Education

Heavy machinery supplier offers customers hands-on experience

Hyundai Heavy Equipment, marketed by one of the largest Hyundai Equipment distributors worldwide, the Porter Group, held its Dig Day Out event from Tuesday 18 to Saturday 22 November in Nerang on the Gold Coast.

A variety of machinery was on display – from small-scale utility machines to larger earthmoving equipment. This included Hyundai’s largest wheel loader, the HL780-9, and the R320LC-9 excavator, as well as its range of rollers and skid steers. {{image2-A:R-w:300}}

The Porter Group staff conducted live demonstrations of the company’s Dash 9 interactive cluster technology, cabin ergonomics, diagnostic tooling, Hi-Mate remote monitoring systems and Cummins engine technology.

James Rutherford, the head of corporate business and strategy for Hyundai Equipment, said the 10,000m2 site used to host the event was selected so that attendees could freely test the machines without barriers in a setting fit for purpose.

“It’s ideal because we can dig holes, move material and set machines up on mounds, which provides the customers the chance to operate and play with the machines,” he explained.

Technical support staff were also on hand to answer any questions about the machinery, and to discuss potential applications and diagnostic scenarios with individual attendees.

A direct marketing approach
The Nerang event was the second Dig Day Out to be held in Queensland. The first was held in May and Hyundai Dig Day Out events were also hosted in Canberra and Perth this year.

“The driving force behind these events is that we’ve come to realise that established trade shows are rapidly losing favour with users,” Rutherford stated.

He added that the Porter Group and Hyundai Equipment’s market reach model was focusing on developing its digital strategies and interactive media, and on hosting more of its own events around the country. Rutherford said this strategy would enable the company to develop stronger connections with its existing customer base as well as potential customers. {{image3-A:r-w:300}}

“We feel more comfortable operating with a direct approach rather than over-investing resources in a show with mass competitors and other industry peers present. It fits in with our company philosophy as well.”

Using direct marketing, Rutherford said the company had been able to attract highly targeted customers and good sales prospects.

“We had in the region of 150 people attend one of our events earlier this year. From that we were able to develop very good business outcomes – a significant improvement compared to traditional, orchestrated and governed shows that we’ve appeared at in the past,” he said. “In terms of return on investment and being able to develop our own private exposure and outcomes, there has certainly been an indication that this event model has merit and works.”

Rutherford stated that the recent Nerang event had continued to build on the success of previous Dig Day Out events. “With our Nerang event, we have had several quotations being put together with our partners from the first day alone,” he said.

Team-building
In addition to being an effective way to connect with customers, Rutherford said the new marketing model had served to bolster the Porter Group and Hyundai Equipment staff’s morale, describing it as “an excellent team-building event as well as a customer connection opportunity”.

Having now established a “tried and tested formula” for correspondence, marketing and site set-up since the first Dig Day Out in May, Rutherford said the Porter Group and Hyundai Equipment teams were well prepared for future events, although he added that the game plan was still evolving.

The current Dig Day Out schedule includes an event in Sydney in December, Adelaide in February and Queensland in March, with the remainder of the 2015 program yet to be finalised.

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