Editor’s Note: The following is a column by Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) President Phil Ingrassia appearing in the latest issue of RV Executive Today looking at the industry’s October surge in recent years and Go RVing’s efforts to keep pace with the “year-round sales cycle.”
It wasn’t so 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 Inc., “October is a good month.”
Here’s the breakdown of national RV retail registrations in October over the past few years, according to Statistical Surveys:
2009: 12,196 units
2010: 13,610 units
2011: 13,420 units
2012: 14,956 units
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 – the 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 90’s, the industry’s media buys were front loaded to coincide with 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.