But first, Nour noted, a few lessons must be learned. Consumers, especially those new to the powersports market, don’t want to talk displacement and horsepower; rather, they want to know about the lifestyle. And they can be shy about trying motorcycling given the somewhat clique-y, insular nature of the rider world. (Customers who want a simple accessory installed on their bikes don't want to be belittled at the dealership.)
Most customers don’t know what they’re looking for when they go looking, Nour said. It's incumbent upon the retailer to help them out. Revzilla.com, for example, makes it easy for customers dying to spend money on motorcycle stuff by offering videos, reviews and related product suggestions, he noted.
Retailers must understand that motorcycle riders are consumers. If dealers don’t start understanding the massive changes occurring in consumer behavior, especially with coming generations, the industry is in trouble, he said. Thus the customer needs to be the main focus of every business, with all actions designed to create a lasting relationship with that person. An engaged customer is an educated customer, and informed customers are repeat customers, he noted.
“Every experience matters,” Nour said. He should know.
Industry faces 'fundamental' challenges to growth, says author, enthusiast David Nour
Social networking strategist and business consultant David Nour says the powersports industry faces several fundamental challenges to growth. Here's his list:
Dealers are the path to market, but most lack basic business acumen.
There is no relationship with subsequent owners, which is another big issue given the size of the pre-owned bike business and the sales possibilities to those who buy bikes in the driveway-to-driveway market.
Most motorcycle sales are treated as a commodity sale rather than a lifestyle buy. “You don’t want to be treated like a commodity? Don’t act like a commodity,” Nour said.
The industry’s Us vs. Them mentality, rather than looking out for what’s best for the business as a whole, stifles growth. Collaboration is key.
Most OEMs and aftermarket manufacturers don’t know how to engage and influence the end-consumer.
Most dealers have outdated business and revenue models.
There’s too much of a focus on traditional marketing as opposed to relationship and peer-influenced marketing and other pull-through efforts.