Marketing Logistics: Would You Rather Be Liked By Many, or Loved By a Few?

Jim Bierfeldt

Jim Bierfeldt is the founder and chief strategist at Logistics Marketing Advisors, a marketing firm that helps logistics businesses define and communicate their value, and then translate that value into revenue.

This week’s blog poses a philosophical question: Would you rather be liked by many, or loved by a few?

For humans (statistically, still the majority of this blog’s readers), the answer would likely be love and the rewards that come with these deep emotional bonds.


Okay, for freight brokers and some transportation companies, it might be more of a volume game. But most logistics businesses don’t need hundreds or thousands of new customers a year. They might need 3, or 10, or 20 significant new relationships.

The problem is they don’t market their logistics products or services with that in mind.  Just take a look at the websites in your competitive space. Many (not yours, of course) kind of look and sound the same, don’t they?

Marketing logistics: How your approach changes based on your answer to the question

When your marketing logistics objective is to be liked by many, you cast a wide net. You look and sound more like a generalist than a specialist. The logic of that approach: a specialist positioning limits your opportunities by scaring away those that don’t precisely fit that service focus.

But that logic does not hold water in today’s buying environment, particularly as it relates to high-dollar purchases.  According to CEB’s Marketing Leadership Council, B2B buyers today are nearly 60% of the way through the buying cycle before they even talk to a supplier. They don’t want to meet with dozens of suppliers (despite your charming personality and devilish good looks). They want to identify just a handful of potential partners who seem, based on their research, to be just the right fit for what they need.

Buyers gain this ability from the enormous amount of objective information available to them – online, from consultants, from colleagues.  The knowledge gained during this due diligence process is likely to lead them to the specialist, not the generalist.

Get where I’m going here?

When marketing logistics, 3PLs and other logistics businesses should “sell it like it is.”  Determine the prospects that are best aligned with your unique value proposition and talk to them, specifically.

Yes, to the exclusion of others.

Communicate an understanding of your ideal prospect’s unique requirements and give them specific reasons to believe why you are better able to address these requirements than your competitors.

Once you do that, you’ll find your messaging will be far more powerful and authentic. Why invest marketing dollars to sound generic?

Who do you love?

We all want to be liked, by as many people as possible.  But if you’re a logistics brand that wants to grow, what you really need is to be loved – by a few new customers a year.

The best way to do that is to declare your love for them – the segment of the market that aligns best with your unique value proposition.  Focus on the few whose love you can earn and for whom your message is urgently relevant.


Free eBook:

play your positionPlay Your Position: Marketing Lessons 3PLs Can Learn from Youth Soccer

Logistics companies often make the same mistake as the six-year-old soccer player. They want to be part of every play. But in an increasingly competitive market, a “we’ll do anything for anybody” message won’t cut it.

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