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Rolling Billboards

They are marvelous marketing tools, those gleaming vans and shiny trucks rolling around town. We proudly splash them with our company colors, logos, and taglines. Each and every one of them shouting out to the public who we are and what we do. If our service routes happen to take us to crowded highways or through busy downtowns, past countless other drivers and onlookers, all the better. It’s all about exposure in the business world.

If you happen to be the owner of said company, the pride one can feel the first time you see one of your trucks out on the road is truly memorable. I can still remember the first time it happened to me. I even took a picture of the van as it rolled by and can remember the experience vividly.

But all of this visibility and marketing can be a two edged sword if you are not careful.

Much like public nudity, exposure is not always a positive. Oh please! Don’t even judge me. It was college and for the sake of art. Now let’s get back on track, shall we?

The fact is, each one of those vehicles, and the driver operating them, are ambassadors to your company. They are living, breathing, rolling billboards for your organization and their behavior and actions all speak loudly; good or bad, for better or worse.

If your tech is operating his vehicle in a professional, safe, and courteous manner, the billboard is a positive one. On the other hand…

If he or she is speeding, cutting people off, or simply driving in a dangerous manner, you can bet that your logo and company colors will be remembered by the surrounding public as well. And I haven’t even mentioned what may happen if an accident occurs. Yep, those high dollar vehicle graphics you invested in are going to look amazing from the T.V. news crew’s cameras and on your customer’s flat screen televisions.

Much of this can be avoided by instituting a few simple things into your fleet program.

1) Incorporate a solid GPS tracking product into each and every one of your vehicles. I really can’t say enough about how important this is and how easy and wildly affordable the stuff can be. In fact, I can guarantee you that they won’t cost you a dime. ROI is realized within the first month for some companies. Those little black boxes are cash machines, not expenses. Trust me. Given as they will tell you things like location, speed, braking activity, and the like, you know what everyone is doing and WHERE. Right from your tablet, smartphone, or computer. The first time you turn on that screen and see all those little icons (your trucks) moving around, you will be hooked. Everyone is. Knowledge is power and you might just be surprised what you find out.

2) Establish and enforce a safety program. This doesn’t have to be complex, but get it in writing, present it consistently and often, and get their compliance agreement in writing. Lastly, make sure there are consequences to violations.

3) Encourage snitches. Whether it is a toll free number on the truck or telling all your friends and customers, let everyone know that you want to hear about unsafe or unprofessional conduct on the road.

Marketing is great and I love few things more than a fresh graphics package on my trucks. But be sure your drivers are sending the right kind of message when they leave the office doors behind.

And don’t forget….control bad exposure, keep your clothes on.