The subject driving AIMExpo 2019 was how to attract new and younger riders into the industry. From a keynote presentation on Thursday by leaders in the Motorcycle Industry Council to intriguing dealer seminars on topics that can better guide business owners to accomplish their goals of gaining new ridership.
To help dealers find a tangible solution to bring in new riders, Paige Bouma, vice president of recreational brands at Cycle Trader demystified the complexity of the subject in her presentation “Capturing the Millennial Market — It’s All in the Story You Are Telling.”
“The younger generation doesn’t want to be sold to,” Bouma said. “It’s not just about being out there and putting out the units and the basic information. What we’re doing is we are working very hard with our own marketing teams to make the experience relatable.”
CycleTrader.com partnered with the MIC to create a Buyer’s Guide to better help those who may be intimidated by the industry but need some resources to get started. Some topics in the Buyer’s Guide include buyer and lifestyle resources, from financing and insurance to associations, tours and events.
In association with the Buyer’s Guide, potential new riders and current riders can learn about a variety of motorcycle-related topics at the CycleTrader.com Blog. Bouma said that there is value in finding customers at consumer shows, but you need to reach those new customers who aren’t already involved in the industry yet. To do this, dealers need to reach those customers where they are, including online.
“There is value in giving resources to a customer,” Bouma said. “I know that it’s hard for people to get started and they don’t know where to turn. So, we’re all about creating value for them and giving them good resources to turn to.”
Bouma reiterated the importance of gaining those Millennial and Gen Z riders into the motorcycling community through outlets that they are present on.
“Dealers are welcome to share the content on CycleTrader.com’s blog to their Facebook pages and websites to tell a story with these new riders,” Bouma said. “If we’re not bringing in the new riders and specifically the millennials, our industry is going to struggle.”
Some recent blogs on CycleTrader.com’s website include “Bad Motorcycle Habits You Need to Break,” “Motorcycle Museums Worth Making a Pit Stop For,” “The Most Famous Motorcycle Rides in the World” and “Top Apps for Riders.”
“It is very important for a dealer to get in front of a customer,” Bouma said. “On the social side, really work with the employees in your dealership to leverage relatable content to bring people to your dealership. Most of your employees are probably riders, so you could create a list of top ‘five places we like to ride around our dealership’ and share that to social media. When you’ve got somebody new coming in that’s not really sure what they’re looking for, inviting them into the local motorcycling community gives them insight.”
In a recent CycleTrader.com survey, 60% of surveyors said that they plan on buying a powersports vehicle that they can afford now and anticipates customizing it later.
“We know there are people ready and interested in buying, so we need to be able to conform and make sure we’re giving them the right unit recommendations and understand what are their financial responsibilities,” Bouma said. “I gave dealers a strategy. We called it our ACE strategy, which we consider to be your ‘ace in the hole’ for bringing millennials.”
ACE stands for authentic, community and experience.
- Authentic: Providing value that tells a story to the customer by both advertising the unit while relating to them on a personal level, especially in a visual way.
- Community: Ask members of the community to be an influencer; to talk about their experience at your dealership or on their motorcycles, talk about how they got started riding and ask them to share that content socially and to tag your dealership.
- Experience: Engaging within the customer to bring them into your dealership, whether it may be bringing a food truck to your dealership, hosting a session on how to change oil or changing the grips on handlebars and hosting an information session for parents about safety for their children who want to ride. Relating to the customer to actionably take steps to be more involved with the industry.
For more information about how you can attract new riders to your dealership, visit CycleTrader.com.