SEMA News—February 2013


Now Available: A Fresh Look at People Who Buy Our Parts

Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO It’s certainly no secret that customer information has become a key element of success in business. The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to conduct long-term planning, execute more targeted marketing and ensure success when it comes to strategic investments. That kind of information can be the difference maker when a business is under stress or when it’s time to expand.

That’s why SEMA is placing more emphasis on developing well-targeted market research.

We recently completed what could be our most ambitious research project yet: the Consumer Segmentation Report. For the first time, we have gained information on what motivates enthusiast and non-enthusiast buyers of aftermarket parts and learned more about the outside behaviors they engage in. Even more important, it tells us things we need to know about the consumers who are not our customers…yet.

Like all SEMA research products, the Consumer Segmentation Report is available for members to download, as a member benefit, from the website. Because the study offers insights about both enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts and spans multiple segments, there is something here for everyone.

The methodology used for the Consumer Segmentation Report is a bit different from some of our other studies. We started by interviewing industry SEMA members about what kind of market research was missing and what they could benefit from most. Step two was to conduct focus groups with consumers to drill down to their thoughts about the benefits of modifying a vehicle. With that knowledge in hand, we conducted a large-scale survey that involved about 3,000 respondents from all around the country. This data was used to generate profiles revealing where those consumers shopped, what kind of projects they liked to undertake and to find out how all six different types of aftermarket consumers research their purchases.

Perhaps most intriguing are the profiles of those consumers who are not true enthusiasts. These are potential customers who have been invisible in the past. They spend less on their cars than enthusiasts, but there are more of them, so they represent a sizeable opportunity that has been largely untapped. Getting inside their heads—learning what they buy and why—is a huge step forward. Not only do we know the types of products that these non-enthusiasts are likely to buy, but we can see what messages are most likely to motivate them and how to position our brands to win their business.

The new Consumer Segmentation Report is just one of several new SEMA studies that have recently been published. When you pull down the Research tab on the website, you’ll also see our annual market study—with quarterly updates—and financial benchmarking and consumer demand index studies, among others.

Our thanks go to all the member companies who helped us compile this important report. As always, let us hear your ideas on how we can deploy our research capabilities in the future.

—Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO

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