Editor’s Note: Phil Ingrassia, president of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), penned this column for October’s RV Executive Today:
It wasn’t long ago that the conventional wisdom in the RV industry was that business traditionally started to slow down in October in many parts of the country.
Well, not any more. Retail data from recent years shows that, in the words of Tom Walworth of Statistical Surveys, “October is a good month.” Here’s the breakdown of national RV retail registrations in October during the past few years, according to Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Statistical Surveys:
• 2009: 12,196
• 2010: 13,610
• 2011: 13,420
• 2012: 14,956
Those October numbers are closer to what U.S. dealers sell in March, with the smell of spring in the air. In fact, the only months with fewer than 10,000 national retail deliveries are now December and January — dealers retailed more than 10,000 units in both February and November in 2011 and 2012.
So, everyone is making adjustments to what is now a year-round sales cycle — including your national advertising campaign. When Go RVing began in the late ’90s, the industry’s media buys were front-loaded to coincide with the spring and summer RV travel season. Go RVing typically would scale back advertising significantly in the fall and early winter months, but with families and empty-nesters on the go and buying RVs all year-round, a new approach is needed.
This year, Go RVing’s new “AWAY” ad featuring a tailgating theme made its debut Labor Day weekend and will continue to air throughout the fall in conjunction with college football ad buys with ESPN and CBS Sports.
The new ad is part of Go RVing’s attempt to leverage the strong connection between RVing and tailgating season and to keep positive messages about RV travel in front of consumers throughout the year.
Have a great fall selling season, and thanks for your support.