I shared this to my Facebook page today and figured why not here too. I have my marketing hat on for the ice track today and wanted to share a few things along with how they can apply to “competition” karting
2.4m views, 6K comments and over 1200 email addresses formed the base of our marketing effort.
OK cool story, you say. You got a bunch of views on the video. Big deal…
I say fair enough…
In 2021 we opened bookings for our first weekend and sold out in just three hours. Great example of validating a business idea at the very top of the funnel and turning it in to sales
(You might need a facebook account to see the video)
Switching to “competition” karting for a moment, sometimes we overthink things when it comes to marketing the sport. Searching for “new ideas”, trying to follow trends. In my view, the sport hasn’t earned the right to do that because (as far as I can see) it hasn’t even doubled down on the basics.
Getting exposure is relatively inexpensive with the right messaging… The opportunity for competition karting lies not in exposure (yet). It lies in it’s ability to be able to actually sell something that is simple and easy to understand. Then having a plan to move people up a value ladder. Try a kart days are a perfect example of were to start.
Tracks, clubs and series that create a process and a plan for a customer journey will thrive. At the end of the day we sell fun, people like fun and will pay for it… But if you don’t make it easy for them to give you their money… they’re doing to move on to the next thing in their social media newsfeed and spend the money elsewhere instead.
Not sure I can totally agree with your take on competition karting or maybe I’m not getting your point. Even though they are both karts, rental karts really couldn’t be more different from a commitment level. I don’t think getting people to try competition karting is a problem when the main commitment is money. The real commitment is in purchasing a kart and all of the responsibilities that come with that like maintaining, storing, transporting and tuning your kart.
I do agree that someone needs to provide the gateway to keep this hobby alive but making that commitment to owning a kart is the tough part.
These are typical objections for any “high ticket, complex sale” product or service.
This viewpoint kinda highlights what I think the problem is and how a mapped out funnel will help. It’s a gradual stepped process with increasing levels of commitment. Very few people are going to jump from rentals to owner driver karting. It’s an unrealistic expectation and that’s not what I’m saying anyway. Naturally if you dump all of that on someone at once, most people are going to run the other direction.
At the end of the day, there are people that can afford and are participating in karting already. Unless we’re saying that market is saturated… then the next logical thing is to find more of those people, reach them with messaging that resonates and move them along that funnel.
For people that don’t want to do any mechanical work, you connect them with ways to spend their way out of it. Teams, track support, local wrenches Margay Ignite etc etc.
In short Rental (or even no) Karting > Try a Kart Day > Understand where the customer is in their journey > plug in the next level of commitment.
Racing is expensive, there’s no getting away from that. The approach needs to be value based and luckily karting is about the best value for buck you can get.
Are you aware of your model being used in some other industry? I have had several hobbies that fit the “high ticket, complex sale” and while there are usually rental/ demo opportunities the next transition is buying in and altering my life around that activity and karting would likely be my highest ticket item to date.
I think the missing element is the value of time. Those with the means to afford expensive hobbies also will likely have high demands on their time and likely karting is a curiosity in their life. Will they have the commitment to follow the path you are suggesting? … some will for sure but the challenge would be finding enough of the people to make it viable for the proprietor.
One overarching thing I’ve been reminded of in this conversation is that people tend to think of why something won’t work instead of testing things.
The value ladder is a key component of a marketing funnel. Sure, there’s gaps and leaps in a potential funnel in karting. One key in the process is the “ah-ha” moment. That’s the try a kart day. It’s not going to convert everybody but it’s certainly more likely to because that’s also an opportunity to understand what their situation is and guide them along the way.
At the end of the try a kart day (Which includes “coaching”)
Maybe they’ll just do two races for an arrive and drive in a racing kart.
Maybe they’ll buy used.
Maybe they’ll buy new.
Maybe they just wanted to try the kart (Boom that’s $200 for the club\business\whatever that they didn’t have before)
The try a kart day should also guide people through the process, built personal report\trust and move them to the next step.
I’d wager that It’s going to be more successful than randomly asking people to turn up at a track on a raceday and leaving them to figure it out themselves.
Re value of time, like I said some people will exchange money for it.
Good question. I can think of one person\club in karting that is doing this. Joey Guyon in Canada follows this model, I’ll ask him to chime in here.
To use a karting analogy: The sport is generally going to the track for testing without a plan, without any data and hoping for the best and basically saying xxx setup change mightn’t work so we’re not going to try it.
I realize I perhaps sound negative but I don’t disagree with you or your ideas presented here and would love to see this put into action. However, for this to work the business or club that organizes this would need a fair amount of investment and proximity to enough population to make this viable and an unwavering desire to make it work.
Getting back to your original post…kudos to you for having the gumption to make your business plan work.
The try a kart days should be (and can be) revenue generating in their own right. You’re selling an experience in a racing kart with coaching from experienced kart racers. Tires, mechanical and everything else taken care of.
To figure out the return on investment you think about the lifetime value of the customer. For a club, lets you’re fortunate to bring one racer onboard and they then race for three years. 15 races a year at $50… $2250 in revenue to the club per driver. You can play with those figures however you like… but I don’t think those are stretch numbers.
Proximity definitely helps, but demographics matter even more. If the track is there there was a demand at some point…
Joey said he’ll chime in by the end of the year and talk about the program they have going on up there.