I’ve received a few emails, seen a few comments here, and have seen the question posed on other Arctic Cat sites, “How come no Arctic Cat display at XYZ Snowmobile Show I attended this weekend?”
I can understand that disappointment, and have experienced the same feelings at large auto shows like SEMA when a brand I want to see isn’t present. Sitting in my marketing armchair quarterback position, I have a few thoughts on the topic, and personally don’t see a need for panic.
I think it’s important to remember, when you have a marketing budget that needs to be focused, it’s a fine line of choosing to spend those dollars on promoting sales, or promoting the brand. And for the most part, I don’t think Arctic Cat is too out of line with their choices. Right, Wrong or Indifferent, here’s my thoughts:
1. Arctic Cat was pretty clear they were only going to attend a few 2019 fall shows early on, which they promoted on the Arctic Cat website and Events tabs of their social media pages. (Haydays, New Hampshire and Toronto) Chime in if I missed one. Maybe this is a reminder we should follow Arctic Cat’s website and social more closely? I know I should.
2. In relation to #1, it makes sense to me AC would only choose to visit a few fall events given they moved to a Spring Only buy program (Snowmageddon). Should AC spend those marketing dollars purchasing high dollar display space and then building, housing, transporting, setting up and displaying models (2020’s) their consumers technically can’t walk into any dealer to purchase after the show?
3. On the flip side, you could argue AC should be at as many fall shows as possible given they just launched their 2021 models and Snowmageddon. I would completely agree with that argument, but I’m pretty confident one of the major hurdles with displaying 2021 units has to do with timing. It would be very difficult for AC to build all those units and get updated parts from vendors that early.
4. Since we are on the topic of 2021 models, it’s my selfish hope AC puts together some type of demo tour sometime between Snow and April when Snowmaggedon ends. I’m confident demo rides sell snowmobiles. That said, a demo tour is seriously expensive, but maybe AC will have 2021 models you can ride at your dealership? It worked for the RIOT last year. How far would you travel to ride a 2021? Me, probably 2hrs and I’d make it a road trip with family or riding buddies.
5. In relation to #3 and #4, AC is pushing consumers to their dealers now to get information on 2021 models. I think that’s great and I encourage everyone reading this to establish a relationship with a dealer. Go visit them!
6. Conference Center Shows – I like shows, but not as much as I liked them in 1993. A few of these shows still operate like its 1993. I feel like the conference center show model is near death and maybe we can blame the internet and its easy access to new model information, brochures, videos and overnight shipping? We didn’t have that option in 1993. I think if we’re honest with ourselves, most of us don’t attend one of these shows with the intent of buying a snowmobile. Most of us are looking for a bargain score on a clearanced coat, helmet or fleece thong. (Preferably not used).