Biker Loyalty

Jan 04, 2005

By John Hennessy

Ducati is working to make their brand one that customers keep for life.

According to Martha Rogers, Ph.D, writing for Inside 1to1, Ducati’s objective is to not just sell another motorcycle, but initiate a new member into the tribe known as “Ducatisti,” and keep him or her happy there for many years and miles to come.

Ducati North America (a division of Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding) sold 6,000 bikes in 2004, up from 5,000 in 2003. Credit for this increase is given to Ducati’s ramped-up customer strategy program, geared to connecting with customers on both the national and local level.

According to John Porter, director of Marketing for Ducati North America, “Our CRM is mostly social. We’re not so much focused on data acquisition, customer retention rates and tracking like that.”

The “tribe” is engaged at interactive hospitality set-ups at major races, the annual World Ducati Week – Seven days of demo rides, touring, expert lectures and other activities – “and other events that celebrate with our fans and customers what it means to be a Ducatisti and to share that passion,” Porter adds.

Moderator’s Comment: Are there customer experiential programs retailers can execute (or are executing) that create more connection between retailers
and their shoppers?

That Ducati’s CRM is mostly social stands out when compared to the more analytic approach taken by most CRM and loyalty marketing initiatives. Ducati’s
personal approach seems to be helping sales.

The size of their current and prospective owners is quite small, yet they were able to add 20% more owners in the current year with this new approach. Other
retailers with far more frequent and less costly opportunities to interact with shoppers — and more shopper preference data — should consider the success of Ducati’s twist on
customer marketing.

John Hennessy – Moderator

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