Dealer of the Year Iron Pony Motorsports of Westerville, Ohio, sends out weekly e-mail blasts to its customer base — an idea shared by many a Top 100 dealer. “It keeps our customers informed of new merchandise that is coming in, as well as the latest closeout items,” the store’s Top 100 application said.
Iron Pony not only offers free T-shirts to customers who buy more than $150 worth of merchandise (which increases the average sale by $15), the store changes the T-shirt design every six weeks, so customers don’t get repeat shirts.
Rexburg Motor Sports of Rexburg, Idaho, employs an in-house design team that takes the store’s marketing campaigns and turns them into video and slides that play throughout the dealership. “Since all uploading of content is handled internally, we can literally take an ad produced Wednesday morning and have it streaming live throughout the dealership within five minutes — before it even hits TV, print or radio,” the Top 100 application said.
Bob Weaver of Bob Weaver Motorsports & Marine of North Tonawanda, N.Y., wrote that his most successful promotion was his Spring Open House — which had people lining up before the store even opened. “We sold 115 units in the three days of our open house, and had thousands of people in the store,” Weaver wrote. How did he do it? The team took Yamaha’s “Get Out and Ride” theme and marketed it to a new level by building a full-size garage filled with Yamaha vehicles and products. The display recently won Yamaha’s display contest.
World of Powersports of Decatur, Ill., spent much of its marketing efforts on an iPod/iPad video game. 2XL ATV Offroad Lite (http://www.tinyurl.com/2vge7pf) offers customers store rewards each time they play. “The result has been registration of over 20,000 users subscribing to our newsletter,” the Top 100 application said. The added subscribers amounted to a 20 percent increase in online retail sales of casual wear, and a 12 percent increase in retail online accessory sales. The game won the Best Promotion award this year.
Next month, Outdoor Motorsports of Spearfish, S.D., will host an event to teach people how to work with the U.S. Forest Service in a cooperative manner, to create and develop more off-road motorized trails.
To gain more interest in its Friday Night Dinner Rides, Powersports of Joplin in Missouri held a contest that awarded riders points for each ride they attended. The winner received a free rear tire and mounting, while second and third placers won gift cards. After each ride, the point results were posted on the store’s Facebook page.
McGrath Powersports of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, offered free bikini bike washes for everyone who attended its Bike-A-Palooza open house.
Texas’ Strokers Dallas says that its most successful promotion has been its reality TV show, “Ma’s Roadhouse.” “Our local customer base was coming more often because of the chance to be on camera, and now that the show has aired, we have tourists coming to see the place they saw on TV,” the Top 100 application said. The show also garnered the Best Media Campaign, Radio/TV award.
The staff of Andy’s Cycle Sales of Bonnyman, Ky., headed out into the community instead of waiting for the community to come to the store. “We decided to provide bottled water at registration for events other than our own,” the Top 100 application said. Staff showed up to community events in full uniform, with signs that said “free water, compliments of Andy’s Cycle Sales.” “We feel the free water leads to the ‘gravity well’ of future sales,” the Top 100 application said.
Beartooth Harley-Davidson of Billings, Mont., found success in its “12 Days of Christmas” marketing campaign, which highlighted a different product each day. “It helped to drive business during the winter months when Harley-Davidson riders in Montana were not riding,” the Top 100 application said.
Big St. Charles Motorsports of St. Charles, Mo., took a different approach: The store’s monthly Calendar Girl Search helped attract throngs of sportbike enthusiasts. “Every month we seek two girls to represent two months toward our 2011 calendar, with one lucky winner becoming the Cover Girl and winning a brand-new Kawasaki Ninja 250,” the Top 100 application said. The event helps attract 2,500 to 3,000 customers consistently every month.
Vandervest Harley- Davidson’s “Supplies for the Little Guys” promotion prompted customers to donate school supplies to Peshtigo, Wash.’s, underprivileged youth. By donating, customers would gain entries to win prizes and gift cards from the dealership.
Myers-Duren Harley- Davidson of Tulsa, Okla., not only offers a Rider’s Edge Program, but also offers Rider’s Edge Reunion Rides to draw previous program participants back to the store.
This story originally appeared in the Dealernews April 2011 issue.