Tucker Takes Bold Step in Digital Marketing

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Distributor Offers Product Videos at http://www.Tuckerrocky.tv

When I talked with Steve Johnson, the boss of Tucker Rocky Dustributing, in January, we discussed the growing importance of digital marketing. I thought his comments certainly were interesting, but not hugely important for the industry or even for the company.

Steve Johnson

I was wrong. When we spoke again Monday I discovered how badly I had missed the mark. The Fort Worth-based distributor has taken steps that could significantly change the way powersports PG&A products are sold to consumers and dealers.

Very simply, Tucker has basically dropped its B2B and consumer print advertising in favor of product videos that are distributed through YouTube and Tucker’s own “TV station,” the website, www.tuckerrocky.tv.

In addition to TR house brands such as FirstGear, Answer, MSR, and ProTaper, the tuckeerrocky.tv site also carries videos featuring products from Arai, K&N, National Cycle, Ogio, PJ1, Scorpion, Bridgestone, and Cobra, among others. The videos are well produced and do an effective job of explaining and demonstrating the features and benefits of each product. Visit the site, and you’ll see what I mean.

The tuckerrocky.tv site is wide open (it’s not not password protected), and the videos can be  viewed by both consumers and dealers. The videos contain interesting sales pitches for each product and seem to be an effective way drive consumers into dealerships to purchase the products (Tucker Rocky does not sell direct to consumers) at the same time they teach dealers about the features and benefits of each product.

You’ll also find Tucker Rocky videos on You Tube going back a year or so. They mostly feature TR rides and events and generally haven’t generated much traffic. But recent ones show product and a recent open house video has several thousand views.

Now, if dealers will use the videos as training tools,  the video approach could very effectively meet two of Johnson’s top goals for this year:

  1. More effectively train TR dealers to sell its products and
  2. More cost-effectively reach consumers and push them into a buying decision.

Johnson isn’t standing still with the video program; there will be some two dozen additional videos produced next month on site in Texas. The videos will demonstrate off-road products in action. Much of the video work is done by Tucker in-house. Johnson has hired a full-time video editor and has built a a modern video studio at the TR headquarters.

The video program doesn’t come cheap. Johnson declined to say how much he’s spending on the project, but it pushed him into deciding between print advertising and digital marketing. (The recent economic slump and squeeze for dollars probably helped forced the decision.) He chose digital because it reaches more people, drives buying decisions and is more trackable. All good reasons, and another example of why print advertising sales across the board are slumping.

Johnson’s digital exploits aren’t limited to video. He’s using email campaigns, of course, and he’s “dipping his toe” into social media. Today, there is one page on Facebook for Tucker Rocky and another dubbed, “Answer, MSR, Pro Taper — Tucker Rocky.”

The second page is a “dirt” page featuring  information about the Answer, MSR & Pro Taper Racer Contingency Program. An introduction to the page notes: “Here you will find tons of pics, program info, helpful bike tips, website links and lots of laughs! So thanks for visiting and ride safe.”

There are many questions about TR’s new marketing approach, of course: Will it increase sales? How will co-op dollars work? Which brands can participate? Will dealers buy into the program? Will the ROI work out against Tucker’s  ROI on print advertising?

We’ll have to wait and see for answers to many of these questions. But for now, Steve Johnson’s grand digital marketing experiment seems to be setting the pace in our industry and certainly bears watching. JD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas
at 952/893-6876 or joe@dealernews.com.

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One Response to “Tucker Takes Bold Step in Digital Marketing”

  1. Digital versus Face-to-Face | Royal Flush Sales Says:

    […] Is Tucker Rocky simply cutting its bottom line, or taking itself into the future ahead of the competition? (Tucker Takes Bold Step in Digital Marketing, Joe Delmont, Dealer News Blog, April 28, 2010) Full article […]

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