Best Practices in Advertising: NFI Recruits More Female Drivers

Transportation and asset-based logistics companies are attracting more female drivers by highlighting women on the job in their paid advertisements and media relations initiatives. One transportation company successfully doing this is NFI Industries, which was featured as a best practice in advertising this week at the Women In Trucking Association's Accelerate! Conference & Expo in Dallas, Texas. The Transportation Marketing & Sales Association was represented as one of the exhibitors. 

According to Beth Potratz, President of Drive My Way, relative content through paid advertisements can help people envision themselves working for a particular transportation or logistics company. Potratz, who leads Drive My Way (a recruiting platform matching drivers and owner-operators to over-the-road trucking jobs), facilitated a panel discussion that highlighted advertising best practices of NFI, a New Jersey-based carrier specializing in transportation, warehousing and intermodal services

NFI recently launched a marketing campaign to feature women drivers to target and attract more drivers - which traditionally is perceived to be a more male-dominated career. But this perception is rapidly changing as companies like NFI look to diversify their driver workforce to combat a challenging driver shortage. In fact, according to recent statistics by the Women In Trucking Association and FreightWaves, women now comprise approximately 10 percent of the overall driver workforce - up significantly from only five years ago.

In August of 2018, NFI launched its ad campaign involving a video featuring Katherine Powell, one of their drivers. NFI has released one video per month since the initial ad campaign launch, and team representatives said the videos that feature women have become their most attention-getting.

Operations support Manager Allison Geist emphasized that women can play an important role in offsetting the driver shortage. In addition to advertising and PR campaigns, Potratz advised that companies can appeal to women by recognizing and addressing their overall concerns, ranging from equipment to safety issues. Potratz identified ergonomics, such as a seat that better suits a woman’s body, and cabin accessories as equipment concerns frequently voiced by female drivers. “It’s not like your living room,” Potratz said about the inside of a truck cab. “You want to be comfortable.”

Nicole Chukreeff, a representative of job site, encouraged companies to use targeted and truthful messaging in their job board posts. For example, instead of placing a notice for a generic trucking position, firms can specify whether a job will require flatbed or dry van driving. She urged fleets to explore other marketing tools, such as social media platforms, noting that truckers particularly like Facebook.

Smart marketers are looking at features that highlight what's most important to women when they consider potential careers and employers. In fact, according to Redefining the Road, the Women In Trucking Association's official magazine, women look for many benefits, including corporate cultures that foster gender diversity; competitive compensation and benefits; flexible hours and work requirements; professional development opportunities; and career advancement opportunities. Savvy marketers who develop compelling content and messaging would be wise to incorporate these in their campaigns. 

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