What would you say - beyond sales and attaining them, is the single biggest challenge to the motorcycle industry in Canada today?

From where I sit every day, I hear a lot of hard luck stories.

I hear all about businesses that can't attract business but then the only advertising or marketing the do is hanging out a shingle.

Either that or they throw some money at an ad and wonder why they don't get any results or they advertise at the wrong time of year - painters and airbrushers  should be advertising in the early fall ( here in Canada anyway) as people are contemplating putting their rides to bed for the winter - riding season - most people are riding and not thinking of much else.

I see business people who do not get out there and use every available means and avenue to get their name and message out there. They don't get involved or active. They don't explain the products they offer, they don't become an authority on anything.

They don't engage their customer, they don't build any relationships - instead they give up. They loose heart and quit working for what they want - they let the business push them around. They focus on too narrow a consumer base - their own back yard and forget about the rest of us riders who like to travel around.

I see businesses who have horrible staff that are ineffective and only there for a pay cheque - these people are always waiting for something better to come along.
I won't get in to the problems I see with so many employees out there - that will be for another day!

I see ineffective marketing/lobbying groups that don't truly add any value or fabulous tools that are hidden away and underutilized as no one knows about them...

I'll give you a couple examples of what I mean.

Motorcycle Work dot Com  - how may of you have ever heard of it? They charge employers $39.95 a month to post a job - but not many job seekers know the job board is there to look's a great web site, great concept but there is ZERO marketing done towards the job seeker - it appears that taking the dealer/businesses money is really all that that is about! Even at that there are only ever about a dozen jobs listed.

Or how about the MMIC Job Board - Motorcycle Jobs dot Ca

Yah - I thought not. Again - great tool but who knows about it?

The MMIC - Motorcycle Moped Industry Council - this is supposed to be the voice of the Motorcycle Industry in Canada. Their marketing is often non existent, their fees to be part of the association are outrageous compared to the benefits they offer and if it wasn't for the fabulous job of the guys and gals from the Canadian National Sportsman's Shows who put on the MMIC Shows - well there would be even less marketing.

How many of you here know what the MMIC is Or what the MCC is...
Heck - half the time I can't even find the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada Site - which is the motorcyclists/rider side of the MMIC  - and it's a new site, a big improvement from the old one, but again - how many of you really even know what they do?

I have been reading with much interest about what the MIC in the US is doing and I guess since we are so small of a country population wise that no one here thinks the American ideas warrant looking at but I do.

This was taken from Clutch and Chrome today - to read it all:

Motorcycle sales have suffered with the challenging economy, hitting manufacturers and dealerships alike.

An industry group is riding up to help two-wheeled sales with a campaign designed to help raise consumer awareness about special dealership sales, incentives and activities across the nation.

Launched by the Motorcycle Industry Council Board of Directors, Revive Your Ride! the first industry-wide promotional campaign aimed at helping dealership's with its advertising and marketing.
Dealerships can download logos, advertising templates and other promotional items, all for free.
I wished that I had a bigger team cause I would sure love to shake things up even more than we already do...

Connecting riders and business with information - we could do so much better if we had a team...

Hope you have a fabulous day.
Ride safe if you are fortunate enough to live where you can be riding today.

Belt Drive Betty
National VP A.I.M.Can

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  1. Couldn't agree more. Far too many businesses subscribe to the build-it-and-they-will-come theory. It just doesn't work that way.

    But targetted, timely marketing is only one part of the problem. The other is customer retention.

    To give you one example: My local H-D dealer has my name, phone number, e-mail, etc. because I have used them for service and to buy the odd accessory for my bike. They also offer a 10% discount card to anyone who has purchased a new motorcycle from them. If they were to just automatically ship a personalised discount card about October to everyone on their customer list they would get Christmas sales and repeat customer visits over the winter when folks are looking for an excuse to visit a bike shop and buy some doo-dad for their machine. The incremental business would far outweigh the lost revenue from offering the discount.

    I'm constantly amazed that businesses do such a poor job of reaching out.

  2. Handsome Dave10:29 AM

    Market saturation. Franchisors will only allow another franchise if the trading area warrants it.That doesn't stop independent aftermarket shops from starting up...or any other kind of motorcycle-related industry. You would think with too many bike shops around, customer satisfaction would be number one. The two places I deal with are excellent, if you know who to talk with. All employees are not created equal.