Truck & Trailer Selling in 2022
Recently, we caught up with John Moore, Director of Marketing at Robertson Truck where he oversees all automation, and digital marketing initiatives across their two truck & trailer locations in Ohio. Within this interview, we wanted to pick his brain about how he's been tackling new marketing initiatives throughout the dealership in 2022, and how they're handling this commercial equipment inventory shortage.
Q: What is your role at Robertson Truck? What does your day to day schedule look like?
A: My role at Robertson Truck Group is Inventory & Marketing Manager. I am also the Business Operations Manager for our rental division, Equipment Leasing Solutions.
A typical day within our organization is best described as non-typical for the industry. Our dealership moves fast so my mornings include, out on the lot checking-in new trucks, trailers, bodies or other equipment that we stock, updating photos of trucks we upfit or meeting with customers about our rental shipping containers. Afternoons are mostly dedicated to managing our websites, social media campaigns, SEO and other digital marketing channels.
Q: What makes you interested in marketing, especially within the commercial truck industry?
A: Marketing has always been appealing to me because it provides an opportunity to get creative in an area that touches all aspects of the business. The commercial truck industry has been decades behind the marketing world so bringing our dealership to the forefront of digital marketing has been a great experience.
Q: With the truck & trailer inventory shortage happening around the country how has your digital marketing focus changed? What are you doing to source new inventory to re-sell?
A: We did not have to adapt as much as other dealerships in the industry when the shortage occurred. Robertson Truck Group was already active within the marketing channels that many others discovered in the last two years. We focus on marketing our brand and message instead of direct advertising that many were still doing and continue to do today. We expanded our buying & sourcing operations years ago that allows us to have a leg-up on the market and maintain large inventory levels.
Q: With prices being at all-time highs for equipment, private sellers are coming out in droves, but don't know what to do or where to start. What advice would you have for them in looking to sell their equipment online or to a dealer?
A: The private market is very different from how our dealership operates and functions. Robertson Truck Group has a competitive advantage within the industry due to having a full detail, mechanical and upfitting facility on-site. We can provide consumers a better product at a one-stop shop unlike any private seller can. The advice I would give anyone looking to sell their equipment on the private market is, take high-quality images (a lot of them), provide all the specifications and be transparent on the condition of the equipment.
Q: Being a truck & trailer dealer that keeps up with software automation, and digital marketing initiatives. What would you recommend for a dealer beginning their digital initiatives to initially work on?
A: Digital marketing has exploded in the last several years, not only because of the next generation of consumers/buyers entering the marketing but also due to the state of the world. It snapped the industry nearly a decade ahead when consumers expanded their search online not just magazines and trade publications.
My advice to anyone in this industry looking to expand their digital marketing is to start with social media advertising. Piggy back off of an established platform's user-base and engagement like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Through detailed targeting and marketing our dealership/brand we have become easily recognizable to medium & heavy-duty truck buyers.
Q: I saw you actually made a Workflow Tracker that helps salesmen communicate with their shop departments. Can you explain a little more about this tool?
A: Automation. This is the next tool that is changing the rules of business operations in other industries. Robertson Truck Group believes by automating workflows it allows our team to focus on the more critical areas of our business and drops the tedious tasks. We have created a pipeline automation system that allows salesmen to communicate seamlessly with our shops in order to establish a post-sale process, track the inventory item through said process (timelines, updates and modifications), all at the click of a button.
Q: What's the best advice someone ever gave you in this industry?
A: If I only had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my axe." -- the famous quote of Abraham Lincoln. I was told this from someone outside of our industry, in software development. It is a great representation of how we have integrated software & systems in order to stay ahead of the industry.