pain points. This comprehensive analysis was instrumental in sketching a strategic roadmap, aiming for a fourfold eCommerce growth. Following this assessment’s insightful findings, the transformation commenced in June of 2021 when a member of the Chameleon Collective assumed the role of Interim Executive Director of eCommerce and Marketing. This pivotal position involved oversight of the internal teams supporting eCommerce sales and an array of marketing strategies.

Interfacing with T-H Marine’s executive team, they set out to redesign the organizational framework for efficiency, growth, and adaptability, identifying gaps in areas like social media strategy, e-commerce management, performance marketing, product information management, and data analytics. Consequently, the marketing planning process, budgeting, and team roles were overhauled, introducing new roles to further strengthen the team.

Image of a boating website interface. The background shows people on a boat and fish swimming underwater. The foreground includes a mobile screen displaying a "Boating Essentials" section with options to shop from T-H Marine. Various website sections are below, reimagining the Sea to Sea experience.

Deliver

Execution was key. While leadership was essential, translating the strategic vision into actionable results was where the rubber met the road. Chameleon Collective brought onboard a series of subject matter experts to champion various pivotal segments of the transformation journey.

A growth marketing professional was introduced to sharpen the edges of paid performance marketing. The focus was broad, ranging from Google search to social media, unveiling Affiliate Marketing as a fresh channel, and streamlining email marketing. This marketing maven worked in harmony with the brand marketing team, orchestrating content and promotional strategies.

Another critical addition was an eCommerce specialist. This expert managed the new internal eCommerce team, weaving between the Shopify store framework and Amazon sales. They integrated newly acquired subsidiary brands, ensuring that the backbone, the technology stack, remained robust. The emphasis was not only on sales but also on ensuring stellar customer experiences.

But that wasn’t all. Chameleon Collective further bolstered T-H Marine’s capabilities with specialized talent. They introduced a data scientist to sculpt advanced reporting dashboards, a social media strategist to rejuvenate the organic social media approach, a systems integration expert to implement a top-tier Product Information Management platform, a website designer to redefine user experience, and a team of adept Shopify developers to translate design visions into interactive experiences.

Recruit

While interim leadership and specialist engagement were instrumental, the longevity of this transformation depended on finding the right permanent fit for T-H Marine. Chameleon Collective’s assessment revealed a storytelling void in T-H Marine’s digital realm. But this wasn’t about finding just another social media manager. The quest was for someone who could intertwine their industry passion with digital threads that would create compelling narratives.

Chameleon Collective’s approach was immersive. They plunged into the marine industry’s digital depths, seeking someone who had more than a surface-level understanding of hashtags and trends. They needed an individual who lived the marine ethos. Their expansive network and meticulous selection criteria were not just about evaluating resumes. They probed for passion, strategic insight, and hands-on expertise, ensuring that the chosen candidate could resonate with T-H Marine’s core audience.

The culmination of this rigorous recruitment drive was an individual who not only redefined T-H Marine’s social media perspective but also seamlessly integrated with the company’s vision, soon proving to be an invaluable asset.

Impact

As T-H Marine charts its course for the months and years ahead, it does so with the strategic rudder of Chameleon Collective to steer it –– the result of nearly three years of immersive partnership. Organizational blueprints have been reimagined, and resources have been channeled towards growth avenues, all moving in harmony toward a common vision. The strategic compass, born from the C.L.E.A.R. assessment and meticulously delivered by the interim leader and their embedded team of SMEs, continues to lead T-H Marine into the future. 

In the Fall of 2022, T-H Marine’s Private Equity ownership successfully exited from the business. This was the fastest exit in the history of the PE firm. The immersive work Chameleon Collective delivered from end-to-end provided tremendous value as the company was taken to market. The extremely well-articulated roadmap, along with a Chameleon team to drive the execution, provided a seamless transition as T-H Marine moved from Private Equity to Public Company ownership.

OneWater Marine (ONEW), a 9-figure publicly traded company, became T-H Marine’s parent company, and Chameleon Collective has continued on as T-H Marine’s strategic and executional partner. Our Chameleon team, in partnership with the internal executive & operational teams, has also begun to onboard subsidiary brands and sister companies within the parent company portfolio, with the goal of creating efficiencies through integrations, economies of scale, and aligning shared resources to support a larger scope of eCommerce and digital marketing initiatives for OneWater. 

Over the course of this long-term, immersive partnership, an incredible amount of work has been done. And yet, at the same time, we feel like we’ve just gotten started with a long and prosperous relationship between Chameleon Collective and T-H Marine.

75%

Surge in ROAS

4+Yr

Chameleon Relationship

Related Chameleon Team Members

Carolina Usbeck

Carolina Usbeck

SEO Friendly Web Developer

Cesar Santos

Cesar Santos

Interim Creative Director

Freddie Laker

Freddie Laker

Chief Digital Officer

Greg Adams

Greg Adams

Partner | VP Growth & Digital

Matthew Obendorf

Matthew Obendorf

Ecommerce Manager

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