[Synopsis: When the busy season slows, pick business back up by reaching out into the community.]
During these long sweaty peak season days, when you’re packing boxes and wrapping sofas and loading up those oven-hot trucks, thoughts of summer fun creep in, don’t they? Barbeques and cold brews, jumping into the pool or going down to the river, the beach…
We’re going to take a wild guess and say marketing doesn’t come to mind.
The good thing is marketing can be a lot more – and a lot more fun – than posting flyers and making phone calls. With a little creativity, we can use this time to develop a marketing strategy to rival the enjoyment of grilling sausages and catching wide-mouthed bass. Don’t believe it? Take a look at a few of the ideas that our industry colleagues have put into play. Then think about how you can involve your own community during your hard-earned days off.
Boy Scouts and Merit Badges Are Great Exposure
This past spring, Boy Scout Troop 129 of White Rock, New Mexico actually visited a local van line agency. The boys checked out a few of the trucks, got a feel for what the moving industry looks like behind the scenes and scarfed a few doughnuts for good measure. But there was more to it than fun and sugar – the scouts were able to turn their visit into an opportunity to earn their Truck Transportation merit badges.
The boys walked away with something tangible to represent the things they learned. On top of that, having a list of merit badge requirements to follow gave the moving company an outline for activities for the day, helping them make the most of everyone’s time.
If you don’t have the equipment and facilities needed for the Truck Transportation requirements, don’t despair! Check out the requirements for the Traffic Safety merit badge. While not specifically related to our industry or even trucking in general, traffic safety is something we can all speak about.
As a bonus, the local paper would probably be happy to cover your event for you.
Know Where to Look for Local Events
Check out the Touch-A-Truck fundraiser that takes place every year in Milford, Massachusetts. Sitting in the driver’s seat, holding the big steering wheel, honking the horn – this is all big fun for little tykes (Not to mention their parents’ eager cameras.)
But you don’t live anywhere near Milford, you say? There’s no annual Touch-A-Truck event in your area? No problem. Any type of community gathering can become an opportunity to get the guys out and seen.
We’re not just talking about the big events like the County Fair or the State Baseball Championships either. Consider taking one of your trucks to Opening Day or any day of your town’s recreational baseball, soccer or football leagues. There’s a ready-made opportunity for a Honk-The-Horn event. Is there a place in your area for pumpkin picking? Call them up and see if you can go down on one or two Saturdays this October when the crowds would be coming. The added attraction would benefit both parties.
Be on the lookout for town events, church activities…even school or college related functions where you might be welcome to show up and add to the fun. The possibilities are out there.
Movers Make Fundraisers Interesting
Yes, we know. The word brings visions of standing outside the supermarket cheerily asking people to give you their change from the register and selling over-priced chocolate.
Well, we’ve got some interesting ideas to share, compliments of a few of our colleagues from around the country.
Humboldt Moving & Storage of Boston has a truck pull to benefit the Special Olympics. Granted, it looks like a pretty big production, but how cool would it be to get in on something like this? Or follow in the footsteps of Amazing Moves of Denver, whose employees take an active part in their city’s “Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes”. Jay’s Moving of Indianapolis is involved in all sorts of events – and even as a small, independent mover has received some excellent recognition in the process.
We don’t have to go gangbusters either; Our involvement can be quite simple. Maybe the church could use a hand with their food drive, or the school with their clothing drive, or the soup kitchen with their special Thanksgiving efforts.
Don’t Forget About Carwashes
Even (especially) during the hot summer, giving the guys a chance to cool down for a few minutes can change a dog day into an afternoon to remember. Got trucks that need to be washed or even some plants or grass that need to be watered? Send your guys out with a hose and let them have at it.
This is an easy way to get the name out, too. Pick a local charity or cause to raise a few bucks for and call them. Set up your soap shop along a well-traveled road. Play music. Whatever it takes to get visible. This isn’t a new idea, for sure. But it’s easy, fun and great for fending off the lingering summer heat.
Having said all this, we’ll sign off with the idea that the best times sometimes come without any planning or even purpose. This video of a mover putting on an impromptu piano concert in a senior citizens’ home has now scored over a quarter of a million views.
All of this, of course, is just the tip of the idea iceberg. Hopefully, these things our industry colleagues are doing, along with our own bits and pieces, will help spark your own creative engines, get your gears turning as you look for ways to keep your guys active and your trucks visible. Even the busiest, toughest, hottest days can be memorable – for you and for countless others.