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  • Ken

Kicking Off 2022

Track Yard Agency's First SEMA Show

SEMA is the biggest trade show for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry. Leading up to the show, we were trying to find our groove in the industry. While talking to companies at The SEMA Show, we’ve learned that many companies need marketing help. Surprisingly, when we asked these companies what they need help with, several didn’t know where to start. Given the current climate of the pandemic, things are somewhat getting back to “normal” and its hard to come by good help these days. This is where we came in.

We made our pitches, impressed many, and made our mark at SEMA. One of the biggest take-aways we got from speaking with individuals is the big shift of bringing their business online. Of course, we know this isn’t breaking news. However, due to the pandemic many brick and mortar stores faced hard times and some businesses closed. We’ve seen this happen across all industries and even restaurants had to become savvy to digitize their menus via QR codes and revamp their business to take out and delivery using online ordering and third-party services.

Could this be a generational gap? Perhaps. The younger generations have got this figured out. You’ve got some people running their entire businesses from their garage with slim to no overhead. On the flipside, you have a shop owner who is a master at wrenching but doesn’t have the time or the knowledge to set up an online business. This also brings us back to finding good and honest help. There are many advertising and marketing agencies out there but unlike us here at Track Yard Agency, many are not enthusiast or have limited experience working in the Automotive Aftermarket Industry.

What We Do

The Track Yard Agency team is experienced from working with manufacturers, wholesale distributors and shops. Understanding and working firsthand on the entire flow and sales channels from B2B to B2C sets us apart from other marketing agencies. Being enthusiasts also allows us to relate and understand many demographics, so we know what appeals to various audiences. Our skill set is all encompassing, and we believe that as the previous generation hands us the keys to the industry we will be in the forefront coming up with ways to evolve and keep up with the technological advances.

The Mastermind NA Toyota Trueno AE86

Our partnership with Mastermind North America allowed us to be involved with several SEMA projects. One in particular is the Mastermind “Trueno” built by Tec-Arts. This restomod project is a one of a kind build with a laundry list of rare and performance parts including the entire chassis bracing by Cusco. You can check out more about the Trueno 86 on MotorTrend's feature. This AE86 was on display in the Cusco USA booth and was side by side with Cusco Japan’s new GR86 fitted with Pandem’s latest widebody kit for the GR86 platform. The old vs new heritage theme drew the crowds and the Cusco booth was one of the booths that people remember and talk about until this day. Track Yard Agency’s involvement with industry leaders allows us to connect companies to collaborate on projects and build long lasting business relationships. This is how we will make the industry great again!

The Road to PRI

To be quite honest, we had no plans to attend The PRI Show. At this early stage in our company, we didn’t set aside any budgets let alone plan to attend. It wasn’t until we had a meeting with a good friend who used to be part of that organization for many years, mind you this was two days before the PRI Show. We spoke to him about our company and our plan to help businesses grow, develop and improve their online business. He immediately said, you’ve got to go to PRI, no ifs ands or buts. He made a great point about missing opportunities, and we didn’t want to wait another year for us to have this opportunity. So we called an audible and booked a super last minute day trip to PRI. Yes, I said day trip. We flew in on a red eye, walked the show, and flew back the same night.

The game plan was to talk to shops and business owners about their current presence online and identify any areas they need help with. We started down one aisle and began to get overwhelmed as I looked at the map and the time. I thought to myself, this will take more than a day. Immediately after that, “light bulb.” Given my relationships with many wholesale distributors and them working with manufacturers and shop owners, it was a great opportunity to approach them and let them know of our plan.

The plan, the mission, or the “sauce” as we call it, has developed from assisting companies with their marketing to becoming data integration specialists for e-commerce platforms, specifically Shopify. Product data plays a large role in the industry, and it tends to be overlooked for many reasons. One, it’s time consuming. Two, shop owners don’t have the capacity to learn and manage it alongside their current business. For whatever reason or excuse people have, it’s inevitable to work with the data and how that data is integrated and how to properly display products on a website is a major key to the success of an online shop.

There are many layers when it comes to building a site and integrating the product data is only one obstacle. Just because the product data has been uploaded to the site doesn’t mean the job is done. User experience and the vibe and looks of the site also plays a big part. This is where our we kick it into high gear and offer a solution to maximize product listings, organizing collections and creating an unforgettable user experience comes into play.

After speaking with several wholesale distributors, we established our first official WD partnership. Torqued Distribution understood right away what our plans are and expressed the common issue of how data is integrated and sorted among eCommerce platforms. Torqued Distribution is a technology-driven company, and they partner up with companies like us to create high performing eCommerce stores using their very own Warehouse as a Service (Waas) 100% virtual warehouse solution. This is something we will cover in a separate blog. You can check out more information about the partnership here.

Other notable relationships were made during PRI such as Global Time Attack, we met up with Jason and his team and have partnered up with them to assist their drivers and race teams with their sponsorship proposals. We are also working with the PRI and SEMA organization come up with an educational seminar relating to our solution for product data and how to properly integrate it to eCommerce stores.

Overall it was a successful trip, it was a grind flying to Indianapolis red eye, stay for the day, and flying back home the same night. Nonetheless, we made great partnerships with amazing companies and individuals. Our path continues and we’ve got some work to do.

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