As Sea-Doo watercraft inventory dried up in the summer of 2021, we quickly shifted our focus to pre-sales of 2022 models. Our goal: to capture purchase intent and maximize pre-sales of the next Sea-Doo 2022 models. But how do we adapt to longer buying cycles? How do we maintain consumer interest until the 2022 models are available?
For the first time in decades, North Americans are experiencing the frustration of a global supply chain crisis. Cars, computer chips, household appliances... countless products are out of stock. The same applies to Sea-Doo. Now, more than ever, consumers need to plan their purchases in advance. Since 2021, purchasing cycles have become longer and more complex.
Our goal: to capture purchase intent and maximize pre-sales of upcoming Sea-Doo 2022 models that were not yet available. But how do you adapt to longer buying cycles? How do we maintain consumer interest until the 2022 models are available?
By analyzing the consumer journey, we found that personalization is one of the only strategies that can keep consumers waiting. Indeed, they are willing to wait for next year's model if it is perfectly adapted to their needs and preferences.
To adapt to the new buying cycle, we decided to focus on the Sea-Doo customization tool, available on our website, inviting consumers to customize their Sea-Doo according to their ideals.
Now, how could we be sure of capturing in-market buyers when our products wouldn't be available for several months? Our solution was based on SEM: the most effective channel for capturing purchase intent. However, we had to adapt our SEM strategies to consumers' buying cycles, which were becoming longer and more complex.
We therefore developed a 3-stage SEM strategy adapted to the global shortage and extended buying cycles. For Sea-Doo, SEM has thus become the key to developing customer consideration, rather than short-term conversions, as is usually the case.
Step 1: Capture demand when potential buyers are actively in market.
Personal watercraft are highly seasonal products. Potential buyers are only in the market a few months out of the year. These are crucial months for Sea-Doo sales! We had to seize the opportunity when people were on the market... even if we didn't have any Sea-Doos to sell. We suspended all ad groups related to "promotions" and "used Sea-Doo", as consumers searching for these keywords wouldn't be willing to wait for 2022 models. It was a huge gamble; we stopped ad groups with historically the highest conversion rates and sales volumes. A gamble that paid off in the end...
Step 2: Drive traffic towards our customization tool
Step 3: Maintain interest until the 2022 models are available for sale
The customization tools captured consumers' personal information and allowed us to build a strong time-relevant database of in-market consumers. We sustained their interest through CRM communications, such as newsletters and social campaigns, fuelled by the captured first-party data. As soon as the new models became available, we switched back to our usual SEM campaign strategy and we updated our retargeting pool with all the new leads generated by the customization tool.