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Business Management

Take Your Spring Dealership Promotions to the Next Level

Online dealership marketing ideas for the new riding season.

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For most of you, spring is far and away the best sales season. Riders are psyched up and ready to ride with their wallets wide open. What are you doing to bring their enthusiasm into your shop?

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If you are stuck in a rut, running the same promos year after year, it’s time to get creative. Don’t take the easy way out by slapping some generic discount on your best sellers and calling it a day. Here’s what the real marketing players are up to.

Integrated Marketing

Make the most out of every single one of your marketing dollars by integrating offline and online marketing efforts together.
Take a look at the direct mail campaigns you are running right now. Let me guess, the printed piece includes a link to your homepage right? Wrong.

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A website address is no longer good enough, because it drives customers to a page that is not relevant to their search. Don’t make your website visitors hunt and peck for the content they seek — instead drive them directly to their target.

For minimal effort and cost, consider a PURL campaign. PURL stands for personalized URL. Your website vendor can help you implement PURLs on your site. It will be worth the effort — response rates can double through the use of PURLs.

Both your printed piece and custom website pages will feature a personalized “Welcome” message to your customer including their first and last name. Add an incentive for filling out a registration form, and you’ll collect marketing data on your most interested customers without even lifting a finger.

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Staged Event Marketing

Most dealers promote their events prior to the date, missing out on unique marketing opportunities during and after the event. Think of your events in three stages; 1) pre-event 2) event 3) post-event. Each stage presents unique opportunities to promote your dealership and products.

Before the event, focus on getting the word out through all marketing channels: in store, print, online and through social media. Again, integrate those efforts together so you are driving interested event seekers to one place — preferably a customized webpage and/or Facebook page with all of the pertinent event information.

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During the event, get the cameras rolling. Shoot both pictures and video of your customers enjoying the event. Take it a step further by hosting a real-time contest for the best picture uploaded to your Facebook page to get guests engaged live at the event. Nearly everyone has a camera on their smartphone these days — why not have customers uses them to promote your dealership online?

After the event, follow up with a “Thank You” email campaign with embedded links to special offers just for event attendees to reinforce your appreciation for their attendance. Promote images and video from the event that you have posted on Facebook or YouTube to keep the event enthusiasm, comments and buzz alive as long as possible.

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You should also consider a survey to solicit feedback. Ask questions such as: What did you like about the event? What could we have done better? Survey tools like SurveyMonkey.com or Zoomerang.com are perfect for this purpose and simple to use. Both offer free basic programs so the investment here is only your time.

Participate in Revive Your Ride!

You don’t necessarily have to create your own promotion. Participate in national promotions including the Motorcycle Industry Council’s “Revive Your Ride!” promotion.

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Revive Your Ride! is a call to action to consumers to get out and ride — whether that means accessorizing the bike they already own, bringing a machine out of storage, updating gear or getting that overdue service work done. Promoting all of these activities is designed to drive foot traffic into your dealership and it works!

MIC started Revive Your Ride! last year with a national promotional campaign offering $25,000 in cash prizes to consumers who picked up entry cards at their local dealer. Thousands of consumers and hundreds of dealers participated, leading to 15 lucky winners who shared $25,000 in prize money.

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The program is funded entirely by the MIC Aftermarket members. Visit ReviveYourRide.org for more info.

Take Advantage of High Gas Prices
Take advantage of skyrocketing gas prices by reminding customers to take their ride to work and leave their gas-guzzling truck in the garage. Keep in mind that now is the time that many non-motorcycle owners are primed for a switch away from their cars — just take a look at Twitter discussions on the topic!

Finally, online users love gas calculators that allow them to see what they could be saving by riding a motorcycle instead of a car. Here is a tool provided by PSN that can easily be embedded into your web site  http:// www.revvedupwithduo.com/?p=624

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I hope some of these ideas have motivated you to get on the stick and try some new marketing efforts this season. I would love to hear results from dealers who utilize these tips, feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] and let me know how much cashola you are raking in!


Award-winning blogger and CEO of Duo Web Solutions, Heather Blessington is a web technology veteran and a certified PMP with the Project Management Institute (PMI). Her company provides monthly columns focused on best practices in web marketing for powersports dealers.

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