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Digital Advertising Playbook For Trucking Schools And Carriers, Part II


In February of 2020, Avatar Fleet president Scott Rea presented at the 5th annual Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario (TTSAO) Conference. Rea’s presentation focused on the difficulty of finding quality drivers. As one of many solutions, he advocates for a better marriage between trucking schools and carriers. Specifically, he discussed how schools and carriers can improve their digital marketing efforts in order to attract better candidates.

Our first article on his presentation covered the importance of differentiating yourself from your competition. If you want to attract high quality candidates to your school or company, you need a unique driver brand and pitch. We discussed using the post-it note test to see how your pitch and driver brand stack-up against your competition. Finally, we demonstrated the power of a campaign focused on the why instead of the what. In this article, we’ll show you how to tailor your why-centered marketing campaign to the correct audience.

Focus on The Why, Not The What

Most advertisements for driver schools or carriers focus on the what. “We have a regional position sending you to Chicago then to Milwaukee then back to the East Coast.” Or, for schools, “We offer weekly CDL driver training that will have you ready for the road in a month.” These statements focus on the what. They don’t focus on the why.

An effective advertisement needs to convince someone that they ought to take the leap and try something new, whether that’s switching carriers or switching careers and getting their CDL. For a carrier, your advertisements need to focus on why a driver would want to work for you. Do you offer weekends home? Do you offer a guaranteed paycheck? For schools, your advertisements need to focus on why someone would want to become a truck driver. Convince them that it’s the correct move for them to change careers. Focus on the why and attract candidates with your unique pitch.

How to Figure Out The Right Why: The Power of Personas

In order to create a digital marketing campaign focused on the why, you need to understand what makes your ideal driver or student tick. What do they want out of a new job or career? What is their background and family life? What reservations would they have about a career or job change? You house all of this valuable information in a driver personal template, which you can download with our free driver marketing kit.

The driver persona templates focus on answering four big questions about your ideal driver candidate: who, what, why, and how. Let’s take those one at a time.

  • Who: This answers who they are as a person. What is their background? What are their demographics? What are some common identifiers, such as demeanor and communication preferences?
  • What: What are their goals? What are the challenges they face? Most importantly, what can you do to help achieve their goals and address their challenges?
  • Why: Why does your ideal driver want (or not want) to work for your company? This is a great place to document real quotes from drivers and candidates about their goals and challenges.
  • How: With all of that information, you’ll answer the burning question of how to hire best-fit drivers. How should you market to your driver persona? How should you word your elevator pitch?

You might be wondering, how am I supposed to get all of this information? It’s already at your finger-tips. Just ask your current drivers or students. Conduct interviews with everyone you brought-on in the last year. Figure out who they are as people, why they joined your organization, what their goals and challenges are, and common objections they had when looking at other options.

Crafting Your Pitch With Driver Personas

Your Driver Persona tells you how to craft a pitch for each “type” of candidate or persona you would market to. For example, if you’re a carrier with one regional and one local position open, your pitch would be different for each. From the school’s standpoint, your pitch for someone looking to have more money and better benefits is different than someone who is leaving because they hate their boss. 

Once you have all of your driver persona’s made, you’re ready to create your pitch. Your pitch comes from this basic formula:

For this Driver Persona,
+ with these Pain Points
+ these Competing Alternatives

We have the best driving job because...


The final part, “we have the best job because . . .” is how you derive your pitch of why someone would want to choose you over your competition.

For more on targeting your ideal drivers with a digital marketing campaign, check out this article.

Backing Up Your Pitch

Depending on your market and ideal candidate, your pitch will look a little different. “We provide a guaranteed paycheck and put your safety above schedule, every time.” Or, for a school, “We graduate the most successful professional drivers - every carrier will want to hire you.” Regardless of your pitch, you’ll need to back it up. Whether you’re a school looking for the next A+ student or a carrier looking for your next all-star driver, products like LLLC Defensive Driving Certification and Finishing School will carry your pitch through. Afterall, the pitch is just the beginning. Once you reel ‘em in, you have to keep them with you.