Case Study - Arkport Cycles: Increased Results

Eric Pedretti | 10/25/2016



Arkport Cycles is one of the largest dealers in New York State for Harley, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kymco & Arctic Cat. Located in Hornell, NY, they’ve been a family-owned business since 1972 and are still going strong. 



One of the biggest challenges dealers are faced with is marketing. Most dealers lack a plan so they end up making reactive advertising decisions and randomly buy radio, tv and newspaper because they know they should be advertising. They react. If they have poor weather and traffic slows, they buy a big radio campaign hoping to drive traffic. If they have a couple busy weeks, they hold off on marketing hoping well-timed weather keeps the door swinging. If the economy takes a step backwards, they stop spending to conserve cash. These ‘Market Driven’ dealers wind up leaving themselves completely vulnerable to the whims of elections, the weather, market and economy.


‘Marketing Driven’ dealers have more control over their business because they have a pro-active, integrated, direct-marketing plan designed to touch their buying base 52-104 times per year that is quantifiable. So, barring a natural disaster, ‘Marketing Driven’ dealers experience predictable growth. 


Arkport Cycles made the conscious decision to put more control in their hands this year. We started by identifying their ‘Buying Base’ made up of two groups of customers: 1) Past Customers who’ve spent money with their store in the past four years in Sales, Service & Parts. The Sharp Shooter Program helps dealers grow by increasing the number of ‘Active Customers’, those who spend money with your dealership every 12 months. Most dealers have only a fraction of their database actively spending money with them, representing a huge opportunity for growth. Arkport Cycles had 5,100 past customers within 30 miles of the dealership who’ve spent money with them in the past four years. 


Next, we found their 2) Conquest Customers, folks who live in their backyard and ride what they sell but haven’t bought from them. Arkport has 3,242 of these competitor’s customers and other orphan owners living within that same 30 miles of their dealership. These two groups of customers are called a ‘Dealership’s Buying Base’ because this is where the majority of their sales are going to come from.


Once we identified their ‘Buying Base’, we put together a multi-touch, direct-marketing plan designed to touch them 52-104 times per year. This essentially puts a fence around their herd and guarantees they’re staying in front of every real opportunity they have to sell a unit, parts or service in their backyard.


Once we’ve identified the ‘Right Audience’ and the ‘Right Media’, we turn our attention to the ‘Right Message.’ The Sharp Shooter message focuses on the party which increases frequency of visits to our clients’ dealerships. Simply put, the more frequently customers walk through your doors, the more often they will purchase from your individual departments resulting in increased ‘Average Annual Customer Value.’ 


When you increase 1) The Number of Active Customers and 2) Their Annual Average Customer Value, your business grows predictably.



Arkport just finished their second event using the Sharp Shooter Program. Their first event was, “…extremely successful with a ton of traffic!” After her second event, Jenny said, “I had an idea of what the traffic was going to be after our first event, but it far exceeded my expectations.” 


The store was so busy, Jenny ended up calling some of her best customers to help out with demo rides and working the event. Customers drove from as far away as two hours to attend. They ended up taking 40 trade-ins on Saturday, but were unable to finish all the deals because they didn’t have the specific model or color in-stock. The regional H-D rep showed up for the event and was blown away by the traffic and the overall success of the event.



What’s next? We are officially into the 4th quarter and that means ‘Hallo-Thanks-Mas’. Between Halloween and Christmas Day, the average American consumer will spend 70% of their entire, annual discretionary budget. How much of that budget are you going to capture? Don’t make the mistake of pulling your advertising dollars back this year and leaving it to hope. Let us help you have a record 4th quarter. When you become a ‘Marketing Driven’ dealer, you can move the needle all year long. Check out the inserts for a sample of a proven winner. 


For more information on how the Sharp Shooter Program can help put more control over the growth of your dealership in your hands, give me a ring on my direct line at 877-242-4472 ext: 112 or visit us at Happy selling.