Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Work History 2011 - 2013: CDL Life

The transportation and truck driving industries in North America are huge. Billions of dollars go through them every year. Having said that, the industries aren't exactly riding the cutting edge of technology. They're just beginning to catch up to where a lot of companies were back in 2008.

What I learned at PlattForm Advertising was that trucking has a lot of appeal to a certain type of person. However, many potential drivers needed to know a lot about what they were getting into before they earned their CDLs. CDL certifications aren't that hard to get, when compared to college degrees. You move into a school, you learn what you can from a seasoned veteran of the industry, then you take a test and get into a truck. Once that happens, you need information.

There are a lot of sites that just have basic stuff designed to get you interested in a Commercial Drivers License program, like PlattForm was so adept at marketing. Not that many places on the Web gave people insight into the trucking industry and the kind of demands it placed on new drivers. That's where www.cdllife.com comes in.

I looked into fifteen sites that cover the trucking and transportation industries, and CDL Life was unique. They put more of an emphasis on community, rather than just industry information. They create content that appeals to every aspect of the trucker - what they think about during the work day, what their carriers are up to, what kind of music and movies they like, what kind of mobile apps benefit them and their families, how they can save money, what industry groups love to back them and their image, everything. They love drivers, all 4 million of them who bring about 99% of everything you buy to the stores you like. Who wouldn't want to write about that?

So based on previous stints at PlattForm and In10sity with trucking and transportation clients, I went ahead and accepted this new assignment. It came with a "Director of Content" title, which really meant advising a small team who could move fast. It was a job that demanded I learn as much about an industry as I could, while making sure a large reading audience wasn't bored.

What I learned:
  • Targeted audience marketing
  • Team management
  • Client-faced marketing
  • Consumer-faced marketing and PR
  • Video scripting
  • Budgeting