Why this sports bike brand swears by experiential


Ask a bike fanatic about the KTM and he or she will automatically proclaim it to be the best sport-motorcycle to grace our land.

Why not? With the tagline that says ‘Ready to Race’, the motorcycle is surely living up to its promise. Of course a lot of the credit needs to go to the marketing team working tirelessly to live up to the slogan. Everything Experiential caught up with Neeraj Sharma, Marketing Manager at Bajaj Auto Ltd. to uncover the method behind the madness.

EE: How has KTM fared as a young motorcycle brand in India so far? 

KTM is Europe’s No.1 Motorcycle Brand with a very rich heritage in racing. With more than 240 World Championship racing titles to its name, the bike established in Mattighoffen, Austria has been present in India since January 2012. In the course of just over two years KTM has become the country’s largest Premium motorcycle brand* with over 20,000 KTM bikes sold since its launch. Currently KTM has two products in the country - the 200 Duke and the 390 Duke, both of which are available across more than 120 exclusive stores pan-India. The bikes have been well received by both bike enthusiasts and industry experts alike. It is also fitting that they have been the most awarded bikes of the years 2013 & 2014.

EE: How high does an experiential approach rank in your marketing strategy? 

Very High. KTM’s brand credo is ‘Ready to Race’ and it is not just a marketing slogan. Literally every KTM is made a race-worthy motorcycle. It is for this reason that a customer buys a KTM. He believes his bike is just like the World Championship winning motorcycle. So to connect the customer with our brand promise, the experiential approach is the only way forward.

We conduct various ‘Customer Sport’ activities for KTM owners. This allows them to realize the true potential of their machines in a safe and regulated environment under expert supervision.

EE: Can you briefly take us through the on-ground activities you’re doing this season? 

Some of the experiential activities that we’ve been doing and will continue to carry out this season are:

KTM Track Days: Exclusive for owners of KTM 390 Duke, this is an entire day spent at a Race Track wherein customers are coached by expert racers on how to ride their bikes on a track. We use a mix of classroom and track riding sessions on the highest quality tracks. For instance we use the Buddh International Circuit for the north of India and the MMSC Race track in Chennai for the south. It is non- competitive affair where the emphasis is on learning how to ride a bike as powerful as the 390 Duke on a racetrack.

KTM Orange Days: Mainly for the 200 Duke customers, this an action packed racing event held across all major cities in the country. Here KTM owners get to race amongst each other while we also provide a window for bikes such as the Yamaha R15 and Honda CBRs to compete with them. Attractions such as stunt shows, LED walls (playing KTM videos) and pit girls make it a party for the bikers of the city. The attendance for such events crosses two thousand people.

KTM Stunt Shows: In markets where there is still not enough potential for an event as big as Orange Days, we conduct KTM Stunt Shows.These are huge draws and attendance touches 3500-5000 people in most venues.

The attributes that make KTM Dukes Ready to Race are also instrumental in making it an exceptional stunting bike. We show off our bikes’ prowess in such events and get fans to realize that KTM is a stunter’s dream!

EE: How has the response to these activities been? 

KTM owners look forward to our activities. We are glad that it has become a part of their lifestyle. It is encouraging to see that most of these activities see a lot of repeat attendance. This implies that people are enjoying these events.

A whole set of new customers who have recently joined the KTM family also attend. This simply means that our events are getting bigger each season in terms of attendance. Every year we strive to raise the bar and keep these loyal set of customers happy!

EE: How does the rest of the year look for KTM? 

Very Exciting! While the demand for both the 200 Duke and 390 Duke continues to grow, we have two very exciting bikes coming up in the 2nd half of the year. Of course I won’t divulge more. Enthusiasts will have to wait and see.

*Premium Motorcycle Brand – Any motorcycle brand whose entire product portfolio is above Rs. 1 Lac (Ex-Showroom)

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