Jeff Bowman, Chief Experience Officer, Titan Machinery (a Farm Equipment Dealership of the Year Alum) kicked off the 2018 Dealership Minds Summit in Iowa City as the keynote speaker. Even though Titan Machinery has 100 stores crossing the U.S. and Eastern Europe, it operates lean — with just 5 full-time marketing staff. In fact, Bowman says staff might argue that that number is less, considering he is “mostly overhead.” (He also serves on the executive team of the publicly-held firm).
Before jumping in with the bulk of his address, which detailed 7 keys for farm equipment dealers in reconsidering their marketing, he set the table for what he calls “Buccaneer Marketing.” This term wouldn’t be unfamiliar most to dealer groups where lots of individuals are interested and enjoy marketing and jumping to quickly put together marketing offers for local customers.
“We get a lot of local participation from our stores, which is a good thing,” he says. “But also has its challenges.”
He shared an example of “Buccaneer Marketing,” an extreme-case example, was an “Uptime Service Inspection” gift certificate, see BELOW. "Our local teams have been getting better all the time, so I pulled one out of the archives to review. From a quick scan. you’ll see that it isn’t branded properly. Plus, there some content issues with it, words and letters that disappeared. And the offer can be much more targeted than $50, such as a discount against transportation or a wash, or even something branded to keep us top of mind.
“These are stores that are trying to jump in. They understand the value of marketing and they’re trying to connect with their local audiences. The challenge is how much further we need to go as professional marketers than just taking this kind of thing and digitizing it, making sure the brand is right, the content is right, the offer is right, then pushing out to a landing page or an email, etc.”
- The stores have a great understanding of their local customers and community, so their participation is important to get the communication right.
- Making sure that the brand visuals and messaging is consistent helps reinforce that local message and build trust.
- Building an integrated campaign with a combination of traditional and online media helps ensure that we’re generating awareness and demand wherever the customer is. And when they see the same message and branding across multiple media, it builds even more trust.
Up Next ... Titan Machinery’s Jeff Bowman Shares 7 Keys to Intelligent Marketing
For More on this topic, see “[Video] Moving Your Marketing Department from Traditional Marketing to Intelligent Marketing”
About Jeff Bowman, Chief Experience Officer, Titan Machinery, Fargo, N.D.: With 20 years of experience as a leader in driving business technology, Jeff Bowman brings inside knowledge of how intelligence driven marketing can change the game for farm equipment dealerships. Bowman spent 7 years at Caterpillar as the director of Customer E-Business and Global eBusiness Manager, focused on defining and executing the company’s strategy to transform the digital customer experience. In just 3 years, he helped Cat double its digital impact to 25% of company revenues, including 5 TIMES growth in sales through online leads.
Now serving on Titan Machinery’s executive team, Bowman leads the marketing efforts for the $1.2 billion operation that has 89 stores in the U.S. and 20 stores in Europe.