What exactly does marketing have to do with driver recruiting? On the face of it, they seem like two entirely separate subjects. Marketing is all about reaching potential customers and if successful, hopefully forming a positive relationship with them.
Does that sound familiar?
What if we replace customers with drivers? “Reaching potential customers (drivers) and forming a positive relationship with them (driver retention).”
How about now? That is driver recruiting all the way. Find drivers, recruit them, hire them, and keep them.
So, when you think about it driver recruiting and marketing aren’t really that different after all. Does that mean that the tried and true marketing principles being used all over the world could be applied to the realm of driver recruiting? Let’s take a look at a few marketing principles and how they can apply to your efforts for driver recruiting.
Marketing Principle #1: Have a clearly defined target audience.
When talking about marketing, a target audience is the demographic or group of people you are trying to reach. These would be those who would be most likely to buy and use whatever it is you have to offer.By zeroing in on a specific group or subset of people, particularly those more likely open to their products or services, marketers give themselves the best chance possible. This very simple yet effective principle can be applied to the world of truck driver recruiting.
Fleets are comprised differently and each fleet has its own unique needs. Certain fleets have qualifications and guidelines that drivers must meet to be eligible to drive for them. Others specialize in different areas of the industry, such as flatbed or refrigerated trucking.
All of these factors can help you narrow down the search and target only those drivers who meet your fleet’s specific and unique parameters. Refining your strategy and becoming more targeted with your approach to recruiting allows you to cut waste and net more quality drivers.
By searching for drivers with specific experience (flatbed) or limiting recruitment efforts to a designated region you can preemptively eliminate leads that would ultimately fail to meet your needs.
Just as marketers give themselves the best chance possible of making a sale and converting customers, fleets and their recruiting partners can give themselves a head start on success by refining and honing in on the desired target audience of drivers.
Marketing Principle #2: Know who you are and what you have to offer.
A big part of successful marketing comes down to establishing an identity. Branding can make a huge impact on customers. But what’s involved in branding? A name? A logo? It is just a name or picture after all right? Initially yes, but over time brand perception can be built.
You have to be able to identify your differentiator. What sets you apart? The most successful companies have an established brand identity. They have a clear idea of who they are as a company, and exactly what it is they have to offer their customers.
You can do the same with your fleet. What is it that you have to offer that no one else does? How are you different? Don’t ever try to be like anyone else. Blending in and being just another face in the crowd will kill your recruiting.
Is your company culture or driver/dispatcher relationships better or different from your competitors? Be sure to highlight that. Is your pay structure different? Does your fleet use a particular brand of truck that drivers may find desirable? You can use any and all of this to help differentiate yourself. Knowing exactly who you are as a fleet or company can what you have to offer to potential drivers creates a unique identity and is something for drivers to latch on to.
I can’t tell drivers exactly what it is about your company that is different or better than all the rest . . . but you can. Find what it is that you do better than anyone else. Knowing what sets you apart and exactly what you have to offer to prospective drivers can give you a major edge in your recruiting. Your fleet is your brand. Do everything you can to protect it, and build a positive perception around it.
Marketing Principle #3: Embrace innovative and emerging technologies.
Marketers are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ways to reach potential new customers. And at the rate technology moves today, there is no shortage of new ideas coming. We covered several of these emerging technologies in the article, Are You Ready for the Future of Marketing?
According to Jay Walker-Smith, the president of marketing firm Yankolevich, as far back as the 1970’s people were subjected to as many as 500 ads a day. Fast forward to today and that number has climbed to as high as 5,000 ads a day.
To keep from being lost in the shuffle and having people tune them out in the clutter, companies continue to look for new ways to reach their target audience and strive to become more efficient with their messaging. Fleets should do the same with their truck driver recruiting.
Drivers are in high demand and likely will continue to be so for quite some time. That means the impetus falls to fleets to do all they can to get their attention and attract them to their company over all the competition.
Social media is one of the major area that fleets have found success in. With companies like Facebook constantly improving targeting and adding more options for advertisers on their platform, there will continue to be new ways to win over drivers moving forward. Embracing new technologies and setting aside a test budget to try new avenues is a great way to see what works for you without breaking the bank.
As more and more options become available, it will be important to see how each new innovation could potentially boost your recruiting numbers.
Successful driver recruiting essentially translates into an effective marketing campaign for your fleet.
Driver recruiting and marketing in general are not all that different from one another. Both come down to reaching the right people, with the right messaging, at the right time.
These marketing principles have been used with great success by marketers for years. They can help steer and guide your recruiting efforts moving forward. Applying these strategies to quality lead sources such as RigDig can be the key to landing the drivers you need.
When applied to driver recruiting, the fundamental principles of marketing, produce positive results.
1. Have a clearly defined target audience.
2. Know who you are and what you have to offer.
3. Embrace innovative and emerging technologies.
Embrace and use these principles coupled with rich and accurate data, and watch your driver recruiting prosper.