The logistics market has changed a lot in the last two years. Earlier, Logistics services were seen as transactional, where the prices most of the time were the key decision factor. But this has changed together with the pandemics. Now shippers understand that the price isn’t the critical factor, as usually low prices come with many tradeoffs, like longer delivery times, stock-outs, and terrible service experience. The same was true before pandemics, but the disruptions caused by the pandemics have also disclosed and worsened this situation. If earlier some unexpected things happened rarely, now something unexpected happens every day.
As Logistics services usually do not have some critical differentiators except the above ones, spreading the word about extraordinary services and building a professional services provider brand is one of the few ways to differentiate yourself from the competition and get more business.
Working with logistics companies worldwide, I see that many companies, especially small and medium ones, have built great teams, have a lot of insights, can provide flexible and dedicated services, and understand the market they operate in. But, still, they struggle with marketing themselves as thought leaders or marketing their key differentiators. And this limits their growth potential.
Talking with logistics businesses, I usually hear the following statements: We do not need more customers; we barely can serve the existing ones; We are satisfied with what we have today; We get business from referrals, etc. But unfortunately, this is not enough for today’s fast-changing world. Being a small or medium player in the market is quite risky, considering all the market developments that are happening today. You can read more on changes in the logistics market here, here and here.
And nevertheless, in the statements above, we all know that each soldier dreams of becoming a general. So likewise, logistics business owners have an inner desire to become prominent players in their market. And best way to achieve this is to incorporate marketing activities into their sales operations.
In this article, I will share what companies are losing by not investing in suitable marketing activities.
#1 Lost growth opportunities
An organization that grows with the help of sales teams or referrals only grows at a pace between 5-15 % yearly, except for last year, when pandemics increased prices significantly. Although I would recommend asking yourself is this growth sustainable? I believe that growth-related to pandemics is inaccurate, as this growth for most companies was related to increased freight prices. When the music stops, the expansion will stall once again.
Companies looking for ways to reach yearly growth of 50% and more must speed up new business development and enter new markets or/and niches. Alignment of sales and marketing activities is the best way to stimulate growth (you can read more on the best ways to generate new customers here and here ) because, in such a way, organizations can reach far bigger audiences faster and cheaper than using out only physical sales channels.
#2 Lost tool to shorten sales cycles
Organizations that do not use any marketing activities are constantly dealing with cold leads, which is frustrating and usually brings in many no’s when calling shippers or instructions to send more details via email.
Right-aligned marketing strategy puts you ahead of many shippers, and consistency builds awareness. Moreover, with analytical tools, you can screen leads more likely to do business with you. In such a way, the next time you call a prospect, they already know you; therefore, the chances of getting the meeting increase by 2-3 times compared to a cold call. I will say that I do not say cold calling is dead. Oppositely, it’s the fastest way to generate new business, but organizations need to do much more to win in today’s highly competitive environment.
Furthermore, with the help of drip marketing campaigns that create value for your prospects, once again increase the chances of calling you when they need logistics services, instead of competitors that don’t do anything to stick in their customer’s minds for a longer time frame. You can read more on this topic here.
#3 Lost tool to increase existing customers’ loyalty
Logistics companies that do not pay attention to loyalty in the buying journey can lose their existing customers to competitors.
Usually, logistics companies visit their customers during a buying cycle. And, of course, a physical visit is still the best way of building loyalty. But with marketing activities, you can stick in your customer’s mind every week or month, instead of 1-2 times a year.
And this is an extremely powerful tool because those in sales know that each touch point with a customer is essential, and the more touch points you get, the better hedged you are against competitors. But, of course, organizations must do this with quality and not allow mistakes. You can read more about logistics companies’ mistakes with their marketing activities here.
#4 Lost tool for attracting the best employees
The first issue logistics companies globally face today is a labor shortage. And here again, marketing activities can help to position your company as a great company to work for, and it helps to attract employees.
The foremost thing organizations need to pay attention to when building employees’ brand is not just to do marketing activities sharing birthday cakes and photos of corporate parties, but actually building a great place to work for. You can find more insights on big resignation in logistics here.
#5 Entering new markets faster and cheaper
Fast-growing companies are always looking for new markets and niches that they could enter. And here again, marketing can help to build awareness about your company or even check if those new markets are perspective. Moreover, with marketing activities, organizations can do this faster and cheaper than with a sales team or brick-and-mortar appearance.
#6 Lost sight of the market
As mentioned earlier logistics market is changing fast, you can read more about 7 trends changing the logistics market here. Of course, logistics companies know those trends, but usually, they do not pay huge attention, status quo wins most of the time. On the other hand, companies who invest in marketing usually start from strategical marketing: performing competitors’ audits, overlooking existing marketing and sales processes, etc. And this helps not to lose sight of what happens in the market and allows for pivoting in the right direction.
I want to say here that marketing activities push companies from the status quo towards new modern process creation. And this is super healthy for any company.
Thank you for your attention. If your organization would like to learn more about how marketing could help your organization to speed up business development by building thought leadership, please contact me.
And if your organization is doing marketing but doesn’t get results or doesn’t know how to align marketing activities with sales activities, please get in touch with me; we can help you save a lot of funds and get more revenues.
You can arrange the call with me below.
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