Marketing Basics: General vs. Targeted Approaches

Getting back to basics can help refresh your process and discover new insights, whether you’re just getting started marketing your trucking company or have been through the marketing mill a few dozen times.  Ask just about any marketing agency in the trucking industry, and they will tell you that you need to take a very targeted approach when it comes to marketing to truck drivers.

While that might be true for most trucking companies out there, remember that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. Each fleet is different and will be approaching the driver pool from a different angle. Understanding your story and sales proposition is essential and can be more accessible to fine-tune with a broader scale approach.

3 Marketing Options: Endless Possibilities

Before we ratchet down the target demographic, it is important to understand that both general marketing and highly targeted strategies are perfectly acceptable. Each has its own set of pros and cons, which must be carefully considered before a strategy can be green-lit. 

General Marketing

Before we cause your head to explode, we must acknowledge that any form of driver marketing will be targeted to some degree. After all, it does no good to fill your pipeline with doctors, accountants, or anything other than an actual CDL carrying truck driver. When we use the term general marketing, we are simply referring to opening your recruiting funnel as wide as possible to catch as many potential applicants as possible.

One of the biggest pros with this approach is that you have ample applicants to work through. This can be an excellent approach for fleets with few hiring restrictions or an army of driver recruiters. You know that you are fishing, but a fish is a fish. In this scenario, you aren’t as concerned with catching a tuna over a mackerel. Both can haul your freight, and both are potential candidates.

The drawback to this approach for fleets that have required endorsements, or more strict hiring criteria, is that recruiters can spend countless hours wading through one candidate after another before finding those that can move deeper into the recruiting process. Large fleets might have the manpower, but those drivers are a hot commodity, and any driver worth their salt will undoubtedly have other suitors. If you are late to the game, you might miss your shot entirely. Smaller recruiting teams can be buried with this approach, so you might need to reevaluate your game plan depending on how the scales tip.

Targeted Marketing

Targeted marketing is like using a spear gun if general marketing is sailing the ocean with a large fishing net. This approach is highly specialized, and ads are targeted only at those that are most likely to make it deeper into the recruiting funnel. Sounds great, doesn’t it? After all, only having candidates that match your hiring criteria can’t be a bad thing.

In some cases, this is true. Fleets that are only hiring in a specific geographic area or need drivers with certain endorsements can save a tremendous amount of time and money with a more targeted approach. But there is a tradeoff when taking a much more narrow approach to driver recruiting.

Namely, your pipeline will not be as robust. Rather than opening the floodgates to anything that swims, you are now entering the waters of hunting only one or two types of fish. While candidates might make it deeper into the process, there will simply be fewer fish in your net. Depending on fleet size and turnover, this approach could be a pro instead of a con.

Fleets that only have a single recruiter need to maximize that team member’s efficiency. Putting the best possible candidates in front of them will help productivity, and drivers will not get lost in the white noise. 

On the flip side, those with higher turnover rates or looking to fill empty trucks might find that their well has seemingly run dry. So what is the solution?

A Balanced Approach

Every fleet wants top-notch drivers in their recruiting pipeline, but let us key you in on a secret. The best drivers are rarely cruising the job boards looking for their next landing spot. That is why a combined approach could be the best option for your fleet. It doesn’t have to be 50/50, but supplementing your pipeline can uncover great drivers that you might have otherwise overlooked. It will also keep your recruiters from trudging through one unqualified applicant after another.

Creating A Well-Rounded Marketing Strategy

Every excellent marketing strategy starts with balance. Tipping the scales in one direction or the other can leave your recruiting team frustrated and at the breaking point. The challenge is that each fleet is unique. Some can kick the doors open and welcome any driver with a valid CDL in their pocket, while others are constrained in their hiring criteria. It is for this reason alone that broad-spectrum marketing strategies simply do not work.

Regardless of your position in the industry, or your experience with marketing to drivers, there is ample opportunity to refresh your pipeline and get back on track. The KJ Media team has been helping fleets of all shapes and sizes find their voice, tell their story, and reap the rewards. Connect with our team to learn more about our marketing solutions and we can find a time to see what fits your fleet.

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