The past two weeks have been very busy. I attended two events that relate to the two main focuses of Powersports Marketing (digital and print) and was able to see what other companies are doing, and where things seem to be headed.
The first was more of a mastermind group related to the printing industry. Rod and I attended, and it was the first time either of us had been to this particular event.
We had the opportunity to visit two of the largest and oldest print houses in the southeast during one of the outings. One has been in business for over 125 years, and the other close to 90.
They have huge facilities, and are in the third and fourth generation of family owners.
What wasn’t impressive was that overall, it appears that much of the industry is using technology and thinking that is 50-60 years old, and doing things “the way we always have.”
As you should know, that kind of thinking is deadly in business – and it was really highlighted for me in the visits we made. Both companies had better than 150,000 square foot facilities, but much of that space was filled with empty work spaces and old workstations that were no longer being used. It was a gross waste of space.
The problem, as I see it, is that they have failed to adapt to new technologies (like variable digital printing), and now they simply deal in commodities that are about as exciting as trying to sell post-it notes or #2 pencils.
What was pretty surprising to me was that both companies actually had digital variable printers – which are the latest and greatest in technology, allowing for ridiculously fast turn times, and a “sky is the limit” ability when it comes to custom tailoring a specific mail piece to an individual for maximum response. The problem is that they, and the other folks attending the event, have very little in the creativity bucket, and their sales team have nothing in the tank when it comes to understanding the technology or even basic sales ability.
It was tragic, but that’s what happens when you get in a rut. There’s a saying that a rut is just a grave with the ends kicked out. After that event, I get it.
After having our souls sucked out at the first event, I attended a very different event here in Atlanta – the Digital Summit.
Chad (our Senior Digital Marketing Specialist) and I attended this one, and it reignited my hope for humanity. This event was attended by marketing agencies (large and small), and hosted by some real thought leaders in marketing best practices and “next big things.”
We spent two days getting the latest info on everything from creating ideal digital experiences for clients, to website and user experience best practices, data management, digital variable print, email, the future of Google and SEO… you name it, we got it.
It was an amazing time, the excitement and optimism were palpable, and it was impossible to leave without a boatload of great info and takeaways that we’ll be implementing as quickly as we can.
So why am I telling you about all of this? A couple of reasons.
One is to be transparent with you. It’s important to us that dealers understand that our Company Core Value #5 “Dedication to continual improvement in business and life” isn’t just a phrase hanging on our walls here. We live it. It would be easy to just come to the office every day and “do what we’ve always done,” but then we’d be like the folks at the first event we attended. That future isn’t so bright.
The second reason I’m sharing is because when you are choosing a company to partner with to market your dealership, you want a partner that is committed to providing cutting edge services that keep you ahead of your competition. That takes work. That takes study. That takes coming to work every morning with the “productive paranoia” that pushes you to do things just a little better today. Is it a shameless plug? Yeah, but we’re that kind of partner.
The last reason is that I want to push YOU a little bit. I’d like to encourage you to adopt our Company Core Value #5 for yourself. It’s something that will make an enormous difference in the quality of your dealership and your life. We spend more time than most companies in training and education, and the payoff has been better than I could have imagined. I’d like to encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and make a commitment to attend our Fall Marketing Boot Camp. I promise it will be worth your time, and it’s a great way to make a significant impact on your dealership’s profitability.
See you at our Boot Camp,