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Commercial Truck Franchise Marketing

mcampo2501

Refresher
Mar 7, 2012
158
34
28
First Name
Mike
My company purchased a commercial truck franchise at the beginning of the year, and we've have been working on building the brand since. Since both of our rooftops have really only sold light cars and trucks, I'm having trouble developing the right strategy for marketing to the commercial truck buyer. My first stop was to Commercial truck trader. They sold us way more than we needed (our fault), and are making us finish out the 12 month agreement (they're impossible to deal with if you're wondering). Once that is over we want to find a new way to target the buyers of such vehicles. Since the buying motives are significantly different between commercial trucks and typical auto sales, I feel like we should be going down a different path. Is there anyone out there that has had success growing a commercial truck franchise? If so, what marketing strategies can you recommend that have been effective in your business?
 

cmjerry4531

Refresher
Apr 1, 2012
144
35
28
First Name
Cody
By my signature you can tell that I'm an internet marketing homer, so take this with a grain of salt.

My suggestion would be Website + SEO + Content Marketing + PPC + LinkedIn PPC

I'd first create a website that targeted the main search terms within the core of the website. I'd then expand that out with a targeted content marketing strategy that went after some of the longer tail searches. This would be developed as you discovered those odds and ends searches within Google Webmaster tools, as well as with your initial research through keyword research tools and Q&A websites.

I'd then take that some keyword research, and implement a PPC strategy. If you have conversion tracking on your website you can establish which keywords are actually driving conversions, and modify the strategy to take full advantage of them.

I'd then implement a LinkedIn PPC campaign that filters it down to the businesses you would be targeting. Since you aren't dealing with high level LinkedIn users this budget should end up being pretty small. You would then have to evaluate it to see if it is generating leads. By using a tracking URL you can filter out this campaign, and get numbers.

Although I haven't actually seen them do something like this, you may want to ask Dealer Labs what they have going on in this realm. They have an impressive content marketing strategy. They also offer websites, PPC, etc. I'm sure other website providers have similar products, but I recently did a demo of their product, and was quite impressed.
 

mcampo2501

Refresher
Mar 7, 2012
158
34
28
First Name
Mike
Thanks for your input Cody. We've started a similar process, though I think some of your suggestions will be warmly intertwined. My concern is that the drivers of these trucks aren't usually the buyers. I feel like we should be either looking at Bill Boards (very expensive), or some kind of event marketing that would allow us time in front of electricians, plumbers, etc. It just seems to me that we sell these things by accident more than anything else. Now that brands like Mazda are starting to carry Vans that fit into the commercial truck line, I have to think that some forward thinking is due to come up in this arena in the near future. Any out of the box ideas out there that might help with commercial truck sales?
 

Manny Luna

Refresher
Apr 10, 2011
140
20
0
First Name
Manny
Mike,

Do you have a site built for your commercial truck's other than commercial truck trader? (Framed In Inventory) is what we saw with our last commercial truck client using them.
It's almost impossible to suggest ways of marketing your products without research. I would like to see the site and locations to do a little research for you.

Are you doing any video marketing? It works perfect for
commercial truck's.

Thanks
Manny

 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,990
1,514
113
First Name
Joe
If you're reaching for small-business decision-makers, they are often too busy to be noodling around on the Internet. It's a b2b sale, it's old school.

Off the top of my head... look into telemarketers to feed out side sales reps. Direct-mail may work. I'd bird dog any vendor that has staff inside these accounts (copier repair, coffee/water sales, etc). Seek out & partner with their wholesale distributors. Give Costco a call. If they belong to an association, advertise there.

NOTE: end of year is coming, lots of business decisions are made due to tax purposes. I would be formulating a direct mail campaign right now.

hth
joe
 
Reactions: 1 person

mcampo2501

Refresher
Mar 7, 2012
158
34
28
First Name
Mike
We do have a web page that is undergoing some improvements. I'd be interested to hear about another commercial truck dealer that had success shifting to video marketing, but I'm less interested in hearing from vendors at this point. I appreciate the job you have to do, but that's how we ended up with our Commercial Truck Trader nightmare.

Joe, we've found tremendous success doing just what you've described. Knocking on doors and cold calling has been the most effective thus far. A mailer is something we've wanted to do for the last few months, but we're unsure of how to build the recipient list. Our regular franchise database isn't the same buyer that we'd be targeting to receive this message. Would a purchasable conquest list make the most sense? Our ad agency can buy these lists, but I don't know that I have faith in them to buy the right list. It's not like we're selling fords and and sending mail to registered Chevy owners. Any thoughts on that?
 

Manny Luna

Refresher
Apr 10, 2011
140
20
0
First Name
Manny
We do have a web page that is undergoing some improvements. I'd be interested to hear about another commercial truck dealer that had success shifting to video marketing, but I'm less interested in hearing from vendors at this point. I appreciate the job you have to do, but that's how we ended up with our Commercial Truck Trader nightmare.

Joe, we've found tremendous success doing just what you've described. Knocking on doors and cold calling has been the most effective thus far. A mailer is something we've wanted to do for the last few months, but we're unsure of how to build the recipient list. Our regular franchise database isn't the same buyer that we'd be targeting to receive this message. Would a purchasable conquest list make the most sense? Our ad agency can buy these lists, but I don't know that I have faith in them to buy the right list. It's not like we're selling fords and and sending mail to registered Chevy owners. Any thoughts on that?

Mike, You might want to contact the Internet Director at this dealership, they're doing a good job.

Home | Houston Dodge Ram Truck Dealer | Spring Ram Trucks Commercial Fleet serving Houston, Conroe, The Woodlands TX
FLEET.jpg

Thanks and good luck!
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,990
1,514
113
First Name
Joe
Joe, we've found tremendous success doing just what you've described. Knocking on doors and cold calling has been the most effective thus far. A mailer is something we've wanted to do for the last few months, but we're unsure of how to build the recipient list.
You or your agency can buy b2b mailing lists based on SIC code.
plumber
Screen Shot.jpg

Which SICs?
Ask the old and crusty players in the store for types of businesses that they sell to. Ask your OEM for suggestions. Pull open a phone book and hit the yellow pages.

HTH
Joe

p.s. Work that old client list
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
3,990
1,514
113
First Name
Joe
Mike,

Here's a direct mail campaign with a coupon I ran.

"Buy a Truck from us by Dec 31st and we'll put your business logos on it for free!
A $500 value from ______ sign shop"

Steps:
--Create your ideal mailing list
--Draw up a mock for the mailer message
--Leave an open coupon on the bottom
--Go call on sign shops to work a partnership and sell that coupon space*



*on any sale, you pay materials, they pay the labor, they get free advertising and possible extra biz
 
Reactions: 1 person