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Ok, here comes my mktg hat, brace for impact. I'm also just being the devil's
advocate to try to engage you to dig a little deeper. I'm not necessarily
interested in defending Specialized, but I do think we have to look at this
fairly and critically.
1) With this video, yes, they're specifically targeting 'trad' mountain
bikers. But this video is hardly the sum of their marketing efforts around
e-bikes. I'm going to bet that they have put huge efforts into staff and
retailer training and communication, retail support, advertising in other
areas that are less enthusiast-targeted and more casual.
2) No, I don't think 99% is a fair number, but maybe that distinction isn't
important. I know what you're saying and to some degree, of course you're
right. Yep, the mtb lobby is fragile in a lot of places - maybe most. But it's
also doing really well in communities that are embracing mountain bikers as
they seek to replace jobs and revenue lost to things like resources, as Cam
laid out in this article. Your 99% may be accurate in some states, but it's
not accurate in BC, and it's certainly not accurate in Europe.
3) What Specialized has done behind the scenes we don't know. Cam has placed a
call, and you can bet we'll report on their answer if it's of interest. I will
say that although it's popular to pick on Specialized because they're big and
successful and profitable, they didn't get that way by being entirely tuned
out on this kind of thing. Many people I know that work there have a clue
about how this stuff works. So, I bet (and certainly hope) that this is
something that's discussed and worked on by them. But my guess is only as good
as yours at this point.
Again, I'm not calling you out or saying your opinion is wrong, I just want to
make sure we're all giving the other side a chance to have their say. So, if
you had to get specific, what would you do? How would you, if you wielded the
Specialized marketing stick (it's probably a massive oak branch), approach
land managers, trail advocates, and other stakeholders? How would you
communicate with consumers about the product, keeping in mind that your job is
to sell them, but, if we're being responsible about it, to do so in a
Open question to anyone. Marketing nerds and policy maker wannabes, jump in
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