Dometic’s Dover is ‘Super Passionate’ About the RV Industry – RVBusiness – Breaking RV Industry News
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a News & Insights report by the RV Industry Association.
Sara Dover, Dometic’s Brand Manager of Activation, has always had her heart set on a communications career.
“I went to college and graduate school for communications — I’d always planned on working in this field. I’ve always been part of a marketing team of some kind, including local agencies.”
Born and raised in Mishawaka, Ind., Sara graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Public Relations. She then achieved her master’s in Advertising Management from Michigan State University. “After graduate school I took a job in radio sales. It was a good experience because it taught me the nature of sales and, as a marketer, it made me more sympathetic to the sales role experience. It was a great learning opportunity to have as I’ve grown more into my marketing role.
Eventually, Sara moved to Indianapolis, where she completed marketing work in the healthcare industry. Eventually, she moved back to the Elkhart area, where she met her husband. After completing a short stint in the financial world, Sara then entered the RV industry when she took a Brand Manager position with Keystone RV. She reflects that her entry into the RV world “happened organically.”
“I came onboard at Keystone RV and handled 9 of the 18 brands. It’s where I fell in love with this industry. It’s super passionate and there’s so much history. It’s also nice to be a part of something that allows consumers to have fun.” Sara notes that, while at Keystone, she helped build the company’s Keystone Ignite training platform, managed a few brands, started to travel to dealers, and trained salespeople on using the program. “I loved learning so much about RVs, too. Keystone RV gave me a wonderful opportunity to learn the business side of RV manufacturing.”
After Sara onboarded at Dometic two and a half years ago, she first became the Brand Manager for Dometic’s RV Division before later taking on the role of Brand Manager of Activation. “I build strategy on how to activate within the marketplace to drive sales within our key product areas of focus,” she explains. “That includes all of the products we sell to the RV industry. I have two counterparts at Dometic that focus on digital marketing and storytelling. I share their campaigns, initiatives, and messaging in the marketplace for dealers, distributors, and consumers through the retail store.”
Over the last year, Sara has attended numerous consumer events and trade shows. One of these events was Elkhart’s Open House event in September, where Dometic’s booth was front-and-center. “I take Dometic’s presence at these events and use it to elevate our brand. We’ve been engaging with consumers, dealers, and distributors — we want to make sure our customers understand the brand has been around for 100 years and we haven’t gone anywhere. We’re still a big supporter of the RV industry and we’re here to stay.”
Along with attending industry-related events, Sara has also been focusing on Dometic’s retail merchandise program and its dealer program. “We want our dealer network to see Dometic elevating its presence in the retail space. We’re focusing on what the dealers need to sell Dometic products to customers and engage them better through the retail environment.”
Sara notes that, going forward, Dometic plans to focus more on the products that consumers desire. “We’re focusing on ACs, sanitation products, parts, refrigeration, awnings, and other products as we lean into 2024. We want to provide solutions for all types of dealers. And, as we start to focus on dealer sales, people become more knowledgeable about Dometic products, which enhances the consumer experience as well.”
Furthermore, Sara highlights the unique, fond memories she’s had during her Dometic-related travels. “Working in this industry has given me really good experiences. For example, Dometic sponsored Gordon Anderson, the team owner for NASCAR. While we were there, we met consumers where they are, and it was a really awesome experience. We were able to reach people in a different avenue.”
In addition to her role at Dometic, Sara is also a member of the RV Industry Association’s Emerging Leaders Coalition. “I’m honored to be a part of that team. It’s great to be seen as an emerging leader and I’m privileged to work with the other team members.”
Sara adds that she’s enjoyed the opportunities provided by Emerging Leaders Coalition, including the volunteer efforts to improve the local community and being invited to speak with Congressman Rudy Yakym. “That was awesome! I want to do more and I’m excited to keep moving forward with the organization. I’m ready for the challenge.”