As an M.A. student at Michigan State University I participated in the Google Online Marketing Challenge. Below I have included my pre-campaign strategy that I developed for Cycletherapy Bicycles in Waterford, MI
CycleTherapy (CT) is a bicycle sales and service business, located in Waterford, MI and owned by Ernie Dell. CT offers a wide selection of bicycles for different people and uses. They also focus on providing expert service (repairs and tune-ups). Ernie’s staff (between 4-12 seasonally) is professionally trained and certified to work on all bicycle makes and models of bicycles. CycleTherapy online (CT online) (http://ctbicycles.com) offers customers the ability to shop online as well as tips on bicycling, bike advocacy, and biking news.
CT has competition in sales and service from 5 bike-specific stores. CT also competes nationally for sales with big box retail stores (e.g., Target.com), as well with the used bike and bike part market on sites such as eBay.com
Bicycling in Michigan is a seasonal activity. Spring and summer are critical sales months for CT. Ernie wants to capitalize on upcoming warming temperatures in Michigan, by capturing new customers eager to get into biking, as well as existing bikers who need their bicycles serviced before hitting the trails.
According to market analysts, the biggest market for new bike sales will come from keeping the white male market (3.6 million nationally currently). Women, minorities and casual biker are historically an untapped resource in this industry. Although Ernie’s existing customers are mainly mountain bike riders, he specifically wants to target the large baby boomer market (40-50 yrs olds). He also wants to focus on capturing casual women riders.
CT’s revenue is about $900,000 annual gross. Advertising has been limited to print in local papers and Yellowpages. Ernie has experimented with radio with unsatisfactory results. Adwords is a exciting opportunity for 2 reasons.
Proposed Adwords Strategy
Our strategy is to focus on two broad campaigns, sales and service. Sales is a strong campaign focus, because our target audience are not experts and will likely seek out a physical bike shop and salespeople before purchasing a bike. Also, repairs must be done in person, which means people will need to search for local shops in order to service their bicycles.
Our two campaigns will be broken into 6 AdGroups. We decided for most keyword searches we would do variations of bike and bicycle which are the most common phrases for referring to non-motorized bikes. We also, chose to use negative like “-motor” to remove unwanted searches for motorcycles. We decided to leave the term “Waterford” out, which isthe city the bike store is located in because most search terms like “Bike Shop Waterford” already shop his shop as the number one natural result. We used Google Keyword Tool to compare the competition of some keywords against the estimated amount of traffic it would produce. The first set of AdGroups, “Bike Shop” and “Bicycle Shop” focus on people who are looking for a place to purchase bikes overall. The ads focus on location and staff as key selling points of the business. Our final sales AdGroup “29 Bike” is a unique keyword specifically requested by Ernie, the owner who has noticed this as a trend in his industry. 29 refers to the wheel size of the bike, which has become a standard size in bicycling. Although, this particular ad focuses on a more experienced rider who knows bike terminology, there is virtually no competition on the keyword, making it worthwhile to experiment with.
Our service campaign will begin with “Bike Repair” and “Bicycle Repair”. Although these are general terms, the cost/traffic ratio fits within our budget. Our ad includes information about the staff and location, which we believe will be selling points for potential customers. Finally, Ernie also suggested another keyword phrase based on a trend he has seen with his shop, which is “Schwinn Repair”. Ernie has noticed many people calling and asking if they repair Schwinn bicycles. Although his shop repairs all bikes, he believes Schwinn bikes fit into the baby boomer demographic he is interested in capturing. This keyword has no competition and so we decided to experiment with it as well.