Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) is the favourite company of the German advertising industry. The local public transport company repeatedly draws attention to itself through unconventional campaigns. Most recently, the BVG sneaker with a built-in annual ticket was voted as the best advertising campaign of 2018. BVG has been a regular guest at Einstieg Berlin for several years now. We have talked to BVG marketing creatives Susan Ullrich and Alena Tinkloh about the creative highlights in the BVG trainee marketing.
What were the measures taken by Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe to attract trainees in 2018 – online and offline?
As part of our school marketing, every year, we use a marketing mix of online advertising and classic offline measures in addition to regular advertising. Personal contact with the students is particularly important to us. This is the reason why we can be found on numerous school fairs and events. Furthermore, we also offer company tours at our training centre. For the career website as well as for trade fairs we have developed a training matching system which provides guidance for vocational career paths.
We consider our employees to act as important mouthpieces. Therefore, we also advertise within our own ranks and through our internal communication channels. As a local public transport company, we certainly also use the advertising space in our vehicles and at our stations. In addition to this classic form of advertising, we also use various social media platforms and online marketing channels such as Youtube and Google.
Was there anything that worked particularly well?
In our opinion, there is not just one medium that works best and which catches the attention of all applicants. As previously stated, the marketing mix is very important to us because we address different target groups via the individual channels and thus attract applicants.
What are the things, the young visitors can discover at your stands on Einstieg fairs? How do you manage to interact with the students?
Our stand is designed like a subway. The layout alone speaks to young people. We offer seating on the subway seats or seating cubes. Additionally, the stand is entirely open so that anyone can enter. We have a large screen, which makes it easy to obtain the most important information from a far away. Due to the height of our exhibition stand, we are clearly visible even from a great distance. Our tablets, which offer the possibility to try our training matching system, are located very centrally and easily accessible for visitors. But even the most beautiful and most amazing trade fair stand would be meaningless without the personnel. That’s the reason why we invite many of our own trainees along to report on their training. Together with our instructors, who are also present, they can provide expert advice to interested visitors.
Which aspects do you consider to be important when communicating with students today? Has anything changed in recent years?
The number of (recognised) VET occupations has increased sharply in recent years. Many students are somewhat overwhelmed by this situation. We do not see this as complete disinterest, we rather try to explain our own training occupations in a simple manner and with many practical example. That way, the students can get an idea of the training occupation and understand what it is about.
How do you manage to position yourself as an attractive employer?
We draw attention to ourselves as a training company through our student marketing. However, it is even more important that the training itself proves convincing. Therefore, we focus on providing high-quality training, for which the Chamber of Industry and Commerce have awarded us since 2016.
What are your plans for 2019?
Like every year, we aim to fill our apprenticeship vacations with the best applicants. In addition, it is very important to us to recruit more women for our industrial-technical apprenticeships at Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe.