ASK TORY: What’s So Bad About Focusing Our Marketing On Creating New Riders?

Tory Hornsby | 03/14/2016


To put it bluntly, the biggest challenge with focusing your marketing on creating new riders is that you’ll get little to no response, and therefore little to no R.O.I.  Ultimately, you’ll simply be wasting your money instead of investing it. There is a way to create new riders, but it’s not directly through marketing, believe it or not. To prove a point, let me share a related story.


Growing up, some of my favorite things to do were play baseball, football, and ride motorcycles. My passion, though, was riding, and every minute I could, I rode.  I had pictures of motorcycles, Rick Johnson and Jeff Ward covering the walls in my room.  My first street bike came when I was 16 (an older Ninja 500), and I started working in a Powersports dealership at 17.  I still remember the first motorcycle I purchased from a dealership - a CBR 600F3.


Anything motorcycle related, including marketing, I paid attention to. 



On the other hand, Golf wasn’t something that I ever thought about. The first word that would have come to mind when I thought of golf is BORING, and I would have rather gone to the dentist than watch golf on TV. I did love Adam Sandler’s golf movie, ‘Happy Gilmore’, but I never visited any golf courses, or paid attention to any of the players. 


As I grew older, I knew who some of the famous players were, but that’s about it. While I could have afforded it, I wasn’t a golfer. You could have marketed to me with the best marketing methods, a million different times with incredible incentives. I wouldn’t have responded, and you would have been wasting your money.

About 7 or 8 years ago, however, a friend invited me to play golf. I explained I didn’t have golf clubs or shoes, thanked him for the offer, but declined. He called me back a day later and said, “I’ve got an extra set of clubs for you, and you can wear tennis shoes at the course we’re going to… and, oh yeah, I’ve already paid for you.” Then he said, “You should come if for no other reason than just to hang out with the guys, even if you don’t hit any balls.” 


I accepted, and ended up having a blast. I even hit a few good shots, which enticed me to go back the next time my buddies played.


Now, I’m a golfer… I love it. 


Over the last few years I’ve thought about the process of going from an almost anti-golf person, to now being an enthusiast. Yes, golf is an enthusiast based industry just like Powersports. But, before my friend invited me there’s no amount of advertising that would have made a difference in me playing. Now, I not only pay attention to golf marketing, I often respond.  


Did you know that the number one reason someone starts playing golf is the influence of friends and family? Makes total sense, doesn’t it?  And, if you play golf, it was a friend or family member that got you interested. 

Did you know that the number one reason someone starts riding motorcycles is the influence of friends and family?  Makes total sense, doesn’t it?  And, if you ride, it was a friend or family member that got you interested.


Again, focusing your marketing on creating new riders is a waste of time, money and resources.  The right way to create new riders is to host events at your dealership and entice your herd of customers to invite their friends and family members. There’s no silver bullet and it may not be the first or second visit to the dealership that leads to a purchase, but you and I both know that it’s hard to be around this amazing industry and not get bit by the motorcycle bug.


That’s is why our Sharp Shooter program is so popular and effective. We utilize several media methods to invite the Powersports enthusiasts who live in your market area to join you for a party (the ones who already ride because they’re the ones who respond to good marketing), and we tell them to invite/bring their friends and family.  


For more information, visit or call 1-877-242-4472 and ask for me. - Tory