Logistics marketing teams typically run lean, with teams as small as one person responsible for all facets of marketing. And sometimes it can be overwhelming.
Marketing Plans for Logistics Companies
The list of tasks for marketing departments spans the gamut of marketing activities including digital marketing, trade shows, PR, and BD (Business Development) support.
The target audiences are equally diverse, from BD teams going after new client prospects to HR and Recruiting teams needing support to attract new employees—they are all leaning on the same internal resources.
In a typical communications plan for a logistics or cold storage company, you might expect to see
- Trade shows and conferences
- Focus areas and company highlights
- Content, creative, and social media support for each campaign
- New products and services
- Website refresh
- New facility additions and upgrades
Business Development Support
- Open capacity campaigns
- Sales collateral
- Technical support
- Content updates
- Search engine optimization
- New (unknown) initiatives will likely emerge throughout the year—and some capacity/budget should be available to support them
To effectively and efficiently execute on these demands requires a diverse skill set—rarely found in a small logistics marketing team, let alone a single employee-including:
- Web design and development
- SEO (getting found online)
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Event management
Not to mention, lead generation strategies, project management, and measurement to confirm the marketing investments are worthwhile.
In a nutshell: Logistics company marketing departments are small and have very broad responsibilities. In this article, we explore how to overcome those challenges.
The Problem with Outsourced Marketing
Bringing in external help has some obvious benefits, such as
- Lower costs compared with (more) full-time employees
- Supplement internal skills with specialist marketing knowledge
- Available on an as-needed basis
But there are also some hidden drawbacks:
Freelancers may or not have time when you need them. And they also need a significant amount of management (pulling from your limited internal capacity).
Agencies may have higher capacity but, without a detailed understanding of logistics, you will spend time educating, proofreading, and correcting concepts, campaigns, and content.
In both cases, a lack of industry knowledge is a significant time suck for the in-house marketing team.
Logistics Marketing Experts
Industry knowledge is more than a superficial understanding of logistics for dry goods and cold storage. It also means understanding the end customers—who are the decision-makers and influencers—and what criteria they use to make their decisions.
In a recent survey, we found that there are very few agencies that claim to have Logistics Marketing Expertise. And within those agencies, almost none understood the motivations of the end user. As one executive commented, “If you have to explain why truck turn times are important, you have a lot of educating to do”.
Nevertheless, when you find an agency with true industry expertise the benefits are considerable:
1. Specialist Skills Without the Expense
By partnering with an established marketing agency—one with a logistics practice—you receive input and engagement from all the agency’s professionals: strategists, graphic designers, storytellers, search engine optimization (SEO) experts, web developers, and more.
It’s an entire team of support to supercharge your in-house marketing resources for a fraction of the cost of hiring each specialty individually. Cost-effective expertise.
2. Little-to-No Onboarding Requirements
It makes sense to engage a marketing agency with a logistics practice with the benefits of:
- Little-to-no ramp-up time on industry knowledge
- Almost immediate impact on content and deliverables
- Trusted advisor resources you can leverage
3. Professional Relatable Content
If you are in marketing you have no doubt heard the term “content is king”. True, but only if the content is relatable to your target audience and adds value to their workday. It requires industry expertise to efficiently create accurate content that doesn’t need a total rewrite by your internal team.
4. Gain Back Time to Focus on Your Core Initiatives
Not everything you do can be outsourced effectively, but how much time would you get back knowing your marketing agency’s output would significantly advance your company messaging, would resonate so much more with your target audience, and would help promote your organization as the industry leader you intend it to be?
What else could you be working on if you got that time back?
Logistics Company Marketing Strategy
Campaign execution is the practical side of marketing, but so much money is wasted on content, advertising, and other activities that do not lead to increased brand awareness or lead generation—i.e. the things that drive revenue.
A successful logistics marketing strategy has the following characteristics:
- Clear messaging—directed to a clearly defined audience—that shows how you solve their problems better than the competition.
- A pre-developed buyer’s journey to engage prospects and allow them to learn more about your solutions and make the right choice.
- A marketing process (and information system) in place to move qualified leads into business development and also measure performance.
Campaign strategy, drives marketing tactics, including content (that has a purpose) and advertising/promotion to help your target find you when they need your services with nurture programs to keep existing contacts informed.
Partnering with an agency that can execute campaigns is essential, but finding a logistics marketing partner that can also build strategy is both rare and invaluable.
Ocean 5 Strategies is a Logistics Marketing Agency
Ocean 5 Strategies has worked with some 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 full library of resources to help you and your team hone their skills. We think you will welcome our expert insight. We have lots of 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—and you don’t have the bandwidth to become an expert in every facet of marketing—it may be more productive to leverage our fractional support.
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.
If your main hook is the availability of capacity and great customer service, you’re not standing out. 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.