Have you seen the latest data on mobile devices?

It’s always interesting to read the reports and data we receive on mobile marketing, since so much of our buying experience is on-the-go and related to mobile devices. It was just last week when my wife and I were reading on those exact mobile devices, me with my smartphone and she on her (I mean the kids’) iPad. Before we even realized it, the kids came bounding into the kitchen. “Gosh, you guys look like a couple of gamers” was their initial response. In fact, we were checking movie times and the location of a hockey camp. So zip it.

But I digress. Mobile devices are everywhere, and your customers are shopping with them. I shop with them. Mobile Market Daily’s newest report shows that 85 percent of its surveyed customers (470) said mobile devices are a “central part” of everyday life. Among the findings:

•  91 percent of consumers say access to content any way they want it is important;
•  8 percent of consumers claim to wait or ignore a push notification before checking it;
•  Consumers use tablets much more than smartphones to access Twitter, YouTube, Amazon, CNN and Facebook; smartphones are only more popular for Pinterest, weather and Yahoo.

Applications are ready for potential AIMExpo speakers

The stack of applications from speakers seeking a spot on the lineup at the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo dealer training sessions grows each day in our offices, yet another sign of the interest in the second annual trade show for dealers and consumers, set for Oct. 16-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. You’re sure to learn about mobile marketing and other pertinent topics from our lineup of speakers there.

If you’re an industry member who has a topic that could benefit dealers — and you know the difference between an infomercial for your company and sharing information that dealers can use — be sure to submit an application so that we can consider you for the industry’s largest dealer training event. All sessions will once again be held in the rooms just across the hallway from the entrance to the AIMExpo show floor.

The deadline for presentation proposals is May 1. Send me a note at dmcmahon@powersportsbusiness.com if you would like me to send you an online application. Or simply complete the application at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PSBI2014.

Gearing up for AIMExpo took on even greater importance in March when Larry Little and Cinnamon Kernes of AIMExpo stopped by our office in the Twin Cities. With more than 260 exhibitors already having taken 80 percent of the floor space for next year, it’s an obvious sign that the exhibitors are stepping up in Year 2. In fact, the show has already expanded its footprint from 300,000 square feet last year to 400,000 square feet for 2014.

Little and Kernes were both anxious to share some news in the coming months that will give dealers even more reasons to attend. As their dealer training partners, we’re also excited about zeroing in on sessions that will most effectively help you grow your business.

And if I heard it once I heard it a dozen times: Dealer principals this year will be taking employees who might have been left back at the store last year in the show’s debut. Don’t be the principal leaving a seminar and thinking “I wish had brought my parts manager,” or “That would have been great for my F&I manager to hear.”

Slot the Oct. 16-19 dates on your calendar today.

Power 50 applications rising, too

Another way we plan to celebrate the industry’s successes in Orlando is with the PSB Power 50 Awards Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 16, presented by ARI Network Services Inc. In addition to revealing the top five dealers in North America, we’ll take an inside look at what makes each of the Power 50 dealers stand out in a competitive retail environment.

Even more, there’s ample opportunity before and after the award and the dinner portion of the event to get to know your fellow Power 50 dealers. And since the program was such a hit last year, we were able to launch the 2014 application as soon as the calendar turned.

The application is extensive, we won’t argue with you on that topic. But it also allows for an equal playing field among the various sized dealerships. We heard from dealers at the event last year that they use the application as a tool for their business. By completing it, you’re able to uncover your business strengths, and more important, weaknesses. All data points are from 2013, and as always, all data submitted remains anonymous. We only refer to data points as a composite number, as in “Power 50 dealers on average reported sales gains of xx percent in 2013.”

Because the application has been launched, many dealers opted to submit theirs during the winter months of the first quarter. If you haven’t done so yet, make plans to submit your Power 50 application today. The deadline is Aug. 1, but after this godawful winter throughout much of the U.S., you’re going to be selling like crazy trying to hit your sales goals. So it’s best to get a jump on it while the time is right. Complete the Power 50 application at http://www.tfaforms.com/313655.

What’s inside

Managing editor Liz Keener had a highly effective trip to Scotts Valley, Calif., during another Minnesota winter freeze. She didn’t come back wanting to move the office there, but she sure didn’t hate it. With trips to Fox and Bell helmets and a spot in the Bell suite at the Oakland Supercross, she had nary a complaint. Hopefully you’ve been able to read her reports from the visits to both manufacturers in this edition and last month’s PSB. We’re still cranking out stories from V-Twin Expo, a few of which you can read in the Focus section this month. I had a great time getting to know the guys from 7th Gear Motorcycle Co. in Oregon. The matching jackets and youthful faces told me these guys might be up to something good, and in fact, they are. John Leale also tells a good tale about the launch of the Vee Rubber 32-inch front tire. I literally walked by their booth sometimes to see more than a dozen attendees investigating the tire. With another successful Club Ski-Doo in Quebec City, we thought it would be good to catch up with dealers to get their thoughts on the new 2015 lineup. And I just returned from a trip halfway around the world with a bunch of dealers to visit the CFMOTO factory in Hangzhou, China, so look for that in the May 5 edition.

Dave McMahon is editor in chief of Powersports Business. Contact him at 763/383-4411 or dmcmahon@powersportsbusiness.com.


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