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One-A-Day Truckstop Marketing

Posted in: Great Ideas, Truckstop Business, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators


Welcome to the newest post in our blog series, Darren’s Great Ideas! for Independent Operators. The author, Darren Schulte, NATSO’s vice president of membership, brings to NATSO a wealth of knowledge about our industry.

Join Darren here every other Thursday for his biweekly retail column.

{Great Ideas} One-A-Day Truckstop Marketing

Most truckstops and travel plazas are open 365 days a year. While I know many of you work the majority of those days, if you perform just one simple marketing item on the 200 business working days of the year, at the end of the year you will have done a lot of marketing.

Here are some suggestions you might try: 

  • Walk through your location and write down three ideas on how to improve it.
  • Introduce one colleague to another in a significant way that benefits both of them.
  • Visit a retailer in your area that excels in marketing. Walk their store with an open mind.
  • Have lunch with an owner operator. Find out why they stop, fuel, shop or do not shop with you.
  • Read the first three chapters of a business or other how-to book.
  • Walk out to the fuel islands, jot down some fleet/company names and call those owners to say thank you.
  • Register for The NATSO Show. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
  • Reset a retail display.
  • Find out something you didn’t know about one of your employees or customers or co-workers.
  • Enter the door as though you were a new customer; remove one piece of merchandise or fixture that is creating a bad first impression.
  • Submit an employee for a Truckstop Superhero award.
  • Walk your store and find three items that are covered in dust. Put them in a discount bin and move on.
  • Send a handwritten and personal thank you note to a customer.

There are many more you could list. Together these actionable ideas when placed in concert with an annual marketing plan will have significant financial and social impact for your operation

/// Read more Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators posts here

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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.