Social Media

Payroll increases thanks to passionate customers

Tom Robinson, Contributing Writer
December 26, 2011
Filed under Features

Dealership: Cycle Works Motorsports
Location: Edmonton, Alb.
Catching up on: Capitalizing on a new full-time employee responsible for handling Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis.

Cycle Works Motorsports, in essence, expanded its payroll as part of the dealership’s 30th anniversary celebration in 2011. The Edmonton, Alberta, store and its affiliates used the current customer base to help track down and bring back past customers.

“We had our own internal bounty hunters,” said Jim Roth, president and CEO of Cycle Works Group, which includes four dealerships.

Roth reshaped an idea originated by Arctic Cat and created the bounty hunter program for his dealerships. With the program, current customers received payments from Cycle Works Motorsports when they brought back old customers who resumed doing business with the dealership.

“They would track down their buddies, old riders,” Roth said. “‘Pete’ would go and find ‘Joe’ or ‘Al’ and get them to come back in and we’d give Pete $100. We put a bounty on our old customers.”

Roth said it was worth investing in the current customers to help reconnect with previous customers.

“If a customer truly likes you, he is willing to bring his friends in,” Roth said. “We put them on a mini payroll. ‘Go get them back for us and I’ll pay you.’

“In the end, it worked out well.”

Roth also made an adjustment to his actual payroll.

“We now have a full-time person to handle Facebook and Twitter,” Roth said. “We’ve had a presence on both from the beginning, but we never managed it on a daily basis.”

Dedicating a staff member to Facebook and Twitter is just part of the swing toward using the Internet as the primary source for marketing.

“As far as marketing dollars, there was no adjustment this year,” Roth said. “It was the same budget, but where we put probably less than half of that before, now 60 to 70 percent of it is Internet-based. We’ve gotten away from Yellow Pages and traditional print advertising. We’re trying to do what works best for getting butts in bike seats for demos.”

Cycle Works also tries to take advantage of technological updates that combine the Internet with smart phones, making use of QR (Quick Response) codes.

“We’re using QR for some of our off-site branding,” Roth said. “Customers can scan the code and come in for a T-shirt.”

Roth said Cycle Works has made investments in remaining current beyond just marketing. Projects in 2011 included training for technicians and in areas involving the internal business operation.

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