In what has become an uncertain climate for UK hauliers, any opportunity to increase profit margins is going to be welcomed with open arms. Rising fuel prices, a shortage of drivers, and a looming exit from the EU are creating considerable extra difficulties for businesses in a sector which is particularly vulnerable to the wider economy. Subsequently, when Ed Hollands approached haulage companies in 2015 offering to pay them to use something they weren’t using, they naturally showed interest.
Ed, 25, is one of a growing number of young entrepreneurs making waves in the transport industry, with his innovative company, DrivenMedia, who sell advertising space on HGVs on behalf of hauliers while giving businesses a creative way to gain sales traffic. He got the idea for the business after seeing trucks waiting in traffic and realised the unused space on the trailers would make excellent space for adverts. In February 2018 DrivenMedia was featured on BBC’s Dragon’s Den, with Ed securing a £30,000 investment from Jenny Campbell. Eighteen months on, we caught up with Ed to find out how things are progressing.
TM: Hi Ed, thanks for taking the time to speak to us. We like to start by asking about the beginnings of DrivenMedia – after your initial idea how did you go about getting started?
Ed: I sat on the A38 taking down names of haulage companies and rang them all up later that afternoon. Ended up with 3 signing up. Took 6 months to create my first deal. I invested about £10,000 of my own money to make the dream happen, lots of mistakes as always but it’s the best time to make them. My strategy was speaking to everyone about this and something will stick. Now we’re highly targeted so the right people we spend lots of time on.
TM: How long after launching did you apply for Dragon’s Den? What was the experience like for you?
Ed: About a year and a half in, it was broadcast about a year later. Loved the experience, scary but well worth doing. The hardest thing was keeping the result a secret for nearly 9 months.
It’s fascinating watching them drive across the country. There are frequent days where all of our campaigns are on the road.
TM: How has having a ‘dragon’ helped you and your company?
Ed: Jenny helped embed process and helped us scale so much quicker than normal. She’s amazing to work alongside.
TM: What does an average day involve for you now?
Ed: One of three things: launching campaigns or arranging to launch them, meeting clients or hauliers, and finally, checking in with my team.
TM: On average, how many adverts are on the road at any one time? Are you able to track where they are exactly?
Ed: We have about 90 on the road, it varies day by day as every haulier is different. some work Monday to Friday with the occasional weekend, others can run their trucks anytime. We can see this with our GPS portal. It’s fascinating watching them drive across the country. There are frequent days where all of our campaigns are on the road.
TM: Do you have any big developments in the pipeline?
Ed: We have a few, they’re too early stage to say what yet.
TM: Sounds intriguing, keep us posted!
To advertise your business with DrivenMedia, or sell space on your fleet, visit https://www.drivenmedia.co.uk/