The internet and increased connectivity have changed typical customer’s journey maps forever. Now your customer is looking for information everywhere: on social media, websites, and in all other places. That’s why Inbound marketing (I prefer to use the term Informational marketing term) is becoming essential. Nevertheless, many Logistics businesses are slow at adopting this new trend. Some companies are taking the first steps, but most companies are just thinking of moving in this direction. When conducting Logistic’s service providers indeks (LSPI) analysis, where we analyze Logistic’s businesses globally, we have noticed that Western European and USA companies are leaders in this field. Moreover, the biggest companies are those investing most funds in informational marketing.
Additionally, we have noticed another big trend – that most organizations still do not use out the best practices of informational marketing: they are using out too few communication channels, they do not have drawn multiple customer journey maps, and most of the time, they share information about themselves. This is good news for small and medium organizations willing to use out all the best practices of Guerilla Marketing. As a result, they could add more sales, increase their brand awareness and create trusted advisors status, although most are still delaying.
Probably the essential motive is related to your client’s. Today’s customers want to get everything at once and in a timely matter. So if they need information, they want to receive it with one click and at as many channels as possible. The information abundance trend that has been seen in the last 15 years has unavoidably changed the customer’s journey map. Now your customer’s before making any decision to buy, first of all, check information about you on the web. This tendency, first of all, was noticed in the consumer goods segment’s (phones, automobiles, other services), but with some delay, it reached other industries.
If you don’t believe me, remember the last time you decided to buy a valuable gadget. First of all, you screened the internet to find out about all the options and features, read all comments and recommendations, and evaluated all the alternatives. Then, when you already decide which product suits you best, you put through the same evaluation process all of the possible providers and choose the best option for you. So now the customers do checking for almost everything, and Logistic’s services aren’t different.
For a long time, most logistics companies haven’t paid attention to one essential thing: Logistics services are not only sold but bought as well. To ensure this, we had conducted a 250 shippers poll, where we asked various sales, customer relationship, and marketing questions. A vast number of them answered that the essential motives deciding which provider to choose are his public image, recommendations, and information on how they solved similar problems to theirs.
Please understand me correctly; I’m not saying that traditional sales methods or high service levels aren’t necessary; of course, they are. But the new market reality and your competitors are forcing companies to look at other methods as well.
Another essential motive – it’s your competition. Many logistics companies are starting to invest their funds in informational marketing: they write blogs, distribute newsletters, create guides, share visual materials, etc. The logic is simple, if your competition is doing this, you need to do this as well, and if they aren’t, you need to be the first one to start doing this. But, of course, marketing is a different kind of a beast; it’s more complex. In other words, if your competition will reach your customers with their marketing messages faster and more often. Or vice versa, your customers will find the data about your competitors when they will look for solutions to solve their problems, you will lose the competitive battle eventually. Of course, it will not happen tomorrow, but I believe someday it will. Informational marketing is a long-term strategy, but you can create a bomb that will destroy your competitors if you combine it with traditional sales tactics.
The other important motive is employees retention (Yes, you can attract new employees with the help of informational marketing). Many logistic’s companies worldwide are lacking employees to fill the ranks of a company. There is a massive demand for all positions: Sales, operational, technological positions (this position will be the one which will create the most headaches for the industry), etc. In other words, now employees choose a workplace, not another way. Furthermore, today’s employees are not different from modern customers (if we talk about the best ones). Before joining an organization, they collect information about a company to determine if the company fits their beliefs and personality. It means you need to excell at this by creating modern and not dull companies impression (seriously, today’s employees, especially X and Z generations, will not work for you if you will not create an appealing work environment).
Let’s not forget the pandemics. The pandemics have cut all the usual ways to meet your customers and forced people to spend even more time online. The consumption of various learning materials online has increased noticeably, which again creates a considerable possibility for proactive companies. Moreover, this situation forced companies to look for new ways to approach leads and engage with existing customers.
And the last but not least important motive is that information marketing, if used correctly – is a cheap and efficient way to generate new customers and increase the loyalty of existing ones. For example, suppose you add informational marketing to other typical sales channels and tactics (cold calling, referrals, logistics networks). In such a way, you will speed up the new customer’s acquisition at least two times, and existing customers will stay with you for a longer time.
Of course, we could find more benefits for using information marketing. For example, we could underly how informational marketing can help to decrease sales personnel count and increase existing customer’s loyalty. Furthermore, the use of this channel typically follows with existing process evaluation and new modern process creation. We will talk about this in the future.
In conclusion, I would like to share one important thing. Many Logistics companies aren’t using information marketing at all or are doing this in the wrong way. That’s why today is the best time to start implementing this at your organization. As I’ve mentioned before, you can create an extraordinary sales process by combining traditional sales and informational marketing to differentiate yourself from the competition. So often, we receive a question does it pay off for a small logistic organization? The answer is simple – it pays off, but the marketing complex varies depending on goals and positions in the market.
I understand that many of you are bothered by questions like how to do this correctly? How to avoid mistakes? I promise we will cover some parts in future articles where we will share details from our Logistics service providers indeks findings.
If you plan to implement some parts of informational marketing and would like to hear about all of the possibilities and get insight into avoiding mistakes, please get in touch with us.