Running a successful ground Transportation company requires a constant effort to build and maintain a client base. Marketing and advertising are used to land new sales from new and existing clients. I’ve compiled this primer on these closely related but distinct avenues for business, and how to properly use them.
Marketing is the art of exposing your company to your target market and regularly connecting with potential or existing clients to establish your name, your image (logo), your services and why someone should use your company. Sending out holiday greeting cards or birthday cards are considered forms of marketing.
Now, you certainly don’t expect the client to call and book your services simply because you sent them a card. However, it reminds the client of your company. If you include a logo in those cards, that visual marketing tool places an image in the recipient’s head. Many companies use items referred to as premiums that range from coffee cups, key chains, logo apparel, water bottles, tote bags and hundreds of other items designed to keep a company logo in front of clients and potential clients.
Social Media Marketing
Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have taken the Internet world by storm. From Pepsi and McDonald’s to Wild Horse Limousine in Kalispell, Montana, companies of all sizes are engaging their customers like never before. Social media can be used for marketing and advertising. You must be active and build a following by sending tweets and adding content to your Facebook page regularly. It can be as simple as photos of your vehicles, staff or facility that change daily and make people return to see what you have posted.
Advertising is usually an attempt to gain an immediate sale based on an offer presented. It also can be used to market your company. For example, you can run radio or TV commercials that feature your logo, your fleet and an overview of the services your company operates.
While you hope that someone will see or hear that advertisement and book your services today, it’s not like a McDonald’s commercial where you see a Big Mac, and all of a sudden, a Big Mac is what’s for dinner. It will, however, create what is called “brand-awareness” or “top of mind awareness” in potential clients. This means when people have been repeatedly exposed to your marketing efforts and need your transportation service, they will probably use a search engine in your city and immediately recognize your name and logo from the marketing ads. Your company will appear familiar to them.
A sales ad is a specific offer presented with the intent to drive sales as soon as you connect with the client. Think of all the advertisements that arrive in a Sunday newspaper with sale prices. Those fancy ads are designed to make you get in your car and go buy this item while on sale. If you offer a special such as, “charter for four hours and get the fifth hour free,” you are offering a sales ad. It should be designed to compel someone to call you and take advantage of this offer while available. Sales ads also can be done through social media by announcing the sale on Facebook or sending a tweet on Twitter about the offer. It costs nothing to broadcast this information to your engaged audience on social media. The more people are following you on Facebook or Twitter, the wider you extend your publicity “reach.”