Within the transportation industry, there are few folks who are defined as Marketers. If they do exist, the marketing program is often tucked into a much larger Sales department and exists to write copy or create shiny collateral for the team. However, as new technology, platforms and channels finally reach the transportation industry, the need for marketers and strategic marketing looms large. The communication of your unique position and selling proposition in such a crowded landscape can no longer be accomplished by the sales force alone. The depth and breadth of the market is too great to be reached through a static website or loadboard advertisement. The principles of marketing, as message driver and sales partner, must be deployed to maintain your company as a competitive force in the intermediary marketplace.
Your brand is not simply your logo, your mission statement and your color scheme, it is the expression of who you are and your service: to your customers, to your carriers, to your employees and to the community where you exist. Your brand is an aggregation of your past successes (and failures) in communication, operation, administration and organization. Your brand is the promise of solution driven service, relationship development, timely payables and competitive compensation.
Creating the brand is a process built on the truths and integrity that exist within your company. It is borne from the very essence of your mission, your vision and the leadership that you provide to your company. Your position in the marketplace (whether as price leader, as unique, differentiated service provider, or as a market-centric trusted advisor) plays a key role in your ability to compete. Properly communicating this value to your target customers is essential so they can see you and believe that you are a viable option to help them succeed.
As the profiles of shipper decision makers continue to change and morph, their needs and sensibilities change as well. The buying experience continues to shift to a more digital and social one. You must be able to communicate on these new platforms with valuable content and targeted messaging. You must be able to lead the buyers along the path so that your relationship/solution selling salesforce can take the baton and convert the prospects into customers, who are then amazed by the end to end service provided by your operations staff.
As you build your strategy for 2018, operations and sales are always a priority, but do not forget to focus resources on your brand, your message, and the communication methodologies designed to best serve your customers and your own organization.
Join us on October 26th for the BrokerXcel round table focus on Marketing Strategy. We will be addressing frameworks, best practices and tactics to improve your marketing program. Click here for the event specifics or contact TranStrategy Partners for more information.