News about Hedges & Company, an automotive digital marketing agency
Here is the latest on what’s going on with Hedges & Company and our clients. For industry news and research data please visit our page with links to aftermarket industry news resources.
Hedges & Company donates to LDF
We want to honor the memories of those who have lost their lives to systemic racism and to support those peacefully protesting for change. On behalf of Hedges & Company, Julie and Jon Hedges donated $5,000 to the Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF).
Through litigation, advocacy and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities and achieve racial justice that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. In addition, LDF provides scholarships for African-American students to attend the nation’s best colleges, universities and law schools.
As a business, we strive to be inclusive. We care about our country and providing opportunities for everyone. We are committed to listening, learning and improving as members of the community, and as a company for all our team members and clients.
Hedges & Company Presents at AutoCommerce 2020
(Jan. 2020) — Hedges & Company presented “Guaranteed Ways to Increase Online Revenue Without Spending More on Marketing” at AutoCommerce 2020. The conference was January 23-24 at ChannelAdvisor headquarters in Morrisville, North Carolina.
The conference was full of sessions on strategies and best practices for mastering the complexities of eCommerce as an automotive and powersports retailer or branded manufacturer.
Registration was $50 per person and gave attendees access to all AutoCommerce 2020 sessions, networking breakfast, breaks, lunch and a networking reception the evening of January 23. Attendees could also schedule Ask the Expert meetings on January 23rd or 24th and attend ChannelAdvisor Fulfillment Services training on January 24, 2020.
Hedges & Company Named One of Clutch Top Creative and Marketing Agencies Across 14 Industries
(Sept. 2019) — Hedges & Company was named as one of the leading automotive marketing companies for 2019 by Clutch.
Clutch, the leading B2B ratings and reviews platform covering marketing services, released a new report highlighting the top-performing creative and design agencies in 14 specific industries. These industries are: automotive, business services, dental, eCommerce, education, financial services, financial technology, healthcare, hospitality, legal, media, nonprofit, real estate, and retail.
“The top-rated creative and design agencies in this report know what succeeds in each industry,” said Clutch Business Analyst Ben Dobkin. “The companies have a record of client satisfaction and we are so excited to highlight their ratings and accomplishments.”
Hedges & Company’s Clutch profile can be found here.
Auto Parts & Accessories Website Technical SEO: Free Webinar July 25, 2018
(July 2018) — Hedges & Company, a digital marketing agency, announces an exclusive webinar presentation on search engine optimization (SEO), designed specifically for auto parts & accessory websites. The agency will present the free webinar on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 from 2:00pm to 3:00pm EST.
The focus of the webinar, Part One of a two-part series, will be on technical SEO specifically for websites in the automotive aftermarket.
“Technical issues may prevent your website from being found online,” said Jon Hedges, president of Hedges & Company. “Content plays an important role in organic rankings and search engine optimization, but we’ll be covering some basics that must be in place in order to take advantage of any site content.”
The SEO webinar will cover things important to retailers selling aftermarket parts, as well as manufacturers even if their sites don’t sell direct to consumers. This webinar is for beginners as well as advanced online marketers, and attendees will leave with an actionable plan to improve a site’s technical SEO. It’s even helpful for automotive website developers.
Webinar attendees will learn:
• What’s new in automotive SEO in 2018.
• Basics of structuring a website and web pages.
• How site speed impacts SEO.
• Simple explanations on URL redirects and 404 errors and what they can do to your rankings.
• Other tips for optimizing aftermarket websites.
Drive Auto Parts Sales with Google Shopping & Remarketing: Free Webinar Presented by Google and Hedges & Company Sept. 20, 2017
(September 2017) — Hedges & Company announces an exclusive webinar presentation in conjunction with Google, designed specifically for OEM and aftermarket parts and accessory online retailers.
The webinar will be held Wednesday, September 20, from 1:00pm to 2:00pm EST.
“Automotive parts and accessories buyers are becoming more sophisticated how they search online,” said Jon Hedges, president of Hedges & Company. “Google Shopping and remarketing allows auto parts retailers and e-tailers to get in front of consumers ready to buy, with the ability to show an image of the product they are searching for.”
During the webinar Google’s Candace Jordan will share search trends and insights specific to the automotive parts and accessories market, along with inside information on recent beta testing Google has been conducting. “We will add our own market research findings and offer advice unique to the aftermarket as well as ways to overcome challenges in online marketing,” Hedges added.
Webinar attendees will learn:
• Latest industry trends & insights specific to automotive parts & accessories
• Exclusive insights into Google Shopping
• How to increase the success of Google Shopping campaigns
• Tips for effective remarketing
• How parts & accessories buyers search online
• Overcoming Google Shopping & remarketing challenges
Vehicle Repair & Maintenance Reports, Updated for 2017, Now Available From Babcox Media
(January 2017) — Hedges & Company has updated their Vehicle Repair & Maintenance Reports to cover vehicles in operation (VIO) and repair activity through 2017, and announced a partnership where the reports will be available through Babcox Media.
About Babcox Media: In 1920, Akron, Ohio, native Edward S. Babcox ventured into the business-to-business publishing industry with the acquisition of India Rubber Review magazine, and Babcox Media was born. This single acquisition sparked 97 years of innovation and reinvention as we’ve founded and acquired new media brands and adopted new technologies to remain a strong B2B media leader in the automotive, powersports and truck fleet aftermarkets.
Julie Hedges Featured Speaker at 2016 PWA Annual Meeting at the SEMA Show
(November 2016) — Julie Hedges, president of Hedges & Company, was the featured speaker at the annual Performance Warehouse Association (PWA) Annual Membership Meeting held Wednesday, November 2 during the 2016 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Hedges presented new market research on how consumers shop for and research products before buying, and in particular how they rely on manufacturer websites in their search process.
She revealed how manufacturer websites are now the third most popular way of obtaining product information for consumers who are researching products to buy.
The presentation, titled “Consumers Are Demanding a Closer Relationship With Manufacturers (And the Entire Distribution Chain Benefits)” showed that consumers want to interact directly with the manufacturer and place a lot of value on that direct contact. In a comparison to a study released by Google Automotive and Milward Brown in 2013, Hedges showed that today, 73% of consumers said they visited manufacturer websites, up from 63% in the 2013 Google Automotive study.
The new Hedges market research also dispelled the myth that online activity is limited to a younger demographic. In the research, there was no significant variation in Internet usage among the 18-34, 35-54, 55-65 or 65 and older age groups, other than the 65 and older group was slightly less likely to utilize social media sites. However, as a source of information, social media sites ranked last overall as a source for product information before consumers buy.
The research showed trends for consumers looking for product information before buying, regardless if they ended up purchasing from an online retailer, in a retail store, or direct from the manufacturer. (NOTE: PWA rebranded itself as the Custom Automotive Network (CAN) in 2017.)
Hedges & Company Named to New Premier Google Partner Agency Program
(June 2016) — Hedges & Company has been named as a Premier Google Partner Agency. The Premier Google Partner program is a new program officially beginning July, 2016 and as stated by Google, “This exciting new recognition is reserved for our most valued agencies…”
This new program recognizes agencies and lets them showcase expertise in certain online digital specialties such as AdWords Search, Display, Mobile, Shopping, and Video advertising. There are less than 2,000 Premier Google Partners worldwide, and Hedges & Company is the only Premier Google Partner agency focused on the automotive aftermarket.
Vehicle Repair & Maintenance Reports, Updated for Mid-2016, Now Available
(June 2016) — Hedges & Company has updated their Vehicle Repair & Maintenance Reports to cover vehicles in operation (VIO) and repair activity through mid-2016. The updated reports include 16 automotive product categories and nearly 100 parts and services that car and light truck owners in the United States will buy this year.
The Repair & Maintenance Reports also cover popular vehicles for aftermarket parts, such as trucks & SUVs, Jeep® and American and European performance models. Reports are available for the following automotive product categories: Air Conditioning; Batteries and Alternators; Brakes; Chassis Parts; Engine, Gaskets & Belts; Exhaust & Emissions; Fuel System Parts; Heating & Radiator; Ignition and Electrical; Oil & Filters; Shocks & Suspension, Spark Plugs & Timing, Steering Parts & Services; Transmission Parts; Wheels & Tires; and Windshield & Wipers. The reports can be purchased online and downloaded. Report prices start at $295.00 each.
Hedges & Company Joins PWA
(May 2016) — Hedges & Company has become the newest member of the Performance Warehouse Association (PWA), joining in the Service Provider category.
PWA was founded in 1970 with the mission to assist the specialty automotive industry, and the industry’s efforts to expand, maintain and promote the profitable distribution of specialty automotive products through the manufacturer to distributor to retailer to consumer channel. It is a non-profit trade association and also supports performance retailers through the Performance Automotive Retailer branch of PWA.
Vehicle Repair & Maintenance Reports Now Available from Hedges & Company
(October 2015) — Hedges & Company has published Vehicle Repair & Maintenance Reports for 2016. These new reports cover 16 auto parts categories and nearly 100 auto parts and services that will be purchased in the next year by owners of light trucks and automobiles. These reports give detailed information on the total number of vehicles getting specified parts or services. The reports show data by total vehicles on the road and are segmented by vehicle make, age of vehicle and geographic region. The data also shows popular vehicle types such as light trucks & SUVs, Jeep® and American and European performance models.
These reports improve on previously available reporting by combining 2015 vehicles in operation (VIO) data/projections, consumer data, industry-reported data, manufacturer unit volume data, US Census Personal Consumption Expenditures of auto parts and tires, and primary and secondary market research conducted by Hedges & Company.
“These reports offer valuable market insight for companies to use in order to determine sales potential, or identify new markets for growth,” said Julie Hedges, principal at Hedges & Company. “There’s a lack of quantifiable data available to aftermarket businesses to measure the size or potential of a specific market. The Vehicle Repair & Maintenance Reports provide real numbers for them to work with.”
Reports are available for automotive product categories including Air Conditioning, Batteries and Alternators, Brakes, Chassis Parts, Engine Gaskets and Belts, Exhaust and Emissions, Fuel System Parts, Heating and Radiator Components, Ignition and Electrical, Oil and Filters, Shocks and Suspension, Spark Plugs and Timing Components, Steering Parts, Transmission, Wheels and Tires and Windshield. The reports are available by product category or by individual part or service at a lower cost.
Hedges & Company Named Trustpilot Partner Agency
(August 2015) — Hedges & Company and Trustpilot announced an agreement where Hedges & Company has been named a Trustpilot Partner Agency. Hedges & Company will work with online retailers selling aftermarket parts and accessories to participate in Trustpilot’s online review platform.
Trustpilot is a consumer review website providing e-commerce reviews, and was founded in Denmark in 2007. Trustpilot is active in 24 countries and hosts user-generated reviews in several different languages. The website’s services are free for users and there are both free and paid options for online retailers. Trustpilot has offices in New York, London, Copenhagen and Melbourne, and employs more than 400 people. In 2015 Trustpilot hosted 13 million consumer reviews.
Hedges & Company Called to Help Solve Mystery of 12,000 “Missing” Teslas
(November, 2014) — Call it the Great Missing Tesla Mystery. Bloomberg Businessweek tracks the auto builder Tesla closely and calls us a few times a year for updates on registration data. Associate Editor Kyle Stock’s recent story, “The Mystery of 12,000 Missing Teslas: Overseas Boom or Waning U.S. Demand?” noted that overseas markets may be a reason that registrations of Tesla Model S vehicles are not growing as fast in the US in 2014 as in 2013.
The article found here compares Tesla’s reported year-to-date delivery figures of 21,821 cars, to year-to-date US registrations of 9,331 cars provided by Hedges & Company. While Tesla does not release monthly registration statistics, it is clear that their overseas deliveries are up significantly this year.
The “Mystery of 12,000 Missing Teslas” was also a lead story on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West” segment, airing at 1:00 pm Eastern on November 18. Hedges & Company was credited as the source for the analysis. As Bloomberg’s Cory Johnson pointed out on the show, Wall Street follows the number of Tesla cars produced very closely. We’d like to thank Bloomberg Businessweek for trusting Hedges & Company with this analysis.
Hedges & Company Speaks at 3rd Annual Cleveland Research Company Retail Conference, Chicago
(September, 2014) — Cleveland Research Company, an independent equity research firm headquartered in Cleveland, hosted their 3rd Annual Retail Conference in Chicago in September. Hedges & Company was an event sponsor, and participated in the invitation-only conference in a panel discussion on eCommerce, as well as lead a breakout session on digital marketing.
The annual conference is made up of large eCommerce retailers and Fortune 500 companies. Cleveland Research Company distributes proprietary research and findings to 125 of the largest institutional investors in the United States.
The panel discussion included questions from the audience on the future of online retailing, digital marketing strategies and digital marketing best practices. Hedges & Company provided insight from the perspective as a Google Partner Agency as well as digital marketing trends to expect in the next year or two.
Hedges & Company Speaks at AASA Emerging Leaders Conference on Social Media in the Automotive Aftermarket
(August, 2014) — Hedges & Company presented findings on social media in the automotive aftermarket at the AASA Emerging Leaders Summer Meeting, August 27 at Delphi world headquarters in Troy, Michigan. The presentation, on Social Media in the Aftermarket, covered these topics: Relationship of social media and organic rankings of automotive websites in Google; Where and how social media is underutilized; Opportunities to increase brand presence and sales; and Future of social media and the aftermarket.
The meeting was the inaugural Emerging Leaders meeting. More information is available on the AASA website. The Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) Emerging Leaders program was created to provide education and networking opportunities for automotive aftermarket professionals.
Hedges & Company Provides Recall Data to Detroit News
(April, 2014) — The Detroit News called Hedges & Company for data on vehicle registrations for a story on how many vehicles were potentially affected by the recent GM recalls in Michigan.
Here’s an excerpt from a story in the Detroit News by Melissa Burden: “More than 100,000 cars that General Motors Co. has recalled for ignition switch and ignition-lock cylinder defects are registered to Michigan drivers, according to analysis of registration data by an Ohio-based research firm. Hedges & Company estimates that 104,455 cars — nearly 5 percent of the recalled vehicles GM has recalled for ignition issues in the United States — are registered to owners who live in Michigan.”
GM Recall Hits Colorado; Denver Post Calls Hedges & Company
(April, 2014) — The Denver Post relied on vehicle registration data supplied by Hedges & Company for a story revealing how many vehicles in Colorado were potentially affected by the recent GM recalls.
Here’s an excerpt from a story in the Denver Post by Aldo Svaldi: “More than 59,000 General Motors vehicles registered in Colorado could face recalls due to faulty ignition switches and defective power steering systems, according to counts from Hedges & Company…the vehicles most prevalent in Colorado were the 2003-2007 Saturn Ion with 8,337 cars; the 2005-2007 Chevy Cobalt with 7,027 cars and the 2008-2013 GMC Acadia with 6,083 SUVs, according to Hedges & Company, an Ohio firm that tracks vehicle registration data down to the zip code level.”
Full Pull for Economy
(February, 2014) — The Northwest Ohio Tractor Pullers Association (NWOTPA) released the results of an economic impact study, done by Hedges & Company, to determine the economic impact of the 2013 National Tractor Pulling Championships in Bowling Green, Ohio. The study was presented by Julie Hedges at a dinner in Bowling Green with local and county officials.
Here’s an excerpt from a story in the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune: “It was just an opportunity to get a handle on what impact does this really have on the community so we can pursue local business sponsorship, and national sponsorship dollars,” Mike Ott, the president of the board of directors for the NWOTPA, said about the decision to do the study. “It’s a concrete number that actually means something. In the past it’s always been an estimate, a guess … It’s really put some real credit to what the real numbers, and the real value of the event is.”
“I knew the numbers were great, but I don’t think any of us had any idea that they were this great,” said Wendy Stram, the executive director of the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau.
In the study, Julie Hedges combined the amount spent by fans in seven areas of expenses, including fuel, food, drinks, hotel/camping, souvenirs, shopping, and gratuities, as well as ticket and merchandise sales, and applied an economic model.
Hedges & Company Teams Again With Web Shop Manager on Webinar
(October, 2013) — Hedges & Company teamed up with the web site experts at Web Shop Manager for another free webinar covering how to make the SEMA Show more productive for exhibitors, especially using a company’s own website or through email marketing. The focus of the webinar is producing more leads, more booth traffic, and more sales after the SEMA Show. Hedges & Company will be posting tips discussed in the webinar. Visitors are also encouraged to head to Web Shop Manager for more information on building a turnkey website or to get in touch with one of their web design experts.
Hedges & Company Earns Google Partner Badge
(October, 2013) — Hedges & Company has earned the new Google Partner badge, a new program rolled out to replace the old Google Engage program. To earn the Google Partner badge, Hedges & Company met Google’s certification requirements and is a trusted company to market clients on Google. For more information on Hedges & Company’s status in the Google Partners program visit the Partners page here. The “official” launch of Google Partners was October 2, 2013, so we were very proud to receive our Partner badge a day early, on October 1.
In order to earn the Google Partner badge, Hedges & Company met Google’s certification requirements as a pay per click (PPC) service provider and utilizes best recommended practices. As Google states, “Work with the best. Google Partners are online marketing companies, trusted by Google.”
Hedges & Company Partners With Web Shop Manager on Webinar
(September, 2013) — Hedges & Company, with the web site experts at Web Shop Manager, conducted a webinar covering “6 Keys for Increasing Holiday Online Sales” on September 26. The points covered were: 1). How to be prepared for your biggest online shopping days; 2). Customer wish lists: Ideas you can use and how to implement; 3). Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs): How and why; 4). Utilizing social: Pros and cons; 5). Responsive design for desktop and mobile devices; and 6). Remarketing/retargeting online ads: How and why. Hedges & Company will be posting some marketing blogs as a follow up to the webinar and visitors are encouraged to visit Web Shop Manager for information on building a turnkey website.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek.com uses Hedges & Company Data for Tesla Story
(September, 2013) — When Bloomberg BusinessWeek.com ran a story on the popularity of new Tesla vehicle registrations by state they relied on Hedges & Company as the source. Kyle Stock wrote an article called, “Tesla Popularity Contest: Model S Mania in Washington State” that showed one out of every 100 new passenger car registrations was a Tesla. Stock wrote in part, “Tesla buyers in Washington, however, have the additional perk of skipping state sales taxes and emissions inspections on the Tesla, which may be a big reason why the state has the highest ratio of Model S registrations relative to all other new passenger car registrations this year. By this density metric, which corrects for California’s bigger population, Washington is the top state for Teslas. In the first half of the year, Washingtonians registered one Tesla for every 100 passenger cars, according to Hedges & Company. Californians bought 107 other cars for every Tesla, with Washington D.C, Hawaii, and Oregon rounding out the top five list for Teslas.” The Tesla article can be found here.
Hedges & Company Assists NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams
(May, 2013) — When NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams was breaking a news story on crash test results for small SUVs they turned to Hedges & Company for market data. On May 16 the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a new report on crash tests for small SUVs and the Subaru Forester was the only one of 13 small SUVs to earn an overall rating of good. NBC Nightly News needed to report on the total number of small SUVs on the road and made a phone call to Hedges & Company that afternoon. A tight deadline was looming before the show aired at 6:30 pm Eastern and Hedges & Company was able to send the information to NBC producers in time. Hedges & Company is one of the leading sources for vehicle registration data for the United States and several dozen other countries.
Hedges & Company Participates In “Ask the Experts” Panel at ChannelAdvisor’s CatalystAmericas 2013
(April, 2013) — Hedges & Company, a ChannelAdvisor Agency Partner, was invited to ChannelAdvisor’s annual CatalystAmericas event in Las Vegas. Jon Hedges was a panelist on the “Ask the Experts” panel, discussing search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing strategies unique to the automotive aftermarket, and answering questions from attendees.
Over 800 attended CatalystAmericas, held in Las Vegas April 29 through May 1, 2013.
Hedges & Company Ranks #28 in Direct Marketing Agency Standings
(June, 2012) — Hedges & Company was again named one of the top direct marketing agencies in the 2012 Agency Business Report by Direct Marketing News magazine. The report ranked Hedges & Company as the 28th leading direct marketing agency in the United States. The Report ranks agencies across industries by reportable US revenue and can be downloaded here as a PDF file.
As a leader in database marketing, market research and strategy serving the automotive aftermarket industry, Hedges & Company is proud to be recognized along with agencies serving broader markets. We would like to thank our clients for making this possible. Direct Marketing News discontinued the Direct Marketing Agency Standings after 2012.
Hedges & Company Expands International Reach through Research and Markets
(May, 2012) — Hedges & Company has joined into a strategic relationship with the Irish-based firm Research and Markets to distribute BuyerZoom and BrandZoom research reports globally. Research and Markets promotes and distributes more than 1.5 million market research reports covering all industries. Research and Markets specializes in reaching the European and Asian business communities, giving Hedges & Company research on the automotive aftermarket global reach.
“We’re excited to work with Research and Markets to distribute our reports world-wide,” said Julie Hedges. “This also gives manufacturers and distributors from outside the U.S. a convenient way to learn about entering the U.S. market.”
BuyerZoom and BrandZoom research reports will be marketed by Research and Markets and will still be available for purchase directly from Hedges & Company. Reports through Research and Markets are priced in Euros.
Hedges & Company Opens Online Market Research Store
(January, 2012) — Market research reports on automotive enthusiasts’ buying behavior and brand perceptions are now available From Hedges & Company. These reports include new part-specific BuyerZoom and BrandZoom research reports which are based on research compiled from surveys sent to more than 100,000 enthusiasts.
BuyerZoom reports are part-specific and include data on reasons for buying a part, type of vehicle the part was purchased for, type of outlet purchase from and why, where enthusiasts go for product information, first part purchased, demographics and more. They include the top 25 magazines consumers read and the top automotive websites they visit. This information can help business owners and managers in media planning.
BrandZoom reports are also part-specific and capture enthusiasts’ awareness, opinions and perceptions of the brands for specific types of products. Survey respondents selected words and phrases that match their perception of the brands they were familiar with. These reports also include graphs of brand familiarity with the percentage of respondents who were aware of brand names, and graphs of positive perception with the percentage of positive attributes consumers associate with those brands. Reports include attributes such as trusted brand, ease of installation and quality.
BuyerZoom and BrandZoom research reports are currently available for camshafts, crankshafts, cylinder heads and gaskets. Additional reports to be added include bearings, carburetors, connecting rods, engine blocks, engine fasteners, fuel and oil pumps, intake manifolds, valve lifters, pistons, rocker arms, valves, valve covers and valve springs.
Hedges & Company Ranked #33 in Direct Marketing Agency Standings
(July, 2011) — Hedges & Company was named one of the top direct marketing agencies in the 2011 Agency Business Report released by Direct Marketing News. The report ranked Hedges & Company as the 33rd leading direct marketing agency in the US. The Report ranks agencies across industries by reportable US revenue and can be viewed here.
As a leader in database marketing, market research and strategy, Hedges & Company is grateful for the recognition. We are proud to be part of the automotive industry and will continue to thoroughly serve our customers.
Opinion Leaders Market Research Report Released by SEMA
(February, 2011) — The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has released a market research report prepared by Hedges & Company covering the SEMA Show Opinion Leaders program. As with the previous year, Opinion Leaders Program participants were granted one-day access to the SEMA Show.
They completed a detailed survey to share their opinions and buying habits, and shared impressions from the SEMA Show through social media using their personal account or their car club affiliation. The feedback from the Opinion Leaders market research program gives SEMA members a big opportunity to understand the buying process used by automotive enthusiasts.
An important finding: almost universally, enthusiasts associate “performance” with “an improvement in function” and not necessarily with “speed.” This is worth noting because the aftermarket industry often associates the word “performance” with horsepower. A restoration enthusiast is likely to refer to a replacement radio as “improved performance” just like an off-road enthusiast might refer to a new suspension as “improved performance” even though he may be rock-crawling at 5 mph. About 85% of enthusiasts reported purchasing parts for more than one vehicle. (story continued on the Hedges & Company blog)
Hedges & Company Conducting Automotive Market Research with 2010 SEMA Show Opinion Leader Program
(September, 2010) — Building on the success of last year’s Opinion Leader market research program, SEMA announced the market research program will be expanded at the 2010 SEMA Show. Hedges & Company will be conducting extensive focus group research with dozens of automotive enthusiasts at the 2010 SEMA Show covering the off-road, street performance, light truck, motorsports, powersports and tire/wheel market segments.
The program is open to consumers, not normally admitted to the SEMA Show. It brings together a group of the nation’s most influential and active car and truck enthusiasts to identify future trends in the automotive aftermarket. The Opinion Leaders get an exclusive look at thousands of new products, and they’ll be asked to share feedback on industry trends, vehicles and products as well as their experience at the 2010 SEMA Show. Opinions Leaders will also be sharing photos, videos and comments through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Participants will also be asked to add SEMA to their own social network contacts, register with SEMA’s own social media feed, publish comments, photos and/or video from the 2010 SEMA Show using the #SEMA hashtag and have that information shared through SEMA’s EnjoyTheDrive.com consumer website.
SEMA Show Wins 2010 Innovation Award from Trade Show Executive Magazine
(June, 2010) — The SEMA Show was awarded an Innovation Award for the Opinion Leaders project, where carefully-selected enthusiast consumers were brought into the trade-only show. The goals were to increase awareness of exhibiting manufacturers and to gain market research knowledge. Hedges & Company assisted with the screening and selection of enthusiasts and market research.
The article in the June, 2010 issue of Trade Show Executive Magazine states, in part:
Building a social networking community is trendy, but the SEMA Show went to great lengths to ensure that the community it created remained an exclusive club. The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) developed a strategy that enabled it to bring SEMA Show exhibitors into closer contact with the customers of their customers, that is, car buffs that ultimately buy the products of the attendees. The result was a cadre of visitors who were considered quality attendees even though they were end-users and not part of SEMA’s traditional target audience. This represents a milestone in SEMA Show history as the event is a strictly enforced, trade-only show that has never before been accessible to consumers. “We were careful to ensure that business at the show was not disrupted, so the number of enthusiasts was restricted to only 527, less than 1% of all attendees,” said Tom Myroniak, vice president of marketing and member services for SEMA.
The 2009 SEMA Show ranks No. 11 on Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100 list, with 735,200 net square feet of exhibit space and 106,000 attendees. The groundwork done in the months leading up to the 2009 SEMA Show resulted in a strategy for community building and social networking that is more sophisticated than simply opening the doors of their trade shows to the general public.
The results were impressive. Facebook friends of the SEMA Show spiked from 2,000 to 6,200 in November, and the show was a Top Ten Twitter topic on November 4. At the same time, show managers were able to tap into a new source of insight into the thinking and buying behavior of the car enthusiasts. Myroniak reported that the research resulted in many ground-breaking discoveries, including insights into vehicle ownership and modification; behavior changes due to gas prices; and other buyer behavior.
Worldwide Reach: Quarter of All SEMA Show Buyers Come From Outside U.S.
Demonstrating the specialty-equipment industry’s growing global reach, international buyer and attendee attendance continues to climb. Hailing from 140 countries and U.S. territories, 2009 SEMA Show international attendees increased to 25%, a 5% rise from 2008, according Hedges & Company data.
One of every four buyers at the 2009 SEMA Show came from outside the United States, with the percentage of international buyers increasing from 22% in 2008 to 25% in 2009. Ninety percent of international buyers had the ability to make buying decisions or recommendations, which is three points higher than the net buying influence of domestic buyers.
Forty-two percent of international buyers were from businesses with annual sales of less than $1 million, while 59% of international buyers were from businesses in operation 11 or more years. Eighty-two percent reported at least 10% of their business was wholesale compared to 68% for U.S. buyers. International buyers also reported a higher mix of wholesale business, 73% of which have $5 million or less in annual sales from one location and wholesale is half of their business.
This Bit of Business is Hardly a Drag
(Exerpted from Reporter’s Notebook, Crain’s Cleveland Business magazine, March 29-April 4, 2010) — Database marketing company Hedges & Company in Hudson has carved a nice niche in the automotive world, based on its principals’ years of experience in the field. But that niche recently got a little bigger, as the company announced a deal with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the national sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing.
Hedges & Company has culled consumer buying history and association membership history, among other things, to provide NHRA a comprehensive database of attendees and members.
SEMA Releases Four Enthusiast Opinion Leader Market Research Reports
(March, 2010) — The market research department of SEMA released four ground-breaking market research reports from the first-ever Enthusiast Opinion Leaders Research Program conducted at the SEMA Show in November 2009. The reports have been released to SEMA Show exhibitors for free and will be available for sale to the rest of the industry. The four reports include: Applicant and Pre-Survey Analysis – Provides insight into the program participants and the 1,651 comprehensive applications that they completed. Data includes demographics, amount spent on accessories and types of modifications made to the vehicles owned by these enthusiasts. Buying Behavior Analysis – Discusses the buying behaviors of enthusiasts based on their segment preference, whether it be compact performance, off-road, racing, or any of the eight primary niches that SEMA studies. Focus Group Results – Two focus groups were held at the SEMA Show as a part of the Enthusiast Program. This report includes findings related to the two target groups: truck/SUV enthusiasts; and street-performance enthusiasts. Gas Price Influence – Enthusiasts were asked questions regarding their response to increased gas prices as it relates to accessory and vehicle purchases.
Hedges & Company assisted the market research department of SEMA with the Enthusiast Opinion Leaders Research Program by screening applicants and conducting focus group research for SEMA and authored the four reports.
NHRA Hires Hedges & Company To Assist With Database Marketing
(March 8, 2010) Glendora, Calif. -– With the intent of better reaching and servicing its fan base, NHRA has retained the services of Hedges & Company, a database marketing agency in Hudson, Ohio, to assist the world’s largest sanctioning body on a comprehensive database marketing initiative in 2010.
“We’ve launched our database marketing initiative in order to better communicate with NHRA fans and to add value for our sponsors and partners,” said Gary Darcy, senior vice president, sales and marketing, NHRA. “Aligning our efforts with Hedges & Company makes perfect sense given their extensive knowledge and success in database marketing and the drag racing marketplace.”
Hedges & Company will assist NHRA in organizing its extensive internal databases with the goal of creating an actionable marketing database to extend the variety of touch points NHRA currently has with its various customers and constituents. “We’re excited to be working with NHRA and bringing the latest database marketing technology and predictive analytics to motorsports,” said Jon Hedges, principal of Hedges and Company.
Hedges & Company is a full service database marketing, market research and strategic planning firm specializing in motorsports and the automotive industry, headquartered in Hudson, Ohio. The company offers email marketing, database marketing, direct mail and customer list management solutions, as well as mailing lists.
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA has 80,000 members and 140 member tracks nationwide. As the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States, NHRA presents 23 national events in the U.S. featuring the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. Two NHRA-sanctioned bracket racing series provide competition opportunities for drivers of all levels: the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers the Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 8 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Gainesville Raceway in Florida; Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com.
Hedges & Company Recognized by Hudson Economic Development Groups
(February, 2010) Hudson, Ohio -– Three local organizations responsible for economic development have recognized Hedges & Company, a market research and database marketing agency, for investing in Hudson. A new program sponsored by the City of Hudson Economic Development department and the Hudson Chamber of Commerce/ExploreHudson.com, recognizes companies new to the city with a sign placed in front of the business.
Hedges & Company relocated to office space in Hudson in September, 2009 and has since expanded its staff.
Hedges & Company Grows, Acquires New Office Space
(September, 2009) Hudson, Ohio -– Hedges & Company, a database marketing, strategic planning and market research firm specializing in the automotive aftermarket industry, motorcycle/powersports industry, and other enthusiast-based market segments, has expanded into larger office space in Hudson, Ohio. The new offices are located in the Cambridge Commons Building located at 126 W Streetsboro Street (also known as State Route 303), Suite 8, Hudson OH 44236.