Marketing

What YOU Can Expect in Mobile!

Recently one of our speakers at our upcoming NTPDA Annual Conference and Trade Show appeared on the Insight on Business broadcast Karen McCullough One
talking about her presentation in Mobile. Karen McCullough was with us several years ago and we're grateful she is coming back to share some valuable lessons with our members. Click in and listen as she talks about branding, employees and customers. She'll also share with you exactly what you can expect in her two-part session called "Going Beyond the Brand". Join us in Mobile and take away some valuable lessons!

If you have not yet registered for our Mobile, Alabama Adventure here is a link to the registration page. Take some time and commit to working ON your business rather that working in it...you will see a difference. Join us in Mobile! 

 


Look Who Says "Hi!" - Meet Karen McCullough

Our Annual Meeting and Trade Show is quickly approaching and we figure you want to know more about our speakers....right? Presto! Meet Karen McCullough who will be in Mobile to talk to us about BRANDING. What is it? How do you sustain it? How does business live it? Who creates it? How does it work?  Yes, lots of questions and Karen will be with us to explain it all!  And, she's fun!  Save the date, registration will be opening soon!

 


See you at the Spa!


Planning Ahead for Mobile

Over the past several weeks your NTPDA Board and Staff have been busy putting together our agenda for the 35th Annual Conference and Mobile AL CrowdTrade Show which will take place in Mobile, Alabama between January 17th and 20th of next year. (Plenty of time for you to get your flight arrangements, right?)

Along with our many social events we've got some great training and education planned. Here is a quick rundown:

"Going Beyond the Brand"

Coming back to NTPDA is one of our favorite and fun professionals! For those of you who have been with us for several years you may remember that Karen McCullough spoke to our group while we were in Florida. Gosh, has it been that long? Always entertaining and always enlightening Karen will share her thoughts about "Going Beyond the Brand". What does it really take to create a lasting and positive customer experience and what is the impact of making sure your customer engagement is positive. That is what some call your exterior brand. However, also important is your "interior brand". Making sure the people who work for and with you are able to extend a positive brand message in everything they do. Why? It all matters. 

Mobile AL Night ShotKaren will give you solid tips and ideas of how you can polish both your external and internal brand. Both are critical when considering profit potential.

"Online Excellence"

We all know it...but do we pay attention to our "digital brand"? Joining us in Mobile will be Nicholas Longtin and Sydney Franklin from Arcstone. They will help you understand how to create a website that connects with your target audience and does more than just "sit there". There are many factors that go into web design from the way consumers read the content to the way consumers can now interact with your business. And, when you understand that first impressions matter, it's important that your website sends a positive and clear message the moment a customer makes a connection.

The "how" and "why" of website marketing. Yet another piece of valuable information you can take home and work on right away.

We hope you'll block out the dates and join us for an exciting adventure in January! 


Membership Committee Update

Last month the reconstituted Membership Committee of NTPDA held a telephone meeting and lots of ideas were floated. The first being the decision to let our membership know that YOU are welcome to attend Summer Smash, the meeting formally known as the Summer Board Meeting. Summer Smash

Here’s the deal: For years the Summer Board Meeting has been open to any member of NTPDA but…the name alone…suggested it was only for leadership. We want to turn the event into a fun and educational effort open to everyone.

Currently the Committee and President Scott are working on the details and the agenda but please…mark down the dates: July 11 – 14 at the Embassy Suites in Minneapolis, MN. We’ll be sending out more details in the coming weeks so watch for it!

Other suggestions from the group:

· Enhance Benefits Package

· Include a Trial Membership Program

· Reactivate “concierge” (welcome wagon) program

· Incorporate Networking Exercises

· Build Up the Education Tracks for the Annual Meeting

· Develop New Member Outreach and Orientation Programs

And there were many more.

Our goal is to listen to the Membership and be proactive in presenting real value for your membership dollars. We think we can do that with what we already have as well as building in new programs that are a true positive return on your investment. The Summer Smash is just the start.

Hope to see you there!


NTPDA Membership - Kick Start

This week NTPDA (National Tractor Parts Dealer Association) president Scott Schelling called together a group of members to reignite the NTPDA MembershipMembership Committee. The group is tasked with working on new and innovative ways to improve our membership numbers while offering real value in, not only, our Annual Meeting and Trade Show but also our summer gathering.

The Membership Committee is made up of:

The meeting looked at various ways in which to offer increase value to our members, which assists in retention, and the active recruitment of new members.

While we'll detail changes and plans here one of the first things the group decided to accomplish was to re-name the Summer Board Meeting. The reason is that many members figure the meeting is only for the Board of Directors. That's not the case. So, we're rebranding the event as The Summer Smash. Our goal is to invite the Board and our Regular and Associate Members to an event that is packed with information, planning and fun...as the name suggests.  As soon as our plans are more clear we'll be sending out some schedule information.

Please know that this Membership Committee is committed to creating and building a better National Tractor Parts Dealer Association and we look forward to this future.

Thanks for reading and more to come! 

 

 


The Power of Repeating Stuff

Who doesn't like repeat customers? Who doesn't like being told...a couple of times...that you've got a great logo or uniform or...heck a Man hay bale microphonehaircut? Just as much as we enjoy repeat customers and repeated complements so too should we learn that when we repeat something over and over it has real power.

In marketing and advertising it is what is called "Top of Mind Awareness". Making sure your product or service is at the top of mind when it comes to buying what you are selling. "One and DONE" doesn't cut it. It takes an effort to make sure you repeat your message over and over.

Here are a couple of examples and while they are for national brands we think you'll get the message:

" Winston Tastes Good Like a Cigarette Should" - Winston has been of television and radio for decades...yet we remember the tag line;

"The Campaign of Bottled Beer" - Miller used this slogan for years and years abandoned it and this year brought it back...for good reason;

"A Diamond is Forever" - DeBeers debuted this way back in 1948 and they are still using it because...it works;

"Breakfast of Champions" - Who doesn't know this 1930's Wheaties slogan;

"It's the Real Thing" - CocaCola hit it out of the park with this from 1970;

"Say it With Flowers" - This will surprise you, the slogan dates back to 1917!

You get the idea... True, each one of these slogans had real dollars behind them to push the idea and the brand. Maybe your business doesn't have that sort of advertising budget but maybe you don't need all that cash to accomplish much the same thing.

Think of your value proposition and what you bring to your customers and then put that in words. Not a bunch of words but short and sweet. We know of a law firm that has the tag line, "We get things done!" because the number one complaint complaint among legal clients is that far too often law firms don't get things done and clients have to wait...and wait. The firm went so far as to register the slogan and they use it...everywhere.

Find your value proposition and then repeat it...often and everywhere. The goal is to have your customers hear or see those words and identify you and your unique value. 

It very well could bring you...repeat customers.


Doubling Our Membership

Over the weekend several of us were talking about membership, the life-blood of any organization including the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association. It Join us imagecame to us that there are three things any organization must do to recruit and retain members:

  • Let Perspective Members Know You Exist
  • Provide Value for Membership
  • Ask 

Of the three NTPDA does a bang up job of providing members with value. Our website lists nearly two-dozen benefits. We also are pretty good at providing an opportunity to network, sell and learn during our Annual Conference and Trade Show. And, we're always here to help boost our members through our social media efforts.

Where we fall down a bit is in letting perspective members know we exist, sharing the benefits and making the ask. Sure we share information among our existing members through a wide variety of means from blogging to emails the quarterly NTPDA Bulletin. But, that is sort of like an echo chamber...we're talking among ourselves. For retention that is important but what about...growth?

The former Membership Committee had some ideas including outreach efforts, inviting potential members to our Annual Conference and reducing first year dues. Maybe it's time to ramp up the "Idea Machine" again...

Or what if each of us asked another supplier or a competitor to join our ranks. If we all committed to asking one additional person or company to join us and clearly laid out the case for value we could double our membership by January.

Perhaps it's something to ponder but more importantly just...do.

We'd love to hear your thoughts. Shoot us an email or comment here on the blog.

Thanks for reading and thank you for your membership!


National Small Business Week

All this week, in the United States, there is a celebration of National Small Business Week. Since 1963 the federal government has set aside a week for a Small Business Week Imagecelebration that is critical to our economy.  A few Small Business Facts:

  • There are roughly 29 million small businesses in the U.S. which account for 54% of all sales in this country;
  • Small businesses provide 55% of all jobs in the U.S. and 66% of all net new jobs;
  • There are 600,000 franchise operations here that employ over 8 million people;
  • The American small business sector occupies nearly 50% of all commercial space up to 34 billion square feet.

Astounding yes?

Many, if not all, of our NTPDA Regular Member Businesses would fall under 500 employees so, this week is also your week.  What can you do to take part in Small Business Week?  Some thoughts:

  • Share Your Story - Contact the local newspaper, radio or television station. Let them know this is National Small Business Week and share your small business story. Take a moment and share what your small business means to your employees and customers and how money spent with you stays in your local community. Believe us, reporters are looking for stories they can use all week long;
  • Get Social - Grab the National Small Business Logo from this post and share it on your social media channels...and tell your story there as well;
  • Say Thank You - Remember your customers...they are the people that keep your business in business. Post a note on social media, send a note to customers, enclose a note in your shipping items...let people know how important they are to your small business;
  • Email the Message - Send out a coupon or at least a thank you reminding your email list that this is National Small Business Week...many of your customers are also small businesses.

Happy National Small Business Week!

 


It's More Than a Tractor...

Every so often we run into a heartwarming story about a tractor. That's what happened this morning as we were searching for some news about tractor parts. Farmall H It was a great restoration story out of Lawrence Township, Ohio. If you want to read...here you go.

Now to some folks who have lived all their lives in the city that might not click. However, for those of us who have spent time on the farm...we get it. Who among us doesn't remember their first tractor? Mine was a Farmall Model H. Every time I see one my mind races back some 40 years and I can smell the gas, oil and grease. It's like that for so many of us.

So, why write a piece that talks about memories and old tractors? Because we are the people who have helped countless restorations come to life. Sure, you can look out at your salvage area and you see rusted equipment lying there waiting for the weeds. But, look again. If you concentrate you can see a field of opportunity. Of course you'll sell some parts to people you've never met. You'll sell parts to farmers who come to you to get through another season. But, you'll also sell parts to folks who are bringing back a memory.

We'd like to hear your stories. We know that you've got 'em. Hook us up with a recent (or maybe not so recent) restoration project that your company helped with. We'd like to take some time and tell the story. Send me 50 words on your story and some contact names. We'll get it done.

You see, it's more than just parts...

Thanks for being a member of the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association...it matters.


Online Sales Smash Retail Sales

For years many of our National Tractor Parts Dealer Association members found value in adding e-commerce to their sales efforts. Sure, it was a difficult Online Add to Carttransition and it cost money to staff call centers and online chat professionals but it has paid off because online sales are crushing traditional retail efforts. How do we know?

Let's look at one example...Wal-Mart. 

Retail giant Wal-Mart reported solid fourth-quarter results last week with the U.S. business producing another quarter of comparable-sales growth. But the star of the show was e-commerce. Get this, U.S. online sales for Wal-Mart soared by 29% year-over-year, an acceleration driven by the company's investments in the acquisition of Jet.com. E-commerce is still small relative to Wal-Mart's brick-and-mortar operations, but that won't remain true for long.

According to the Department of Commerce in 2016 total e-commerce sales in the United States rose by 15.1%. And that is far faster than the overall 2.9% growth in total retail sales.

We understand that our members are not Wal-Mart however the trend is clear. Your customer is just as likely to come from five states away than five miles away and those numbers will continue to grow. Your challenge is finding a way to build your digital business while continuing to serve your local consumer. It can be done and many of our members have been very successful in their marketing efforts.

If you would like to share your thoughts...please do!