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demand generation

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Making effective market communications in the motorcycle industry should be a relatively straight-forward and easy task. After all, motorcycles in North America and Europe have a strong personal component that revolves around self-expression and a rider personal identity. The idea that an ad or campaign should reach out and grab the intended consumer is not a novel concept, and motorcycle marketing professionals have their job simplified since they need only to develop and publish creative that would speak to them personally, in order to be successful. For whatever reason though, motorcycle industry marketers, by-in-large, were absent the day they taught marketing in business school…and it shows.

BMW Motorrad crushed it last year by posting its best sales year ever, and finishing in sales 6.4% over 2010. With the United States being one of BMW’s largest motorcycle markets, it comes as no surprise then that the German brand posted strong sales here in the US. Up 7.4% over last year, BMW Motorrad USA continues to weather the rough economy for the Bavarians, which is perhaps unsurprising considering how zie Germans have faired the past few years. What is surprising though is which model topped BMW’s sales sheets, and in case you are blind and didn’t see this story’s headline, it was not the venerable GS.

We spend days wading through different marketing and advertising pieces by various groups in the motorcycle industry, which really only makes us believe firmly that either a) advertising companies have no idea how to connect with motorcyclists, and 2) motorcycle industry companies have no idea how to connect with their customers. Leaving the data aside to prove this theory, we came across this gem from Allstate Insurance, called “Ghost Bikes” that’s been playing on major television channels lately here in the US. We don’t have the info on who/what agency worked on this for Allstate, or if it was done all in-house. If you’re in the know, tell us in the comments so someone can get some credit for it.