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The end of mass

By Tim Calhoun

Mass — we have been chasing it, advertising to it, selling towards it and building our businesses and brands to address it for decades.

Unfortunately mass is dissipating, quickly being replaced by the sector, the groups, the tribes and the individual. What to do?

Powersports marketing and our approach to our audience has remained relatively unchanged for a very long time, longer than most of the collective of other industries. But the conversation has changed and we will need to change to address this.

You could continue to place copay ads, continue to subscribe to the time-tested means of communicating (though those times are past us) or continue to keep your head in the sand unwilling to change or challenge.

Alternatively, you can assess the specific customer you best reach. What are your strengths, passions or expertise? What do you feel you do better than others? Then find the influencers to create your audience and build your tribe.

Forget mass, look towards these individuals and create a focused and personal approach to communicating with them. Let them know you see them and hear them and understand them on a personal basis. Show a personality and your understanding of their passions. Start a new conversation with them not at them.

One of the greatest things about powersports and our customers is their fierce individualism, but within that lies the collective these individuals want and choose to belong to. Find that, nurture it and build your following.

Everyone and everything is making noise in the market, maybe, just maybe it is time to get to work again and instead of turning up the volume, create the right music that your followers will enjoy.

Tim Calhoun is the president of SpeedMob Inc., a boutique distributor and brand management company that offers personalized service, expert technical advice and solid after sales support for quality brands. As a recognized powersports leader with over 30 years experience in dealership management, sales management, business development, distribution management, brand building and marketing, Tim has worked with or for the three largest distributors in Powersports (WPS, TR, PU) in an outside sales role, as a national sales manager and as a manufacturer/vendor. With experience in the aftermarket, dealer and the OEM sector he has a well rounded perspective on the interactive roles and impact each of these sectors has with one another.

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