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Conversations vs. Advertisements

Earlier this month Fast Lane Research began to collect performance data from companies within the specialty-equipment industry to establish a baseline report. By aggregating the data from multiple companies we can create a current snapshot for industry behavior as well as establish a foundation for future comparisons. Contributing companies answered an anonymous short series of questions ranging from sales estimates to opinions of upcoming trends. The complete results will be compiled into an upcoming Industry Benchmark Report, but in the meantime we wanted to share a preview of the submissions.
Two of the topics covered in the benchmark focus on interactions between companies within the industry and their end consumers, both measuring the levels of involvement at popular online venues. Together the questions aim to illustrate the relationship between conversations between both groups and the targeting of marketing across different platforms.  We asked "Where do you engage with consumers online?" and "Where do you advertise?" Both questions allowed for multiple selections so the answers will exceed 100%. 

Every company within the study interacts with consumers through their own website and there is little evidence to assume that the same circumstance should be different for the rest of the industry. Some exceptions may exist, but the reality is that consumers expect companies to have an online presence with a dedicated website as a minimum.

Consumers are also expecting more than a basic website with simple information; they want to see companies developing tutorials, media content and product and company insight. They also encourage companies to become involved in other avenues of their hobby. Automotive forums, websites and content-specific blogs welcome a minimal and less-invasive approach while social networks allow consumers to establish a line of sight with companies on their own terms.

The most common online venues used to issue and address conversations with enthusiasts include automotive forums (43%), Facebook (39%) and automotive websites and blogs (31%). On the other end of the spectrum 16% of companies claimed not having any interaction online outside of their company website.

Conversely, 44% of companies currently issue no online advertising. Some of these stated that rely on traditional print media while others focus on events and television advertising.


Source: Fast Lane Research