Monday, 22 April 2013

Default What keeps 4x4 businesses in SA alive?

It's their customers dreaming. And what makes them dream? It's the magazine articles, Internet sites and TV shows like mine and Johan's. People react to them by deciding on doing a trip or even buying a new 4x4 and equipping it. Then they arrive at the Safari Centres and LA Sport's and R&D Off-Road and then they buy stuff! And of these medias, which is by far the most powerful? TV! Nothing compares to TV, especially if it is entertaining and inspiring. So, without good 4x4 TV shows - this industry will shrink and there are many 4x4 businesses that will not survive this recession. Johan [Voetspore] is paid by the SABC. I have to pay a commercial broadcaster because I cannot speak Afrikaans and nor do I have a black man travelling with me. I have to have sponsorship, either from large companies, or from the viewers.

But why should you support me you may ask? 4x4 businesses that still waste money on old-school magazine advertising need to wake up to the reality that it doesn't work. The Internet has changed everything fundamentally. Magazine advertising is the least effective way of attracting customers in this market but remains by far the most expensive. What works? TV, and a powerful YouTube channel and the Internet. Here is proof: A 3-page Leisure Wheels article on my Cruiser attracted one email. Just ONE!!! Within 24 hours of a 8 minute YouTube clip, we had over a dozen calls. That video has now attracted over 52 000 views to the most highly-targeted audience imaginable. (Alu-Cab have seven such cruisers in the workshop and have many orders for more. That business is thriving!) And tomorrow, when you read this, that viewer number will be higher. It never stops. 20 days after the magazine is read, it is tossed away. But the Internet never sleeps. Think about it and call me if you want me to make another TV show that brings people into your workshops.
Think about it and call me if you want another Andrew St.Pierre White TV show.

4x4 industry players need to feed the players that support it.
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  1. In the UK our Land Rover magazines are brimming with adverts for products and companies that you already know. Nothing about the adverts is exciting or engaging :(

  2. I agree. The same recipe is used again and again. But I have to ask, how many actually measure the response from each ad. It's easy if it's a product and price thing, but with pure branding it is very difficult. The trouble lies with management. They see with their eyeballs the magazine ad, and feel good that their money is well spent. It's far harder to do the same with a video clip on YouTube. You can't hold it in your hands, so it has less obvious value.