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Rollick Shares Marketing Trends on RV Industry

Rollick has released the results of a recent survey of powersports, RV, and boat dealers about their current and future digital marketing strategies. The survey asked recreation dealers for feedback regarding their vendors, spend, and future plans.

“The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of how recreation dealers plan for and spend their digital marketing budgets” said Rollick President Amit Maheshwari. “We also wanted to understand how national to local marketing strategies played out in a multi-OEM dealer structure while noting differences between the powersports, RV and boat verticals.”

Some of the key survey findings include:

Websites Vendor Share and Features

A majority of powersports dealers use Dealer Spike (41 percent), with ARI (27 percent) and DX1 (11 percent) taking the second and third place spots in the vertical. RV and boat dealers are fragmented when it comes to website vendor selection with no single vendor commanding more than 15 percent market share. Dealer Spike, with an overall market share of 39 percent, is the single largest website provider for U.S. recreation dealers, according to the survey.

Dealers in all three industry verticals are generally satisfied with the offerings of their web vendors. A majority of dealers agreed that the most important website function was accurate inventory display followed by online pricing and easy lead response tools.

Marketing Spend and Goals

A majority of recreation dealers spend less than $18,000 a year on their website and related technologies, with approximately 30 percent of dealers spending less than $6,000 a year. In addition, most dealers spend over $500 a month on digital advertising and lead generation activities, with more than 33 percent of dealers spending more than $1,500 a month.

Although a majority of powersports and boat dealers plan to spend more on digital marketing in 2019, RV dealers plan to spend about the same as they did in 2018.

OEM Co-Op Support

Most powersports dealers receive some form of OEM co-op funding, with almost half of them receiving more than 25 percent of their total digital marketing spend from OEM sources. This is not the case for RV and boat dealers – more than 80 percent receive little or no OEM digital marketing co-op support. Even though most powersports dealers receive OEM marketing support, 65 percent had an unfavorable response to the concept of an OEM-controlled primary website.

Customer Acquisition and Lead Management

Dealers generally agree that finding new customers is the most important goal for their business in 2019, with an emphasis on quality leads over quantity, according to the survey.

In addition, RV and powersport dealers report that 70 percent of their prospects are looking to buy within three months or less while boat dealers report that over 75 percent of their leads are looking to buy in three months or more.

On a related note, dealers ranked the ability to respond to digital leads within an hour as a “top three” capability required to convert sales. Yet, Rollick data shows that most dealers take an average of eight hours to respond to leads, with up to a third of all online leads left with no response.

“With digital customer acquisition becoming even more competitive in 2019, there’s significant opportunity for OEMs and dealers to better align their digital marketing and customer contact strategies while creating a more seamless buying experience,” said Maheshwari.

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