The most effective integrated media/marketing campaign for Frieze Harley-Davidson would be the re-aligning of advertising funds for our Open Houses.
This year for our 17th Annual Cancer Benefit Ride & Open House in May, we created a way to track how our customers heard about our event. Overwhelmingly, we found that direct mail was one of the top-runners, with radio advertisement falling behind. In the past, we have portioned a larger amount of our budget to radio advertising than to our direct mailers.
That being said, in order to prepare for our New Model Year Open House coming up in September, we decided cut our radio funds by 50 percent. With the growing popularity of the use of iPods and satellite radio in cars, we decided that this was a smart area to cut from. This allowed us to purchase our RL POLK list. In order to reach larger groups of people with direct mail, this purchase was crucial. RL POLK gave us access to advertise specifically to the motorcycle demographic in our area -- therefore, allowing us to go beyond our customer basis and into new territory.
The September Model Year Open House proved our calculations to be spot-on. Again, we tracked how our customers heard about our event. Direct mail came to be on top, along with our Facebook page, website and e-blasts and then radio. With social media continuing to grow, it allows us to utilize it to its fullest. We remain very active on our Facebook page, posting every day, and we monitor our website weekly so that we always have events up to date. E-blasts are sent out daily to those who are part of our emailing list, which can be accessed on our website. We can have constant advertising, but at little to no cost. Cutting our radio funds to focus more on direct mail proved to be 100 percent successful. We were able allocate $1,500 for direct mail alone. People will always be checking their mail, so what better way to advertise than to mail directly to them? With the re-aligning of our advertising budget for our New Model Year Open House, we were able to reduce our advertising fund by 17 percent from last year. Also, since we cut back on advertising funds in radio, it gave us room to hand out coupons and still profit.
Over the span of this two-day Open House, every customer who made a purchase, whether it was in MotorClothes, Parts or Accessories, was given a bounce-back coupon good for 20 percent off one non-sale item. This coupon could be used the following weekend, Saturday and Sunday only. The use of the bounce-back coupon was huge! The following weekend we saw a 20 percent growth in all participating departments. The bounce back coupon proved to be successful; we benefited our customers and came out on top. Overall, we saw a 13 percent growth over our 2011 Model Year Open House, which proves our strategy to be successful. Most importantly, it benefited the dealership.