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Grand Rock Exhaust Home of POWERFLOW exhaust systems and Complete Stack Kits!

View Poll Results: Preferred Advertising
Magazine Ad's 4 11.11%
Social Media Outlets 9 25.00%
Diesel Forum Advertising 19 52.78%
Sponsoring National Diesel Events 8 22.22%
Sponsoring Diesel Motorsports Organizations 2 5.56%
Sponsoring Competition Teams 12 33.33%
TV / Radio Spots 0 0%
Sponsoring Local Events 6 16.67%
Holding A Diesel Event 9 25.00%
Word Of Mouth 16 44.44%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-22-2014, 07:24 AM   #1
crzycowboy
 
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Advertising

So, it's that time of year when the "Top Brass" here discuss on what they think works for advertising. I try to explain to them what works in this industry/motorsport to not much success. So I figure this year I'll start a poll with members here and feel out where and what type of advertising you all see that cause you to look up products offered by those manufacturers. Feel free to comment here on personal thoughts (no bashing any site sponsors please) on what you feel is a good working way to spread the word about products you are most interested in.

Please vote for the methods that catch your eyes the most.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:27 AM   #2
Ktown6.0
 
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There is a big push towards instagram. I follow a number of auto related businesses over there. They share, nearly daily, different projects, or customer rides. And, even installs of 'brand-x' product. Users can send direct messages of their vehicle with a company's product so that the company can directly share the photo with their followers. A description can be made, and there isn't (currently) any sort of limitation or need to purchase 'coverage' like facebook.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:30 AM   #3
crzycowboy
 
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Yeah IG is getting more popular for sure. We do have a Facebook page, and they have yet to use the advertising feature of it. We also have a company You Tube account, and only a few warranty video's are on there. There is scuttlebutt here in the office that they want to get on twitter pretty soon.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:32 AM   #4
zfaylor
 
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Holding a diesel event is probably the most effective in my mind. If a company has the means to hold an event then they are quite substantial in the eyes of the customer plus there is at least one entire day where the company name is pounded into peoples minds. That being said it is probably the most expensive and most time consuming.
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Old 12-22-2014, 10:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by zfaylor View Post
Holding a diesel event is probably the most effective in my mind. If a company has the means to hold an event then they are quite substantial in the eyes of the customer plus there is at least one entire day where the company name is pounded into peoples minds. That being said it is probably the most expensive and most time consuming.
I think the only way this really works out the best, is if it's a HUGE success. Generally takes 2 to 3 years if not longer to actually be ahead of the game investment wise. It takes a serious commitment for it to be successful. It is however, a great way to advertise if you can pull off an event that can have the impact that makes attendees want to come back the following year.
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:11 PM   #6
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Only way I learn of products is via forums, or specific searches. I do not and will not seek information from any social media site like FB, IG, Twitter, etc. Toss me in the 40 year old demographic. On a very rare occasion will I click on the advertising banner. Can't think of a single instance of that turning into a sale though.
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:32 PM   #7
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a lot of the companies I have done business with I have gotten contact info either off forum or word of mouth,
events are nice and do produces sales... it cant be a 1 and done setup either...
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shainer View Post
Only way I learn of products is via forums, or specific searches. I do not and will not seek information from any social media site like FB, IG, Twitter, etc. Toss me in the 40 year old demographic. On a very rare occasion will I click on the advertising banner. Can't think of a single instance of that turning into a sale though.
Interesting. Do you find yourself going to performance shops looking for specific parts? Do you research manufacturers web sites as well?

Reason I ask these questions is I've mentioned before the need to update the website to be more user friendly to find the products. I've also mentioned putting a display together that dealers could buy for their show rooms to showcase our products better. Do you like when manufacturers post product release on the forums?
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:06 PM   #9
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Have you defined your target market yet? I think the advertising angle is going to change for each demographic you're trying to target.

How you're going to sell a product to the majority of folks here is going to be different than to the young 'oraler' crowd.

It seems here, raw data is king. Product releases, testing, real world results are going to go a long way here.

You want to target the 16-25 year olds that don't care about anything other than looks and smoke....social media and shiny ads in the latest diesel publication would probably be your best bet.

And having a clean, informative website that ranks the top of google is your best investment in my opinion. Everyone looks to websites these days and I think most will judge a company based on the looks and navigation of the website. I know I do.
 
Old 12-22-2014, 02:27 PM   #10
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I have never intentionally clicked on a banner on a forum.

I've purchased based on feedback read on a forum and likewise, have chosen NOT to purchase something based on feedback left on a forum or seeing how a company reacts to a given situation that's aired out on forums.

I'm a 30-something and do not have a facebook account - I know that's not the norm though - but understand it to be a big avenue.

Social networking is huge these days. I mean for goodness sakes theres a college degree for it now!


I do use instagram and enjoy seeing new products and such from some companies, but I get tired of seeing the smoke belching & burnout pics from flat-bill douche-nozzles all the time so I don't follow too many diesel performance places on there.

I'd assume magazine advertising is probably up there in terms of audience size AND return on the dollar spent? I can't see television/radio reaching as many folks currently? Only group that gets good coverage is PPL so I'd imagine you'd have to be big-time sponsor of their's the gather in some of that air time in an effective way?

I hate to even say it because I like the guys you all sponsor, but has it proven to produce any sales by sponsoring a competition vehicle? I know I have personally never bought anything based on seeing a competition vehicle wearing a logo. The exception might be turbo, injection shop & whole-truck-build business/companies? I can see where a winning truck rocking an Engineered Diesel or Scheid or Haisley or Harts sticker might make some others pick up the phone to try and get whatever XYZ part that truck has that they want. I can't say an exhaust system would be one of those things though?

I LOVE me some youtube! QUALITY videos giving good breakdown and review of your products is great in my mind. If you claim to fit better - make a video showing your system being installed along side a competing companies product and show right then that yours goes in easier and fits better. OR your hardware lasts longer - show yours versus the competition before and after an elements torture test or real weather simulator machine. An exhaust company should have TONS of HIGH QUALITY sound videos portraying whatever sound it is you're claiming - no drone, quiet in cab, yada yada yada. There should be sound clips for idle, cruising & heavy acceleration for pretty much every combo you produce and for every platform. For the diesels; yes, there'd be dozens of videos. Maybe over 100? But I really think they'd be worth your while.

I didn't vote on any in the poll yet, but those are my opinions/thoughts. Hope its somewhat helpful for your goal/angle with your bosses/acct department.
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:35 PM   #11
06 DIESEL
 
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Website is a huge one for me. Sponsoring forums and events/vehicles are the other two. No point in putting on a huge event when there are so many great one's to help sponsor or be a title sponsor until you have a few under your belt. Would have to sponsor your own event and have it be a flop, not good for the advertising you were trying to get.
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:45 PM   #12
crzycowboy
 
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Originally Posted by aka_chewy View Post
Have you defined your target market yet? I think the advertising angle is going to change for each demographic you're trying to target.

How you're going to sell a product to the majority of folks here is going to be different than to the young 'oraler' crowd.

It seems here, raw data is king. Product releases, testing, real world results are going to go a long way here.

You want to target the 16-25 year olds that don't care about anything other than looks and smoke....social media and shiny ads in the latest diesel publication would probably be your best bet.

And having a clean, informative website that ranks the top of google is your best investment in my opinion. Everyone looks to websites these days and I think most will judge a company based on the looks and navigation of the website. I know I do.
That's the reason behind my post. I'm trying to show the "Top Brass" why 1 type of marketing/advertising in this industry will not fly. I want them to see what a true demographic is. Obviously we're in it to make money, it is business after all. We cannot pinpoint to one type of market because we do need the younger generations sales as well as older, and competition vehicles. I have also suggested to include a disclaimer in our exhaust system instructions regarding the danger of "rolling coal" on road ways, and saving it for appropriate events. I do agree with you on the Google search though. I've been on them for that for years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeShow View Post
I have never intentionally clicked on a banner on a forum.

I've purchased based on feedback read on a forum and likewise, have chosen NOT to purchase something based on feedback left on a forum or seeing how a company reacts to a given situation that's aired out on forums.

I'm a 30-something and do not have a facebook account - I know that's not the norm though - but understand it to be a big avenue.

Social networking is huge these days. I mean for goodness sakes theres a college degree for it now!


I do use instagram and enjoy seeing new products and such from some companies, but I get tired of seeing the smoke belching & burnout pics from flat-bill douche-nozzles all the time so I don't follow too many diesel performance places on there.

I'd assume magazine advertising is probably up there in terms of audience size AND return on the dollar spent? I can't see television/radio reaching as many folks currently? Only group that gets good coverage is PPL so I'd imagine you'd have to be big-time sponsor of their's the gather in some of that air time in an effective way?

I hate to even say it because I like the guys you all sponsor, but has it proven to produce any sales by sponsoring a competition vehicle? I know I have personally never bought anything based on seeing a competition vehicle wearing a logo. The exception might be turbo, injection shop & whole-truck-build business/companies? I can see where a winning truck rocking an Engineered Diesel or Scheid or Haisley or Harts sticker might make some others pick up the phone to try and get whatever XYZ part that truck has that they want. I can't say an exhaust system would be one of those things though?

I LOVE me some youtube! QUALITY videos giving good breakdown and review of your products is great in my mind. If you claim to fit better - make a video showing your system being installed along side a competing companies product and show right then that yours goes in easier and fits better. OR your hardware lasts longer - show yours versus the competition before and after an elements torture test or real weather simulator machine. An exhaust company should have TONS of HIGH QUALITY sound videos portraying whatever sound it is you're claiming - no drone, quiet in cab, yada yada yada. There should be sound clips for idle, cruising & heavy acceleration for pretty much every combo you produce and for every platform. For the diesels; yes, there'd be dozens of videos. Maybe over 100? But I really think they'd be worth your while.

I didn't vote on any in the poll yet, but those are my opinions/thoughts. Hope its somewhat helpful for your goal/angle with your bosses/acct department.
Very good feedback, thank you. I too love the idea of You Tube, and have even suggested us utilizing our page to our benefit. Suggested time laps video of our products in a "CASS" test next to our competitors. Along with that suggested install videos of several of our products for the class 8 trucks as well. As for sponsoring the teams, that's what I call an aggressive marketing approach. It keeps the name out there, but it needs to have support. What I mean by that, there needs to be something like magazine ad's, Forum updates or ad's, attendance to events with the teams to help spread word of the product line. Without that support, it's just an expensive sticker on the side of a truck, or dragster!!
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Old 12-22-2014, 02:54 PM   #13
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I have been working on analysis of our marketing and advertising here. I started back in the 2009 area for them, and have analyzed each quarter since then. We are in:

Magazines
Forums
Google
IG
Facebook
Twitter
SOME events (not enough for me lol)

We also do some non-mainstream stuff like sponsoring Baja trophy trucks.

Word of mouth, forums, and the magazines are our best bets.
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Old 12-22-2014, 03:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crzycowboy View Post
Interesting. Do you find yourself going to performance shops looking for specific parts? Do you research manufacturers web sites as well?

Reason I ask these questions is I've mentioned before the need to update the website to be more user friendly to find the products. I've also mentioned putting a display together that dealers could buy for their show rooms to showcase our products better. Do you like when manufacturers post product release on the forums?
I don't visit performance shops. I suspect not very many guys do if for no other reason then there are none local. I search the web via google for products. Come up with a list of vendors, then research their web sites. I would say clarity within the vendors site is a significant influencer. I find more and more manufactures are posting videos of the product. Anywhere from some go-pro to full professional productions. That can add a lot of clarity. Finally I check forums for end user's experiences with the products and sales transaction.

I do like to see product releases on the forums.

I think focusing on the website, and search engine optimization is money well spent. Forum updates are nice, but might be a challenge to support. I do allow a select few vendors to email me product updates as well
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Last edited by Shainer; 12-22-2014 at 03:08 PM.
 
Old 12-22-2014, 03:45 PM   #15
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I can see competition vehicles and success attached to them being very beneficial. When you see "so and so's" truck dominating events you are more apt to give those parts a try. Of course that can backfire and if that person breaks at every event people will shy away from the products.

The proof of competition vehicles being beneficial can be see at SDX every year. Look at the shear numbers of Haisley Machine shirts roaming around there. Haisley tends to do quite well at that event and I think spectators see that.
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Old 12-22-2014, 04:25 PM   #16
aka_chewy

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Quote:
Originally Posted by crzycowboy View Post
That's the reason behind my post. I'm trying to show the "Top Brass" why 1 type of marketing/advertising in this industry will not fly. I want them to see what a true demographic is. Obviously we're in it to make money, it is business after all. We cannot pinpoint to one type of market because we do need the younger generations sales as well as older, and competition vehicles. I have also suggested to include a disclaimer in our exhaust system instructions regarding the danger of "rolling coal" on road ways, and saving it for appropriate events. I do agree with you on the Google search though. I've been on them for that for years.
I gotcha.

The reason I brought up the different demographics was just to show the difference in what they might look at. Obviously you want as many people to spend money as possible, just covering all those groups is a challange....as you've pointed out here.

Have you ever written a business plan before? Think the 'top brass' has? While they can be tedious to do, it's a great tool to get down to the basics of your business and how to address the different markets.

Not sure if it would matter to them or not, but might be a good way to add info to the data being collected from one of your target markets. Maybe will help them see what worked 15 years ago isn't working now.

Good luck with the endeavor...sounds like you have your hands full
 
Old 12-22-2014, 05:05 PM   #17
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When my dad had his taxidermy shop, it took a bit to get going, as most businesses do.

By the time he sold the business, we were 2.5 years stacked with work. It wasn't because we were slow, that's just how good of a reputation he had built over the years.

He paid for a few magazine adds, but the most beneficial was word of mouth. Get in good with a couple of sellers to help push your product, and just keep pushing out good products, and the business will come to you.

I personally like grab in an old magazine and thumbing through them. Few days later I'll think oh yeah so and so was asking about a certain product, I can show them this... So for me word of mouth and stuff like magazine adds would be my choice.

I have noticed though with the younger crowd, they like the social media stuff, especially FB, and IG. my stepson is all over IG, constantly showing me stuff companies have posted, but I do not have an IG account. Don't really want one either.
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:14 PM   #18
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Younger generation is good for cheap products and "swag". Those can have lucrative profit margins but you need volume. Then you have the guys dropping coin because they can afford it now they are settled in jobs. Those guys are going to support you and your business. Finally, those you sponsor (mags, vehicles, events) gives you the audience. If I'm wrong, let me know.

As such, you need to target these people differently.

Swag really sells because it shows support. Since its younger people, show them builds and your sponsored vehicles doing things. Tell them they can help be a part of this great team and buy shirts, stickers, hats. Do giveaways on little things with an occasional big item. That word of mouth spreads quickly.

For the meat and potato group with extra money to spend, running deals around Christmas and tax return time helps tremendously. I bet there can still be a profit of you do this right.

Finally your largest audience needs to see how your product makes a difference. I bet spending more money by sending products to be tested by mags would put a favorable light. I see it if a company sends in their product to be tested or installed on a vehicle in a mag build, they have a successful business as they can AFFORD to "bribe" the mags. Now the mag writes a "OMG! We got this to install and it's AWESOME!" How much better of an advertisement do you need?
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Old 12-23-2014, 06:06 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Ford diesel girl View Post
I have been working on analysis of our marketing and advertising here. I started back in the 2009 area for them, and have analyzed each quarter since then. We are in:

Magazines
Forums
Google
IG
Facebook
Twitter
SOME events (not enough for me lol)

We also do some non-mainstream stuff like sponsoring Baja trophy trucks.

Word of mouth, forums, and the magazines are our best bets.
I feel your pain about the events. It's hard sometimes to convince them it's worth the time and effort. Way I see it, if there are 50,000 people at TS or Scheid, getting 1% of those people to buy a product is better than none at all. Usually if you sell a product, and they like it, they're going to tell their friends...usually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shainer View Post
I don't visit performance shops. I suspect not very many guys do if for no other reason then there are none local. I search the web via google for products. Come up with a list of vendors, then research their web sites. I would say clarity within the vendors site is a significant influencer. I find more and more manufactures are posting videos of the product. Anywhere from some go-pro to full professional productions. That can add a lot of clarity. Finally I check forums for end user's experiences with the products and sales transaction.

I do like to see product releases on the forums.

I think focusing on the website, and search engine optimization is money well spent. Forum updates are nice, but might be a challenge to support. I do allow a select few vendors to email me product updates as well
Yeah I know performance shops are not readily available in most areas. I agree with keeping a clean easy to use website so that end users can find what they're looking for quickly. You mentioned the vendors contacting you via email, that is something I've also suggested to them to use. That "Constant Contact" is relatively an inexpensive means to promote products to potential and new customers. As long as you're not sending a bunch of nonsense spam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zfaylor View Post
I can see competition vehicles and success attached to them being very beneficial. When you see "so and so's" truck dominating events you are more apt to give those parts a try. Of course that can backfire and if that person breaks at every event people will shy away from the products.

The proof of competition vehicles being beneficial can be see at SDX every year. Look at the shear numbers of Haisley Machine shirts roaming around there. Haisley tends to do quite well at that event and I think spectators see that.
Yes, I actually have a Haisley Machine shirt myself. That is though because Eric Squires with the pulling truck we sponsor introduced me to them though. It is a great tool to advertise your products, but like I mentioned above, it only works if it has the proper support system in place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aka_chewy View Post
I gotcha.

The reason I brought up the different demographics was just to show the difference in what they might look at. Obviously you want as many people to spend money as possible, just covering all those groups is a challange....as you've pointed out here.

Have you ever written a business plan before? Think the 'top brass' has? While they can be tedious to do, it's a great tool to get down to the basics of your business and how to address the different markets.

Not sure if it would matter to them or not, but might be a good way to add info to the data being collected from one of your target markets. Maybe will help them see what worked 15 years ago isn't working now.

Good luck with the endeavor...sounds like you have your hands full
I have not ever written a business plan. Mostly because what I know is through just going to events and talking with other vendors, and asking the right questions. I do however talk to the people here who generally do that. Hopefully since we have a marketing guy now, between him and myself we can write something up and submit it. They're number people here, so they want to see how much money they'll get in return for the advertising that they do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by weazel View Post
When my dad had his taxidermy shop, it took a bit to get going, as most businesses do.

By the time he sold the business, we were 2.5 years stacked with work. It wasn't because we were slow, that's just how good of a reputation he had built over the years.

He paid for a few magazine adds, but the most beneficial was word of mouth. Get in good with a couple of sellers to help push your product, and just keep pushing out good products, and the business will come to you.

I personally like grab in an old magazine and thumbing through them. Few days later I'll think oh yeah so and so was asking about a certain product, I can show them this... So for me word of mouth and stuff like magazine adds would be my choice.

I have noticed though with the younger crowd, they like the social media stuff, especially FB, and IG. my stepson is all over IG, constantly showing me stuff companies have posted, but I do not have an IG account. Don't really want one either.
Social media is a love / hate relationship with most people. I've seen more younger crowds obviously involved there, but I've also noticed some of the older crowds getting involved too as of late. Hell the former owner of the company here, now president of sales, has a Facebook page now. He's following mostly our customers pages, and other sources of product suppliers.


Thank you all for your feedback, and keep it coming! This is good stuff!
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Joshua Stewart / Technical Specialist
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Email: joshuas@grandrock.com / Phone: 1-800-321-3674
 
Old 12-23-2014, 06:16 AM   #20
crzycowboy
 
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Name: crzycowboy
Title: Comp Diesel Sponsor
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Painesville, Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldestof11 View Post
Younger generation is good for cheap products and "swag". Those can have lucrative profit margins but you need volume. Then you have the guys dropping coin because they can afford it now they are settled in jobs. Those guys are going to support you and your business. Finally, those you sponsor (mags, vehicles, events) gives you the audience. If I'm wrong, let me know.

As such, you need to target these people differently.

Swag really sells because it shows support. Since its younger people, show them builds and your sponsored vehicles doing things. Tell them they can help be a part of this great team and buy shirts, stickers, hats. Do giveaways on little things with an occasional big item. That word of mouth spreads quickly.

For the meat and potato group with extra money to spend, running deals around Christmas and tax return time helps tremendously. I bet there can still be a profit of you do this right.

Finally your largest audience needs to see how your product makes a difference. I bet spending more money by sending products to be tested by mags would put a favorable light. I see it if a company sends in their product to be tested or installed on a vehicle in a mag build, they have a successful business as they can AFFORD to "bribe" the mags. Now the mag writes a "OMG! We got this to install and it's AWESOME!" How much better of an advertisement do you need?
Good stuff man! At any event we're there with the teams, we always have hats and t-shirts for sale. I've given many swag products away to kids who come into the pits and sit in the dragster, or pulling truck. It does go a long way when the kid is grinning ear to ear walking away, and I believe the parent will remember that when it comes time for an exhaust need. I've spoken about needing to do holiday discounts, and especially discounts for our countries military personnel. I think it's important to have these sorts of things, as a way to give back to the customers per say. We've had several large opportunities to have our products show cased on several TV shows. That is a bit expensive...ok, a lot expensive, and has scared them away from doing this. Even though, I break it down to them that the $xx,xxx cost over 4 million viewers the first time, and 1.5 million viewers when re-ran 2x, what the actual cost ends up being. Hell even having it "show cased" in the portion of the shows where they just do quick product reviews they've turned down. IMO it's foolish, but I'm not in charge of the $$$ .
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Joshua Stewart / Technical Specialist
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Email: joshuas@grandrock.com / Phone: 1-800-321-3674
 
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