Building a logistics marketing company team

Is it time to consider building a Logistics Marketing Team? Should you also hire a logistics marketing company to assist that team?

Your logistics business has grown, thanks to the strong relationships you and your team have nurtured. Your expanding Business Development team helped you make more business connections and generate more revenue for your company. And, as you continue to grow, you’ll need to make many more connections and further promote your brand.

Now you’re ready to take it to the next level, and you know a logistics marketing team can help. The question is, can hiring a single leader fulfill all your needs or do you need to build out a complete in-house logistics marketing team to maximize your return?

Read on to find out…

Marketing For a Growing Logistics Company

After leveraging your connections, it’s time to shift focus to marketing. The goal is to devise a logistics marketing strategy that enhances your brand visibility and introduces your products and solutions to new organizations.

But how should you structure your marketing team, and where can you find the right talent?

We’ve gathered insights from seasoned marketers in the logistics industry who have shared their experiences in building marketing teams and finding the right service providers to support them.

Challenges Affecting Logistics Company Marketing


Experience in logistics marketing is rare. Marketing in logistics companies is not common. The logistics industry is operationally driven, often relying on tactical, reactionary activities to move products from point A to point B.


Priorities can change rapidly, affecting long-term strategies from an operational standpoint. As a result, logistics companies often prioritize resources toward the operational performance of managing logistics supply chains.

Business Development

The business development team can take up the slack in generating new revenue sources, but can still be tactically focused. For instance, attending an industry conference and being focused on lead development.


The challenge is the fact that sales pipeline development can suffer, as the sales cycle often extends beyond a single day and requires multiple interactions over a prolonged period to close a deal.

The “That’ll Do” Mentality

A few decades ago, the rise of websites led logistics companies to engage with digital marketing companies to build their website and online presence. This could have marked a turning point for marketing in logistics—but then IT teams took over website responsibilities. Consequently, logistics websites started to lag behind other industries in terms of appeal, dynamism, and innovation.

Similarly, sales collateral was boosted by the introduction of MSPowerPoint, and some savvy salespeople, but creativity was somewhat limited: lots of stretched pictures and logos, and not-so-curated messaging that merely listed services with a “that’ll do” mentality.

If only the logistics industry had embraced marketing more fully…

Modern Marketing for Logistics Companies

A well-crafted logistics marketing strategy can supercharge and compound the business development team’s lead-generation efforts, creating a customer journey of discovery and validation.

Think about some of your favorite products and services. Now think about how you came to know of them. Chances are, you were serenaded by a marketing team’s efforts with just the right amount of appeal to attract you to those products and services.

Logistics companies are beginning to embrace marketing to become more memorable.

When you think about some of the more advanced logistics marketing efforts, you might recall CSX transporting the load of 280 trucks, and transporting 1 ton of freight 436 miles on 1 gallon of fuel, or FedEx and the movie Castaway. These examples prove that logistics marketing can effectively promote brands.

To put those efforts into perspective, these companies are spending millions of dollars on their marketing budgets. These investments are generating returns, but not every logistics company is ready to take the logistics marketing plunge.

Get Ahead of the Pack

If your logistics organization recognizes the significant potential return on investment in marketing, what steps should you be taking to establish a logistics marketing team?

Once a logistics company has a marketing strategy in place, the deliverables can be outlined and execution planning can begin.

Establishing a Logistics Company Marketing Strategy

Logistics company marketing Strategies typically revolve around lead development and brand promotion, which encompasses a conference and exhibition calendar, specific product or service promotions, and outgoing communications. At a minimum, a logistics company should have a competent marketing leader with logistics experience and project management skills to ensure that deliverable deadlines are met.

But there’s a lot of work involved and that individual will need support.

Logistics Marketing Hiring Priorities

The priority list below aligns with the level of logistics experience required. Your marketing leader should be well-versed in logistics terminology, your products and services, how your products and services solve customer problems, competitors, strengths and weaknesses, and marketing technology. Additional hires don’t necessarily need to have as much extensive experience in the logistics industry. As you move down the priority list, the roles become more specialized in their areas of responsibility.

1. Marketing Leader

Your first hire for the marketing team should be its leader. This individual will work across departments to set the strategy, determine deliverables, and understand the support required for implementation. The marketing leader can then hire team members or collaborate with external support to deliver materials and actions as per the strategy.

2. Marketing Generalist

The marketing leader will need a generalist with broad marketing experience to execute some of the tactical activities associated with the marketing strategy. Logistics experience will be crucial for the most efficient use of time.

3. Proposal Manager/Content Developer

Large volumes of business are often tendered as requests for proposals. Your company’s response to these proposal requests will determine if you’re selected as the service provider. With potentially millions of dollars at stake, your Proposal Manager must be capable of pitching your products and services as solutions to the problems customers implicitly state in the RFx documentation.

4. Communications Manager

If communications is a function of marketing rather than a separate department or part of Corporate Communications, then the next hire would be a Communications Manager. This individual would be responsible for finalizing customer- and associate-facing materials. This role is often filled by a creative storyteller with exceptional writing skills who can transform bullet points and materials into compelling communications.

The above 4 roles form the ideal core logistics marketing team, providing enough resources to implement your marketing strategy with additional support from a logistics marketing agency.

Further investment is a great benefit to have. Logistics industry experience for these roles may not be quite as important because your core team will be offering the strategic direction on projects.

5. Conference and Exhibition Planner

Deciding to host booths at conferences and exhibitions introduces a significant amount of new responsibilities to the team, requiring extensive coordination. It makes sense to hire someone dedicated to managing these activities. Beyond shipping the booth and dealing with show service providers, your conference and exhibition planner manages all of the lead-in and lead-out activities too.

  • Preparing and managing an event budget
  • Collaborating with your marketing generalist to create customer communications promoting your presence at the shows
  • Collating product and service collateral and giveaways
  • Preparing the business development teams with the hosting schedule and other on-site activities
  • Managing the lead collection process and holding the BD team accountable for lead follow-ups
  • Planning event activities such as travel, customer entertainment, etc.
  • Reporting ROI from your CRM (Customer Relationship Management software)
  • Ensuring vendors and service providers are paid

For more insights, you can read our blog post on 5 Ways to Get More from Your Tradeshows.

6. CRM/Website/SEO/PPC Manager

If you want to fully optimize the use of that expensive Customer Relationship Management software, having a dedicated resource on-site to manage it makes sense. They can familiarize themselves with your processes and automate some of the administration, freeing up time for your BD team to continue growing your pipeline.

Not ready to hire someone for this yet? Our sister company, Measured Results Marketing, is full of premier Marketing Technology experts who can guide you through this environment.

7. Graphic Designer

Having a graphic designer on your team who can quickly tweak images or create pictures and banners is certainly convenient. However, it’s not often a full-time role unless you’re able to hire someone who also possesses the additional skillsets required in different marketing activities.

8. Social Media Manager

It’s worth thoroughly examining your lists of social media followers to identify who the audience is. Most of the time it will be your own associates or people looking for career opportunities with your organization. While it makes sense to repost most of your major external communications to your social media channels for SEO purposes, note that the majority of the readers probably won’t be prospects or customers. For this reason, social media managers often come under the HR banner.

Outsourced Logistics Marketing Support

Much like your HR team will lean on external recruiters, your Operations team brings in outsourced help during peak times, your Legal team hires outside counsel, and you are asking your prospects to outsource their supply chain services needs to you, logistics companies can outsource some or all of the functions of a logistics marketing team to a logistics marketing agency.

But it’s critical to be very specific about qualifying the right agency to work with or you’ll spend too much precious time explaining industry terminology and revising delivered materials.

Dedicate an internal resource to act as the relationship owner, and the right logistics marketing agency can confidently deliver on the agreed strategy in a very cost-effective manner—especially when compared to the fully loaded cost of just one or two in-house marketing team members, let alone a full team of seven to ten individuals.

Ocean 5 Strategies, for example, manages graphic designers, web managers, storytellers, SEO and PPC experts, and logistics strategists on their team, who are called upon as needed so you don’t have the worry and expense of paying for an underutilized full-time graphic designer or project manager.

Ocean 5 Strategies is a Logistics Marketing Agency

Ocean 5 Strategies has worked with very large logistics companies on website redevelopment, SEO, messaging, content and campaign management, sales collateral development, and trade shows.

  • We have the experience, expertise, skills, and resources to help logistics businesses like yours meet their sales growth objectives and new client acquisition goals. We can even help with recruitment marketing.
  • We offer a comprehensive library of resources to help you and your team hone your skills. We believe you will appreciate our expert insight. We have numerous articles available to guide you on best practices. Ocean 5 Strategies offers insight into Inbound Marketing Best Practices, SEO for Business, and even How to Build Successful Email Campaigns.
  • If your resources are already stretched thin and you don’t have the bandwidth to become an expert in every aspect of marketing, it may be more productive to leverage our fractional support.
  • Read more about our logistics practice here.

What Does a Typical Engagement Look Like?

We know logistics and the support we offer is comprehensive, including:

  • Messaging workshops to align who you are and what you do with what your customers are looking for
  • Tactical campaign execution, including messaging, content development, landing page creation, ROI measurement
  • Marketing strategy development, including conference and event planning, campaign management, content, and collateral development.

Here’s a big tip. If your main hook is the availability of capacity and great customer service, you’re not standing out! Go check, your competitors are all saying the same thing.

Let us help you refine how you communicate about your company’s capabilities to move you beyond the capacity price wars.

What would be the first step?

We want to support you, and if you believe our support will be beneficial, then let’s connect.