Picking the Right Trucking Company Advertising Agency

In today’s market it is necessary for all trucking companies to utilize digital advertising. Digital advertising will boost your overall business. The large carriers have the resources to employ an in-house ad team. Small to midsize carriers can save money and hire a third party agency. Here is how to pick the right trucking company advertising agency.

First Decide Why You Are Hiring an Agency

Are you looking for an agency to help your company acquire more business? Or are you needing to hire an agency that specializes in truck driver recruitment advertising?

The reason you need to know this is because it will guide your search for the right advertising agency. Also, you will be able to negotiate more effectively and the agency will respect you as a company that knows exactly what they are looking for.

If you are looking for a trucking company advertising agency to help you generate more business you have far more options. There are countless advertising agencies that specialize in growing business for their clients. They will have clients in multiple industries and bring you more clients.

However, if you are looking for an agency that will boost your truck driver recruiting, you are going to need to find a specialized agency. Truck driver recruiting agencies know how and where to advertise so specifically truck drivers will apply for company.

Also, traditional advertising agencies will not be familiar with advertising on job boards. Truck driver recruiting agencies will use your ad-spend to place your job openings on the job boards that produce applications.

Man confused about which trucking company ad agency to choose

Research Different Agencies and Contact Them

Once you have decided the type of agency your company needs (traditional or driver recruiting), start your due diligence.

You can begin by googling to find agencies near you. Then begin finding agencies in other parts of the country. The internet makes it possible to work with an agency on the other side of the country.

Read through multiple company’s websites and put together a list of your 5 favorite companies. Then call them.

Make sure you are contacting companies that offer all of the services that you are looking for. Some agencies focus solely on social media marketing, some specialize in job boards, and others offer the complete package with everything.

After calling all of the companies, pick the agency that you felt you would get along best with. They need to have great customer service and prioritize your success.

If Possible, Visit the Agency’s Office

You may be thinking that after researching online and calling the agencies you are interested in, you are ready to hire an agency. However, keep in mind that when you call a company, you are going to speak to one of their sales representatives. They are experts at selling you on their company.

The best way for you to truly judge an agency’s culture, and whether you will work well with them, is by going into the office.

Take note on how all of the employees are treated while you are there. Do not focus solely on upper management’s attitude. Does everyone seem happy to be there? Or do the employees look distressed?

Agencies that have positive company cultures will be better to work with and their employees are more likely to go the extra mile for you.

Hire the Agency of Your Choice

Trucking company hires their trucking company ad agency

Now that you have gone through the steps above, it is time for you to hire the agency of your choosing. That does not mean that your work is done however.

In order to experience the best results you need to make it a priority to be in constant communication with the agency. It should not be up to you to initiate contact, but when a member of the agency reaches out, you need to make time to talk with them.

The reason it is so important to communicate with the agency is because it enables them to update your campaign in real time. If you are not seeing the results you were hoping for, tell the agency. They will update the strategy to improve results.

Digital advertising has to be used by your company. Large carriers are using in-house advertising teams that enable the carrier to continue to grow and hire drivers whenever they want. Small to midsize carriers can experience the same benefits if they follow these steps to pick the right trucking company advertising agency.

How to Lead Your Truck Company in a Volatile Market

"Turmoil" runs across a stock ticker. All stocks are down.

The first quarter of 2020 has been filled with ups and downs. January started with the DJIA reaching all time highs, followed by a crash. The Coronavirus has hurt carriers that focus on transporting goods shipped in from China, but it has helped carriers that supply grocery stores. Russia and Saudi Arabia embarked on an oil war which will lower fuel prices for carriers but potentially harm the industry in the long run. Throw in an upcoming presidential election and the future will be filled with ups and downs. Here is how to successfully lead your truck company in a volatile market.

Plan for Contingencies by Playing ‘Kill the Company”

Volatile markets crush companies by following record highs with crippling lows. Companies that are not prepared for the lows crumble.

Start making a contingency plan by analyzing your company’s weak points. ‘Kill the Company’ is a great exercise that highlights your company’s weak points. Gather the leaders of your company and tell them to pretend to be the company’s number one competition for the next three minutes. Their goal is to come up with a plan to put your company out of business.

Knowing your weaknesses will shine a light on the factors that could be catastrophic. Build a plan that will get your company through the worst of times.

Build up Your Capital Reserves During the High Points

Capital reserves are like a savings account for your company. Use the upswings in a volatile market as an opportunity to build up your company’s capital reserves. Building up capital reserves will enable you to fund contingency plans or pay for essential costs, like salaries, when the company stumbles in a market crash.

Be Aggressive With Payment Collections

Volatile markets are not the time to be relaxed with payment collections. Money will be tight for everyone. Companies that owe you money will try to hold on to their cash during the downswings and wait for the upswings to pay you.

The best way to improve cash collections is to communicate with your clients frequently and to make it as easy as possible for them to pay. Starting five days before the bill is due you need to be on the phone with clients reminding them to pay you. Call them on the due date and then every day after that until they pay. An online system is the easiest way to accept payment. Enable clients to pay you from their computer by using tools such as Quickbooks

Setup Alternative Sources of Income

It is good business practice to set up as many revenue streams as possible. Doing so will mitigate risks. Having multiple sources of income will help the company survive while its main revenue source is struggling.

One common way for a trucking company to earn extra revenue is to sublease a portion of its warehouse. Subleasing to another company will generate a monthly income that helps cover your fixed costs.

Do Not Layoff Drivers to Save Money

Companies will turn to layoffs in order to save money in a struggling market. However, this leads to the quality of service you offer to suffer.

Building up your capital reserves and establishing multiple revenue streams will provide your company the money it needs to keep its staff. Ideally, it would also provide the funds to hire the top drivers that other companies laid off.

Keeping your staff intact will ensure you continue to provide great service through tough times. This will earn the loyalty of your current clients and help you gain even more business from companies that are disgruntled by their current carrier.

Take Advantage of Competition Slowdown and Continue to Market

According to the Small Business Administration,

“Savvy marketers can boost sales and market share, even if the industry in which they compete is in a slump.”

The competition that is not prepared for a volatile market will be forced to slash their marketing budget. Using your capital reserves, your company can fund marketing campaigns that capture more of the market.

Include Employees in Implementing Policy Changes 

Volatile markets will force your company to implement policy changes. You must involve your employees in these changes. Doing so will generate a sense of team and ownership in the changes.

Trying to force policy changes on employees will create a sense of rebellion. Turbulent times require your team to come together and overcome adversity. Employees turning on the company will magnify every issue the company faces.

Volatile markets separate the great companies from the not so great companies. If you do not know how to lead your truck company in a volatile market, your company will struggle mightily. However, choose your next steps wisely and you will come out of these difficult times on top.

How to Set Up Your Company for Recruitment Success

Today, drivers are more accessible than ever. You can reach drivers 24/7 because of the internet. So why is it that companies across the nation are struggling to recruit talent? The problem may be that companies are not setting up their recruitment team for success. In order to effectively find qualified drivers online your company needs to utilize digital marketing specialists. Either hire specialists in-house or work with an agency. Recruiters have enough to worry about, don’t put too much on their plate by expecting them to also become digital marketers. The more time recruiters spend online trying to implement digital marketing strategies, the less time they can spend recruiting. Here is how to set up your company for recruitment success.

Recruiters Need to Recruit!

Recruiters are intended to contact quality drivers, get them through orientation, and keep them in the company. Digital marketing should not be one of their responsibilities. Recruiter efficiency will be maximized in a system where they are provided a pool of warm leads. Then the recruiters can focus on phoning.

Kelly Anderson talks about distracted recruiters in his webinar, Latest Techniques for Finding & Recruiting Truck Drivers. Here he mentions that recruiters get distracted with finding drivers online and forget to call them. This leads to poor results.

If a recruiter is not on the phone trying to bring drivers into the door then they need to be focused on orientation, building trust with drivers, and retention. Articles by CDL Training Spot, and Tenstreet discuss what it takes to be a successful driver recruiter. Neither article mentions anything about learning digital marketing strategies that find qualified drivers online.

Every work related task that the recruiter does needs to be directly related to speaking with potential drivers, getting drivers through orientation, and retaining top talent. Anything else the recruiter does is not optimizing their time.

Team of digital marketers

Recruiters are NOT Digital Marketers

Recruiters should not have anything to do with implementing a driver focused digital marketing strategy. Digital marketing and driver recruiting are two fields that require an immense amount of time and attention to detail.

An effective digital campaign will involve technical strategies such as social media interaction, geofencing, mobile-first design, and building a recruitment landing page. Randall Reilly wrote an article on the Top Four Digital Trends for Recruiting Truck Drivers. According to the article the top trends are: mobile, social, video, and hot topics. Do you want your recruiters spending their days making videos and writing blog posts or contacting potential drivers?

Trying to recruit and market will lead to recruiters not doing either one particularly well. You do not want your recruiters to be a ‘Jack of All Trades, Master of None’. Set up an environment where recruiters can be master recruiters and another team can be master digital marketers.

Trucking companies need to setup an ecosystem where either an agency or an in-house team focus solely on digital marketing strategies that find qualified drivers. Then recruiters start smiling and dialing their way through that pool of drivers. Finally, the recruiters need to devote some time to orientation and retention. This system is how you set up your company for recruitment success.