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jimmo-san
10-25-2015, 12:07 PM
Much has been said in recent weeks about how to get more competitors involved in OTA. I offer some ideas here. Apologies in advance if I'm stating the obvious, proposing actions that have been taken in the past (and didn't work) or proposing inititiatives that are already being worked on. :)

First some definitions:

Current Competitor


An OTA participant who completed at least one event in 2015. Current Competitors can be subdivided into two groups:

Casual Competitors: those who completed 5 or fewer events, in the case of a 9-event season, or 4 or fewer events in a 7-event season

Committed Competitors: those who completed 6 or more events, in the case of a 9-event season, or 5 or more events in a 7-event season



Previous Competitors

OTA participants who completed events in previous seasons, but none in 2015.

New Competitors

Those who have never participated in an OTA event, a CSCS event or Sigma Time Attack event.

Know your Target Market

It is my observation that, in general, Current Competitors in OTA can be characterized by belonging to one of the following two groups:


Young Guys with Disposable Income (YGWDI)
Old Farts with Disposable Income (OFWDI) (no disrespect intended :D)


These two groups can also be found in the general population and form the primary target market for OTA. You don’t necessarily have to be a Young Guy or an Old Fart to participate in OTA, but having some disposable income is a must. (I know there are some exceptions to the above broad categories. I consider myself an Old Fart with Rapidly Diminishing Disposable Income, thanks to OTA.)

Know the Geographic Distribution of your Target Market

Three OTA events are within easy driving distance of the GTA: two events at CTMP DDT and one event at CTMP MIR.

Three more OTA events are within a moderate driving distance of the GTA: the two SMP events and the event at TMP.

Three OTA events are within a longer driving distance from the GTA: the two GBR events and Calabogie.

The population of the GTA was 6.054 million (as of 2011). The population of Ontario was 13.6 million in 2014. I therefore contend that the primary geographic market for OTA is the GTA. Secondary geographic markets are Southern and South-western Ontario and the 401 corridor between the GTA and Kingston. Ottawa qualifies as a tertiary geographic market if events at Calabogie continue. While residents of, for example, North Bay might be interested in OTA, I doubt that many would participate.

Ideas

Increased Number of Competitors


Try to encourage Previous Competitors and Current Casual Competitors to participate in OTA again or to participate in more OTA events. Contact them by e-mail or telephone to determine what is required to get them to participate in OTA. Consider giving Previous Competitors and Current Casual Competitors a 10% rebate on their entrance fees in 2016 if they complete 6 or more events (9-event season) or 5 or more events (7-event season). Current Committed Competitors may think this is unfair, but hey! Who said life was fair?

Provide a sliding discount to New Competitors. 15% off the first event, 12.5% off the second event, 10% off the third event, 7.5% off the fourth event, 5% off the fifth event and 2.5% off the sixth event. No discounts given on the 7th, 8th and 9th event. Same pricing model is used by drug dealers. Get ‘em hooked cheaply, then make ‘em pay.


Target Markets (demographic and geographic)


Target the primary market (YGWDI and OFWDI) in the GTA by having an Ontario Time Attack booth at the Toronto International Auto Show (Feb. 12 – 21 2016). (I believe this was done in a previous year.) Interesting facts about the Toronto International Auto Show: 67% of attendees have incomes $75k or greater. 70% are male. 38% are 50 or older (OFWDI). 19% are 25-34 (YGWDI).

Target the secondary and tertiary geographic markets (the 401 corridor including Belleville, Brockville, Kingston and Ottawa) by having an Ontario Time Attack booth at the Ottawa International Auto Show (March 17 – 20 2016). 10 x 10 and 20 x 20 booths are available at the Ottawa show.

Create more awareness among the YGWDI target market by increased presence on Facebook (I know this has already started). Create an OTA twitter account. Follow automotive journalists on Twitter and they might follow OTA. Have live tweets from OTA events in 2016 with highlights and pictures from the event.

Create more awareness among the OFWDI target market by advertising OTA among morning mall-walking groups, free blood-pressure clinics at the local mall, the local lawn bowling association, the local seniors drop-in centre. Perhaps advertise in Zoomer magazine. Sorry. Just kidding. :) Except possibly for the ads in Zoomer magazine. Zoomers: boomers with zip!

Raise awareness of OTA among the various motorsports groups (SPDA, TAC, OMSC, MCO). I expect awareness is likely very high already, but perhaps more can be done.


Raise Awareness of OTA in the Media


Invite automotive journalists from the major GTA papers (David Booth, Jim Kenzie, Petrina Gentile, Lorraine Summerfield, etc.) to the 2015 OTA School. Possibly give them a free entrance to the first day of the class.


Make it Easier to Get Involved in OTA

Make it easier for New Competitors to get involved in OTA. I initially thought (perhaps incorrectly) that it was a requirement to complete OTA School #1 before being able to compete in OTA events. However, a two-day school that only takes place at the beginning of May can create a barrier to entry for many potential participants. Some may have other commitments during the first weekend in May (it is surprising how often that there is a kid that needs to be moved from university during the first weekend in May). For others, the time and expense of a two-day school may be a barrier. So, two ideas:


Have a 1-day “Intro to OTA” track experience event where, for a nominal fee (e.g. $100) potential new participants can ride along with an instructor, drive their own car on the track and receive some class-room instruction. Possibly repeat it later in the season; e.g. one day at CTMP DDT and one day at SMP. Combine it with an OTA-sponsored lapping day to help pay expenses.

Repeat the two-day OTA school later in the season. Possibly at SMP to attract participants from Belleville, Brockville, Kingston and the surrounding area.

wparsons
10-26-2015, 10:06 AM
Love the idea of inviting journalists to the school, great idea!

Greg Campbell
10-26-2015, 12:26 PM
Love the idea of inviting journalists to the school, great idea!

We had the best social media traffic and clicks from Frank's MotoIQ ariticle. It was the higher number of views we ever had and 'likes' to the page and groups have increased markedly since that article was published.

Gwoody27
10-26-2015, 06:10 PM
Jimmo-san (I am bowing).

Great analysis and ideas, as you said some may have been done already but nothing stops us from trying again.

I will check on the cost of the Toronto Auto Show.

jimmo-san
10-26-2015, 07:32 PM
Jimmo-san (I am bowing).

I will toast your health with some hot Saké tonight, Gary. :)

Some other auto journalists/venues for publicity:

Bounder (http://www.bounder.ca/)

It might sound like a soft-core porn magazine, but it usually has some interesting automotive content. I find it given out for free in stores here and there.

Sharp (http://sharpmagazine.com/)

I get this free with the Globe and Mail every month or two. Also has automotive content. Matt Bubbers is the automotive editor. (https://twitter.com/mattbubbers) He also writes for Globe Drive.

Peter Cheney (https://twitter.com/cheneydrive)

Owns a Lotus. Might put us to shame.

Old Autos (http://oldautos.ca/)

Not the most obvious place to advertise OTA, but it seems to accept articles written by the public. I would think ads are cheap too. Oriented towards the classic car owner.

I'm sure that if these (or other) auto journalists are offered a free day at CTMP DDT, many will take OTA up on it. And may write a favourable article about OTA.

And I mis-spelled Lorraine Sommerfeld's name in my previous post. :o

EDIT:

Don't know how I could forget Zoom-Zoom (http://www.zoomzoommag.ca/issue23-2015#!cover) magazine. Although the focus for any articles in this magazine would have to be the Mazdas that compete in OTA.