Marketing Advice for Reaching the Trucking Aftermarket

Two of our brands — Truck Parts & Service and Successful Dealer — cover the aftermarket industry with great depth and acumen.

As a result, they’ve both developed loyal followings and engaged audiences who know the trucking aftermarket better than anyone.

To gain a better understanding about our aftermarket audience, we conduct a yearly survey to learn more about our readers’ media preferences, how they conduct research, and how they make purchase decisions.

Our most recent studies netted responses from 365 aftermarket professionals covering a broad swath of truck dealership and aftermarket-specific roles and industries throughout the U.S.

Here are three takeaways that grabbed our attention from this year’s surveys, which may be of use as you strategize for reaching truck repair/maintenance specialists, dealers, and parts distributors.

1. Email Newsletters: Still Going Strong

People keep trying to kill email and hasten its demise, but everybody just needs to hold their respective horses here. Email would like everyone to know it is in fine health, and most certainly not dead yet.

When asked how they prefer to receive trucking industry information, and how they most often consume news, both Successful Dealer and Truck Parts & Service Connectivity Study respondents confirmed that ‘Email Newsletter’ was the clear winner.

And I wouldn’t be too concerned about those emails getting missed. Sixty-five percent of Successful Dealer respondents and 56.8% of TPS readers said they check email ‘Constantly’ throughout the day.

As for preferred email providers, most aftermarket pros use their corporate account to communicate, though Gmail and Yahoo are not far behind in terms of popularity.

Email marketing is a still a fine choice for reaching the trucking aftermarket.

2. They’re ‘Constantly’ on the Internet

Digital savvy might not be the first thing that comes to mind when trying to conjure up a typical aftermarket exec, but you better believe these guys (certainly not all guys, 7.6% of TPS respondents were female) are voraciously consuming content online. Of everyone surveyed, about 70% said they use the internet ‘Constantly.’

Consider these stats of how they spend their time online:

-When looking for equipment or services information from companies online, 73.3% of Successful Dealer readers and 61.6% of TPS respondents said their first move is to use search engines

-Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube are the three most popular social networks (by a longshot)

-Business and technical ‘How-to’ videos were by far the most popular type of trucking video

-When asked which social platform they’d most prefer to receive trucking industry information from, Facebook and LinkedIn were tops

-Almost 68% of respondents said they use their smartphone to access social media

3. Print’s Still Trucking!

Print also remains an effective option for advertisers. ‘Experts’ have been predicting the imminent print apocalypse for years now. Print continues to hang in there (newspapers notwithstanding), and even blossom in the magazine sphere.

This is a trend we’ve seen hold steady across our brands in recent years. So don’t call it a comeback!

People still enjoy having a hard copy to hold and read through at their leisure.

As such, integrating print into your marketing plan is still a safe, solid bet. Consider these survey stats:

-When asked if they could receive trucking industry info from just one source, 34.4% of Successful Dealer and 35.1% of TPS readers identified print magazines

-In response to how they most often read industry news, 21.7% of Successful Dealer and 24.3% of TPS readers said print magazines

-On a scale from 1-10, print magazines scored 6 and 6.2 respectively for how frequently respondents read them for trucking industry news

If you’d like to learn more about reaching heavy hitters and decision makers in the trucking aftermarket, download the most recent Successful Dealer Connectivity Study and the Truck Parts & Service Connectivity Study, or give us a call anytime.

Download the 2016 Successful Dealer Connectivity Study

Download the 2016 Truck Parts & Service Connectivity Study