It seems like a blur now.
This blurry guy is not a shapeshifter. He was caught between two photos I took at the Interbike media center during the lunchtime feeding frenzy. When I stitched the photos together in a triptych, that’s what he looked like — instead of the dashing cycling-industry professional journalist that I’m certain he is. A victim of software.
So back to my vague agenda. I wanted to know if an idealistic marketer could learn from the industry elders how to get new people interested in bikes without resorting to the manipulative practices used in… well… every other industry where the general public is the target audience.
Or I wanted to know whether the industry didn’t care about the general public, and mostly battled for the traditional sports and recreation consumers of cycling stuff.
So what did I find? I’m still processing it.
This was something like the 10th Interbike for Josh. He navigated the show like a native; like the burgeoning cycling mogul that he is. I couldn’t keep up with him.
So the most revealing moments were when I spent time with Karen. When we were together, I became invisible to the exhibitors. Karen was the one to be courted.
A female has entered the booth! Code Friendly! Code Friendly! Load the swag cannons! Fire at will!
My sense is that many people in the cycling industry want to appeal to women, and they just don’t have a clue. I’m not sure whether the women in the industry even have a clue. At each stop, Karen became the temporary proxy for the consumers they desperately want to understand. Karen was a bit dazed and overstimulated by it all. (See her first Interbike post on She Rides a Bike.)
On this blog, you can look forward to the musings of yet-another clueless male marketer in the cycling industry as I try to understand women in cycling — or rather, women not in cycling. And don’t worry: I’m going to reach out to some of the smart people who have been ruminating on this question for more than a week.
Below is a photo dump from the second day of Interbike 2011. (Photos from day one can be found here.)
Looking through this gallery, you may get a hint at some of the topics we’ll be covering in the weeks and months to come.