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Operators Are on the Internet Constantly – Change Your Strategy

25% of Owner Operators Are Connected to the Internet Constantly.

Update Your Marketing Strategy to Keep Up With Your Mobile Prospects.

In case you missed the results of OverdriveOnline’s 2014 Connectivity Study, we’d like to bring you up to date. It’s pretty interesting reading, in light of the fact that some people still believe that owner operators in the trucking industry are behind the times when it comes to web-based connectivity. This survey showed how wrong that assumption really is. It may be time to update your marketing strategy.

Truckers are mobile, in more ways than one.

smart-phone[1]The survey looked at how owner operators connect to the internet, what tools they use to conduct their business and how they use digital technology in their leisure time. The #1 takeaway? Connectivity is considered essential:

  • 80% of owner operators said they connect to the internet every day.
  • 30% say they connect several times each day.
  • 25% say they’re continuously connected.

Clearly, if your marketing strategy doesn’t reach out to mobile searchers, you’re not reaching your target audience.

Owner operators are connecting with one another and they’re looking for information, primarily using smartphones (nearly 50%) and tablets (22%). They’re looking for everything from jobs and loads to service shops. They’re checking the weather and catching up on the news. They’re paying their bills, making purchases and, yes, they’re taking some “me” time to connect to Facebook, play games or even watch movies once their driving day is done.

Let’s look more closely at smartphone users:

  • 20+% are constantly connected to the Web.
  • 75% access the internet every day – 19% at least once, and almost 40% multiple times.

mobile_optimizeThey’re almost evenly divided regarding whether they prefer using a mobile device or their desktop to go online, but mobile devices had the lead. A few said they connect via the office or at truck stops. Nearly three-quarters said they sometimes use a laptop to access the internet.

What are some favorite websites?

For business, owner operators report their top choices are weather and trucking news apps and websites as well as online load boards. But they also mentioned used truck dealers and listing services, OEMs, banking and job-search sites other than load boards. And which of those sites are your prospects are using most frequently?

  • Weather, 90%
  • Work-related, 57%
  • News, 52%
  • Music and audio, 30%
  • Games, 28%

map, places, locationNot surprisingly, drivers mentioned maps and other navigation tools, too, along with truck stop-specific apps such as Pilot and TA Petro.

For leisure time, Facebook was the overwhelming favorite. Almost half the respondents say they use Facebook, and 95% of them have their own personal account. Two-thirds say they use Facebook every day, 23% say they check in multiple times each day and 10% report constantly accessing Facebook. Are they finding you there?

Yahoo’s news and entertainment received some mentions among the favorites, as did Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and Wal-Mart. Owner operators like to play solitaire and Angry Birds, too.

Content Management Systems and How They Can Help Grow Your DealershipAre you part of the Digital Toolkit?

Recognizing that owner operators are overwhelmingly interested in finding ways to connect, the editors at Overdrive put together a lengthy list of apps especially relevant for truckers. You can check out the Digital Toolkit online, but be forewarned: this list is not a quick read.

It includes dozens of useful, interesting and just plain fun websites, online applications, smartphone applications, podcasts, email newsletters, social media and blogs, divided into four categories:

  • Business.
  • News and advocacy.
  • Locators.
  • Lifestyle.

We’ll see you online. Does your marketing strategy ensure your targets will be connecting with you online?

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