Growing Karting - Mapping the "Customer Journey"

growth

(James McMahon) #1

Let’s grow this thing and take some ACTION!

If any of you folks happen to be in the enduro karting facebook group, you’ll know there has been a LOT of discussion of growing the sport. I put my marketing hat on (Truth is, it’s never off), and started to sketch out a “customer journey” map. I know this might sound a bit fuddy-duddy here, but bear with me.

IMO the biggest thing holding karting back right now isn’t exposure perse…
The problem is a broken and confusing “product”. We can promote and advertise the hell out of it… but folks are still left confused, either from a lack of information, or too much of it.

Now there are many things out out our control that can add to the confusion… But I believe those are “figureoutable” for the most part.

We need a plan\process that based around what’s worked well to attract new customers.

The goal of this is two fold:

  1. Understand how we are attracting new racers (Customers). How they find out about the sport, who they are, why do they kart, what are the key points that move them along toward becoming owner-drivers (or "competition arrive and drivers)

  2. Design a mapped-out, consistent process that can be followed from beginning to end form first contact with someone to getting them racing.

Here’s the very first draft I made… It is very drafty, much to add.

Discussion in 206 facebook group

Drop your insights below and let’s get this going.


(Ryan Odi) #2

As someone who is part of your target audience, I’m interested to see what everyone in this thread ends up saying :slight_smile:


(James McMahon) #3

Your insights are part of this too :wink:


(Ryan Odi) #4

Here’s my profile

  1. Track Day Driver transitioning into Road Racing (comp license bound!)
  2. Wants to get cost effective seat time
  3. May not necessarily commit to karting for life, but sees it as a very useful tool.

My main wants:

  1. The right amount of information compiled into ONE place. Kart licensing specifics (or rather how vague it seems to be), kart ladder (just tell someone clueless about karting how I should progress), general karting costs

I feel this is a no brainer of course…it’s hard to get good info on this stuff easily

  1. Options for arrive and drive, and I’m talking about competitive arrive and drive, not the equivalent of slapping autozone brake pads onto a rental Miata and saying “race car rental”

This is mostly because I don’t know what karting is like, much less the different classes involved. I don’t want to buy a kart, be unhappy with it and have to sell it. So being able to be non-commital via A&D is a plus. Also some of us (including me) don’t have property that can store a kart, trailer etc because we live in condos/apartments.

These are the main things for club racers and track day drivers. I feel these are very important, because racers are competitive and ALWAYS looking to find a way to get more practice/seat time. I’m in awe of how cheap the seat time is. 11 races with the F-Series club is 665$ for a season of entry fees. That is ONE race weekend with the club I run with (NASA) and I am sure it is similar for the SCCA. The A&D costs are more up in the air. I have no idea what I should be charged but I would let the team owners work that out.

As for the general public, everyone knows karting exists but there is a stigma where it’s for kids. Heck, even a track day driver who is an aspiring gentleman driver (he’s got a lot of money and wants to do “pro” racing) said he can’t bring himself to kart because it’s embarassing that he’s racing a bunch of kids (hes in his 40s). Just a side fact for you to consider even though I’m not that part of the audience.


(Bryan Hall) #5

The part about being a volunteer got me thinking. At the club track we usually are short of them to work as corner workers, etc. It would make good sense to me to waive the guest pass fee and give workers a free pass (insurance paid by the club). Not only would that help get us more workers, it would also be a great place for those who have experience in other forms of racing to get an up-front view of the various kart types.

The product… I’ll take that on from the adult who never karted as a kid perspective on sprint karting.

First you have to have someone introduce it to get you interested. That would be one of my sons. He wanted to go watch some kart races. Sure, why not - it doesn’t cost much I thought… Of course then what I saw impressed me to go further.

And that’s where it does get very confusing from an outsider view. Just the “simple” question about cost - initial, maintenance, consumables - is not well defined ANYWHERE. Yes you can search and find that X is generally cheaper then Y to run, but there is no simple ballpark figure chart of cart/engine combinations to see what might fit your budget. The driver is left to try and figure all that out for themselves, and hope that they are looking at the rules right so whatever they buy is OK to run. Not good. What REALLY would have helped at that point (besides a handy reference chart) is to have a meeting to just talk to other racers in a non-stress environment (away from the track racing). What do they like, what do they recommend, and would avoid, etc. You can’t get that during an event, and do you really trust a vendor to be straight up with you or push you towards what they want to sell at the moment (had that happen and it turned me off).

In addition I think a good way to run some adults off (and I was told this by many) is to just say - you need to run a LO206 for your first year. While granted that is a solid choice and probably the least expensive way to get into karting - at least for new equipment, it’s really a hard sell to someone who is used to more speed and doesn’t want to run a used $2K “lawnmower engine” kart. And honestly, that is exactly what I thought from watching them on track. So then what to run? Of course the jump up from there is a really hard choice with no guidance. I’d recommend a single gear engine, and TAG would be my suggestion to myself if I could do that. Neither cheap or crazy expensive, but very fast on a sprint circuit, and with a starter for ALL those times you over do it while learning where and how to brake and spin backwards.

Then after a year or two when you want to try road racing - great, you should now be ready for more speed (and with it more cost). Thankfully, you’ll have a lot of equipment already from sprint racing so then the only choice is if you want to start there on the same equipment - probably not a bad idea - or go up a class. This is where I’m at currently. I will probably keep the same equipment I have, and just budget for travel / motel and higher consumable and rebuild costs.


(Ryan Odi) #6

Incentives for volunteering could definitely have people coming out to these kinds of events to learn more.


(James McMahon) #7

A post was merged into an existing topic: Starting Out in Karting Seattle WA Area


(James McMahon) #8

What would be an attractive incentive?


(Ryan Odi) #9

I don’t know how it scales down, but in NASA for example, if you volunteer 2 days, you get 1 free track day. But in the end, free track time in exchange for work is attractive to people. I’ve seen and experienced this first hand :slight_smile:


(Charles Stockton) #10

That is something I can get behind, helping out volunteering and learning through
Osmosis, then to earn a day at the track is a win win scenario.:spades::cowboy_hat_face::clap:t3:


(Ryan Odi) #11

Yup. It’s been a long standing concept for awhile in the NASA club world, and sort of growing in SCCA as well (although they just offer discounted membership fees), but it works.


(James McMahon) #12

Makes sense, integrates people with the community, get’s the involved and gives a reason to followup with them.


(Ryan Odi) #13

Yup, I don’t know how any clubs or places would implement this, but keep in mind a track day is significantly more expensive than a karting track day so I don’t know how this would scale or if it would be feasible. (cause then you would have a bunch of volunteers that aren’t ever paying for track time)

But this might pay for itself in the end because you can follow the NASA system and have this only apply to open track/testing days and not necessarily the race days.


(Davin Roberts Sturdivant) #14

That was the point I was going to make. Also since race fees are the life blood of some clubs, you might hit some resistance there.

However, I still think it’s a good idea. Maybe something like half off a race entry for volunteering a certain number of hours, or a free race day after a certain number of hours might be more club karting oriented.


(Ryan Odi) #15

I wonder, how would any of our ideas here be heard at these clubs? Are there organizers that post on these forums as well or no?


(Rondie Latham Jr ) #18

I think that people who have an interest in Karting will likely be persuaded to start participating once they drive a kart for the first time. The hard part is to get them to that point. For me, I heard about Karting through multiple channels and finally tried it out at a local track where I was instantly sold.


(Ryan Odi) #19

Seems legit. I told a fellow club racer buddy that I had no interest in karting and he told me “because you haven’t driven one yet”.