An educated guess, or a history of success?

Who are you marketing to? The answer to this question shapes your entire campaign, yet is overlooked too often. Of course, most dealers would say the logical answer of “I’m looking for people who are interested in motorcycles and ATVs, etc.” as your goal is to drive people who will buy something from you into your store. As we all know, however, this is much more difficult than it sounds.

One of the main reasons it’s so difficult is because many dealers have been “programmed” to think that that their marketing campaigns should include mass media marketing methods like television, billboards and radio. Before I continue, let me preface by saying that I’m not against mass media. I’ve seen mass media be effective, but this style of advertising makes way less sense than other methods that are less expensive, substantially more effective, generate better leads and therefore a higher ROI, and are 100 percent quantifiable so you can measure your response. And consider this, if only 3 percent of people in America own a motorcycle (according to the Motorcycle Industry Council), what percentage of your ad spend is being wasted on consumers who don’t ride, and aren’t even interested in powersports products… even if you are closely matching demographics?

For instance, according to my demographics, I should be interested in golf. On account of this, I get golf ads in the mail, hear them on the radio and see them on TV.  The only problem is, and as an athlete I hate to admit this, but I’m terrible at golf and will never buy things related to this expensive waste of time. Before I start taking blows from all you golfers out there, I really don’t think you’re wasting your time. I only say this to prove the point that matching demographics is an educated guess and isn’t the best way to spend your marketing dollars.

So then, who should you market to? The third sentence of this blog actually answered the question … people who are most likely to come to your dealership and give you money for a good or service. So the real question is this: Who is more likely to give you money? A guy or gal that matches a demographic (i.e. an educated guess), or a person who has actually given you money in the past and is willing to give you more money in the future if you’ll ask for it the right way?  Your customer database is what I call a “hidden marketing asset,” and it is a gold mine for your dealership that’s being underutilized.

As you’re considering your next advertising campaign, I recommend you shift your focus and begin marketing to those who are most likely to do business with you … your own customers.

One comment

  1. Tory…I have been preaching this to outdoor power dealerships for the past 5 years. It is amazing how many still believe in the concept that, “I have my customers, they know where I am at and I do not have to advertise or more importantly, market to them.” We deal strictly in targeted direct mail programs. We always encourge mailing your customers. Quite frankly, it will be your easist sale if you invite them back.

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