Now that suppliers are pushing truck and powersports audio, how does a retailer attract new customers for these new market niches?
More than ever, car audio is splitting into smaller sub-markets, with different, and older demographics for products such as vehicle safety, not to mention truck customers, UTV customers and backup camera customers.
There are at least two low-cost means of drawing in these new customers. The first, on a grass roots level, is to go where the customers are including home and garden shows, boat shows, and concert stadiums.
The second half of the growth equation is social media, with some of the more successful shops spending $2,000 a month on social media and getting excellent results.
To attract truck customers, you might try showing up at country western concerts with a demo car and tailgating in the parking lot. “If I was a retailer, I would go to the concert venues in my market and take a show car and park in the lot like a tailgating approach and pass out fliers. If you think your demographic is country western or youth, use a concert. Pass out business cards and fliers,” said Glenn Ihrke Senior Sales Manager, Mobile Aftermarket, Harman.
To reach an older demographic for safety products and high end car audio, Kicker’s Joe Gross suggests displaying at Home and Garden Shows. People there are looking at $25,000 outdoor kitchens and have money to burn. He also suggests RV shows.
For powersports customers, MTX has two suggestions: UTV races and partnering with the local UTV shop. MTX’s Joe Trentacoste said, “There’s a lot of races, especially in the South and West.” He also suggests going to the local powersports shop and introducing yourself. “A lot of guys are partnering with the local UTV shop that doesn’t want to mess around with 12 volt. They just want to bolt on lights.”
For social media, Facebook advertising for any demographic can be cheap, effective and measurable. If you have a store web site, you can just hit the “Promote Page” button and choose several options for reaching customers at varying costs. Here’s an example. Columbus Car Audio in Ohio ran a Facebook ad to attract marine customers. It spent $300 advertising Wet Sounds on Facebook and received almost 700 hits.
Columbus Car Audio also wanted to step up its customer base in soccer moms. This month it created a Facebook post/ad and boosted it with a $350 ad spend. It received almost 40,000 impressions, that resulted in 728 clicks as well as 47 new Facebook fans and 17 direct leads on sales.
Here’s another example of pushing social media. Cartronix of Valparaiso, IN started spending $2,000 per month on social media and about tripled its business and is now moving to a larger location with triple the floor space. Eric Carter of Cartronix will give a presentation on social media at Spring KnowledgeFest this month.
He said, “If you continue to wait for the door to open by itself, you will end up locking the door [for good]. You’ve got to participate in the car shows.” He added that a lot of dealers “don’t like the 16-year old customers. They usually only have $500 or $600 to spend, but we treat them with respect and then when they have their first job, they come back to us in 4 or 5 years.”