Part I of this series highlighted the advertising value of a truck (around $15,000 per month). Part II presented good truck design practices. Part III presented practices to avoid. Part IV and V offered tips for your vehicle marketing program. Here are the final set of tips. Some tips are mutually exclusive. Some might appeal to you, while others will not. The purpose of these tips is idea stimulation.
• Run Promotions on the Back – Since people read the back of the truck at traffic lights, this gives you an opportunity to run special promotions. An obvious one is to offer to pay for mobile phone service for a year with a complete system change out. Alternatively, you can offer to pay for satellite radio for a year.
• Use Trucks to Recruit – If you are looking for service technicians and installation technicians (and what contractor is not?), your truck is a great media for notifying prospective technicians. After all, techs tend to notice HVAC trucks.
Framed correctly, you will also send a message to the public that you are growing. The public assumes that growing companies are doing something right.
• Make Parts Runner Trucks One Giant Recruiting Billboard – I know one contractor who wrapped the trucks his parts runners use as a giant help wanted sign. The trucks stand out at the supply houses, informing technicians from other companies about all of the benefits of working this contractor.
• Select Trucks for Signage Potential – In the great truck debate about the perfect vehicle, the one area that is often overlooked is the billboard potential. The larger billboard alone should give Sprinter a leg up with any contractor considering additions to his fleet. It’s worth paying a little more for greater advertising exposure.
• Make Unique Modifications – Some NAPA parts stores have fiberglass caps attached to the roofs of their parts trucks. It draws attention and makes the trucks stand out. Truly Nolan pest control vehicles are known to sport ears and tails.
• Add Lighted Rooftop Signage – Pizza delivery companies give their drivers lighted signs to place on the roofs of their vehicles. This is a safety feature for pizza company customers. However, it is also good marketing and gets noticed. Ladder racks may minimize the potential for most service trucks, but lighted signs could be featured.
• Promote Being Drug Free – If your company is drug free and you test, promote it on your trucks. It reassures consumers and repels unqualified applicants for the position of drug free technician.
• Repaint When You Sell – When decals are removed from a van, an impression inevitably remains. This could be the result of paint fading everywhere that wasn’t covered by the decal. Nevertheless, your old truck, driven by who knows who, doing who knows what, continues to sport your logo. Repaint it before you sell it.
• Get Employees to Help Your Vehicle Marketing Efforts – Give your employees license plate frames that promote your company, for use on their personal vehicles. Offer customers a substantial discount if they allow you to put them on their vehicles.
• Use Digital License Plate Frames – Conduct an Internet search for digital license plate frames. These allow you to scroll a short message across a series of LED lights at the bottom of your license plate frame. If you are stuck in traffic behind one of these you will read the message.
Practical Tips for Upgrading Your Fleet
• Upgrade One Truck at a Time – Maybe the easiest way to conduct a fleet upgrade is a little at a time. Start with one truck. In a few months, upgrade another. Then, another.
• Upgrade at Replacement – Alternatively, you can avoid upgrading existing vehicles at all. Simply make the vehicle ID changes when you replace your vehicles.
• Upgrade at Once – Budget ahead. Make the switch as rapidly as possible in the off-season. This is the ideal world.
Whether you can upgrade at once or need to tackle it piecemeal, get started. Switching your fleet to more effective mobile billboards will be one of the highest payoff marketing activities you will undertake.
The Service Roundtable is issuing rebate checks this week. For the year, we paid out more than $2 million dollars to contractors for buying parts, products, and services from our Roundtable Rewards partners rather than someone else. Are you getting cash back on your purchases? In not, join the Service Roundtable and enroll in the free Roundtable Rewards program. Call 877.262.3341 for more information.