MONTGOMERYVILLE, Pa.-Jetzon Tire & Rubber Co. Inc. plans to create a network of ``authorized'' dealers, eventually developing a free national marketing program. Jetzon debuted its plans during its dealer meeting in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Feb. 10-14.
Under the plan, all retail dealers of Jetzon tires are invited to register to become authorized dealers. There is no membership fee and the information they provide-e.g. store hours, services offered and locations-will be logged into a computer system Jetzon will use for its new national dealer referral program.
Jetzon brochures will provide consumers with a toll-free number to obtain information on the nearest Jetzon dealer.
Besides being a customer service, the program will enable the company to identify and have more direct communication with the retail dealers marketing the Jetzon product. Under the current system, Jetzon sells its products to distributors, who then sell the tires to their dealer networks.
For their part, authorized dealers will receive a dealer start-up kit and have access to advertising and point-of-purchase materials from Jetzon, as well as copies of Jetzon's new 16-page consumer guide to understanding tires.
``Our goal is to build this into a full-scale marketing program without a fee,'' said Fred Hoffman, vice president of marketing.
He said the tire company's Jetzon One marketing program, which requires a membership fee to cover advertising expenditures, has been successful only in certain areas, particularly in Louisiana.
The company is not looking to expand its Jetzon One program, Mr. Hoffman said, but the program will continue as long as dealers are willing to participate in regional Jetzon One groups.
Mr. Hoffman stressed that there is no comparison between Jetzon One and the authorized dealer program. With Jetzon One, more money is pumped into the program through member fees, so there are more advertising funds available.
Under the authorized dealer program, Jetzon will foot the marketing bill.
Initially, the program will serve primarily as a dealer identification system for the company, he said.
The authorized dealer program and referral number will be introduced by early summer, according to Mr. Hoffman.
During the dealer gathering, Jetzon also launched a new year-long sales incentive program that will culminate with a dealer trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, next February.