In my perfect world a customer would walk into our dealership look at one of our new shiny bikes and announce he or she wanted to buy it. Unfortunately, I do not live in a perfect world! Various market researchers agree that a customer needs to know your dealership, its reputation and your product before he or she will purchase from you. How fast that happens is not so clear. Research on how a customer decides to purchase a powersports product is varied, showing anywhere from three to twelve contacts are required with the product or salesman before purchase. So the question becomes how we maximize that contact for the least amount of revenue. Standard radio, TV and print ads are very expensive. Social media is strong and less expensive but its effectiveness can be limited as most people are bombarded by other business using the same tactic. We have found a very effective and low cost way to increase these contacts is cross marketing. This type of contact would fall mostly under the title of publicity. It gives potential customers and even those who may not have been thinking about powersports a chance to start having exposure to your dealership.
For our dealership, cross marketing is finding companies that offer products that mesh with ours. In addition, we look for companies that complement the lifestyle we are trying to promote. It can also be used to increase a positive reputation in your community. This type of marketing has very low cost and, due to the uniqueness, is more memorable than some traditional marketing avenues. Floats in local parades or helping the coast guard auxiliary hold safety classes are just a couple events that show your store is a positive part of the community. We have also teamed up with our local new truck dealership and placed dirt bikes in the back of trucks in their showroom. Their customers get to envision how good that truck would look in their driveway and the fun they could have riding a dirt bike on the weekends. Some customers may not have been thinking of buying a bike, but seeing that display and envisioning that lifestyle has caused a few of them to buy both.
Cross marketing is only limited by your imagination. By building networks with other companies you will strengthen and broaden your company’s visibility and potential customer base. Having other company’s customers seeing your products greatly increases exposure which can be limited by traditional advertising. Powersports make other products look sexy and help the other products sell, so get out and talk to other businesses and see what unusual and fun ideas you can come up with. Feel free to email me if you want to hear more about the companies we have teamed up with.
Jackson Smith is the parts and service manager at Destination Powersports, a multi-line OEM dealership located in southwest Florida. Jackson has more than 30 years experience in both the automotive and powersports industries.