Ask Tory: Isn’t it Important to Use Some of My Budget for Some Branding Style of Advertising?

Tory Hornsby | 10/01/2015



For many big corporations branding is the major focus of their advertising. We see branding every day… everyone knows that Coca-Cola is “The Real Thing”. Gillette is “The Best a Man Can Get”. McDonald’s slogan is “I’m Loving It”.  KFC is “Finger Lickin’ Good” and so on.  


From a branding perspective each of these companies has to stand out and they do so by spending millions of dollars… literally millions. Also, their products cater to the vast majority of people. 100% of people drink every day, pretty much all men shave, and everyone is a prospective customer of a restaurant because every person eats.


Speaking of restaurant, I have a mild obsession with a restaurant that’s named Chick-fil-a that started in Georgia.  (Okay, okay... it’s actually more than a mild obsession. I’m addicted.) Chick-fil-a has incredible food, some really good healthy options, and I love the character/values of the corporation. 

Their advertising consists of cows holding up signs that say “Eat Mor Chikin”. It’s catchy – cows certainly don’t want you to eat beef. And why the misspelled words? Cows aren’t very smart I guess. Their advertising stands out and is hard to forget. Check out one of Chick-fil-a’s “Eat Mor Chikin” billboards. 


These billboards are all around the southeast. Chick-fil-a spends BIG money catering to the masses, and it makes sense to some extent because people typically eat more than once per day. For a Powersports dealer, however, the majority of people don’t ride. In fact, only 3% to 6% of Americans are Powersports enthusiasts, so a dealer’s mass media, no matter how creative the ad is, is wasting over 94% of the budget reaching folks who don’t ride and never will. 


And before you say it’s creating new riders… marketing doesn’t do a good job of creating new riders. Especially at the dealer level where there’s not a multi-million dollar budget. You can count the number of people on one hand who started riding because they heard or saw an ad.  The number 1 reason a person starts riding and becomes a Powersports enthusiast is the influence of friends and family. I know it’s why I started riding, and it’s most likely why you started riding.  Ask all of your friends and customers and it’ll also be why they started riding… it’s NEVER advertising.


And again, you don’t have millions of dollars to spend on branding your dealership. You can’t compete with the budgets of the big corporations, and the good news is you don’t need to. You’d only be wasting your money.
I wanna be clear here, branding and top of mind awareness (TOMA) isn’t a bad thing. It just needs to be a happy byproduct of your response generating marketing. So what should you do? Here is what we do for our clients here at Powersports Marketing:


•Target the folks in your market area who ride and buy Powersports products and gear. This includes your past customers, and sourcing a list of conquest prospects who already ride, but have never purchased from your dealership. 


•We take that list of every enthusiast in your market area and go after them with several different media. Direct mail, email, phone calls, web banner, signage, etc.


•Instead of a branding message we utilize a Direct Response message that tells prospects how we want them to respond and incentivizes them to do so, which dramatically increases response rates. 


•We drip out different media over a 10 day period so that we get more saturation. This also improves response rates.


We typically promote events at the dealership because the ‘message’ applies to everyone. Everyone likes to be invited to a party. And from a branding perspective, prospects remember being invited to a party way more than they will a sales message, or a branding message (if they ever even get to see or hear it).


To learn more about our marketing system call me at 1-877-242-4472 ext. 101, or join us at our Boot Camp in Atlanta October 26-28. Visit for more info.

PSM Marketing

825 Highway 74 South
Peachtree City, GA 30269
Tel: (877) 242-4472
Int: (770) 692-1750
Text: (770) 692-1750