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Tailoring the Customer Experience as a Harley-Davidson Dealership

Oakland Harley-Davidson stays true to the brand by providing a tailored experience for each one of its guests. Learn how its team uses HubSpot to provide a unique customer journey, both online and offline.

  • 48% increase in contacts

  • 24% increase in sales

Oakland Harley-Davidson

Oakland Harley-Davidson is California's premier Harley-Davidson dealer, specializing in Harley-Davidson motorcycle sales, parts, accessories, riding gear, and apparel.


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    Oakland Harley-Davidson stays true to the brand by providing a tailored experience for each one of their guests, both online and offline. To be able to improve upon their face-to-face experience through a custom online journey, the team over at Oakland Harley-Davidson uses HubSpot. Through the platform, they are able to recognize their clients’ needs, wants and desires as well as manage the data provided by corporate to be able to improve the final customer experience.

    The Implementation of a Customer-Centric Mindset in the Online World

    Riding a Harley is about experiencing freedom on the open road, and connecting your life experiences through a motorcycle. The customer experience has been a core piece of the business as Harley is a brand that inspires a sense of freedom within riders while connecting customers to a worldwide community, which should be reflected in their first touch-point with their customers.

    This means that riders' goals should be identified from the very beginning, and their entire journey should stay on par with the core values of the company. Their customer-centric approach concentrates around building the right experience, conveying the feeling of freedom, and sharing a community behind this experience.

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    Oakland Harley-Davidson General Manager Jess Bettencourt knew that the Harley community was diverse and that the company was in need of further personalizing the customer experience from the very first touchpoint. That meant that through their online efforts, visitors should fully connect with the content, ultimately leading them to the dealership to live the experience in person.

    Jess Bettencourt says that “a lot of our guests when they come in, they come from different forms of lifestyles. We have to understand what their needs are, and what their goals are. Each person is different and we want to treat each of them according to their expectations.”

    Additionally, Business Development Specialist Carina Sanders was facing issues with properly channeling, segmenting, and effectively reaching out to the new leads that corporate sends to their division frequently. Spending a few days of the week manually reviewing these leads to remove duplicates from spreadsheets restricted Carina from being able to focus her energy on the actual experience the team wants to convey.

    She shares, “I would export all of the contacts, use the data formatting tool and go through all the information manually trying to figure out which ones were duplicates.”

    With a large number of contacts, having duplicate data was getting on the way of a customer-centric communication strategy since customers were receiving the same content multiple times, and were being contacted by multiple individuals.

    Fortunately, since the team started using HubSpot, the Oakland division has been able to tackle all of these challenges. By using the platform’s tools, they have implemented the Harley-Davidson customer-centric mindset into their digital marketing and outreach strategies.

    How Oakland Brings the Riding Experience to the Online World

    Part of what the team has been able to achieve with HubSpot starts with buyer personas for each one of their segments. While their audience is widely diverse, they have been able to identify traits that characterize guests based on their experience riding motorcycles and interests.

    As Jess mentions, “We do not want to send the same information to someone who is starting to engage with us than to a person who has been riding for 15 years.” By identifying buyer personas through HubSpot, the team is now able to provide targeted content to each one of their guests and keep them engaged. 

    HubSpot is now making it easier for the sales and marketing efforts to work in unison by helping the team analyze what the clients are looking for allowing them to put in place better strategies to further customize the customer experience. HubSpot has helped them understand what each client is looking for, allowing the team to reach out to any guest through the platform and give them a more personalized and cohesive treatment.

    To better understand their clients and guests, the Oakland Harley-Davidson team is leveraging HubSpot’s insights as it provides relevant information about age, needs, and interests for every customer and lead. This data is used to provide a focused experience according to their interests thus providing extra-value by ensuring the delivery of relevant content. “HubSpot allows us to understand what our customers' needs are and be able to treat these needs individually,'' said Jess.

    There are many ways in which HubSpot’s Marketing Hub has helped them be more efficient, especially when delivering content. She also said "now we can see how effective our content is, like blogs. We can see where people are clicking, why people are interested in one article instead of another."

    The team has been leveraging features, not just to sell motorcycles but also to manage their content, system, and warranties. Through the de-duplicate feature, Carina is able to increase her efficiently in data management and the rest of the sales team is much more aligned.

    “I used to spend many hours with duplicate contacts but with the de-duplication tool, I spend maybe one hour doing that and I can focus on what is important for customers,” Carina says.

    For Marketing Director Carolyn Duranov, it has also been a very interesting and useful platform because it reduces the possibility of sending duplicate or non-relevant content to users and prevents them from being repeatedly contacted by sales members or other departments. This allows them to have a cohesive experience for each guest, ensuring that they aren’t called by two different specialists at the same time or even get multiple emails.

    Channeling the information, insights, and leads through a single tool has enabled this Harley-Davidson branch to create a fully tailored journey for each and every guest. From the moment their interest is sparked to the moment they reach the dealership and try out a Harley, the team is able to ignite the fire behind the passion for freedom and riding through all of their efforts.

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