Marketing Shortcuts and Other Oxymorons

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.

Don’t rely on marketing shortcuts to grow your business. Instead, build a logistics marketing system for the long term.

If you are the P&L owner of a logistics business, the absolute wrong question to be asking about marketing is How do we get leads fast?”

Instead, ask yourself: “How do we become known for those things we do best among the prospects most likely to buy our service?”

Marketing is often an afterthought in the logistics space. Quite rightly, the priority emphasis must first be on getting the product right. But once the product or service is solid and “marketable,” too many logistics businesses assume they can then turn marketing “on,” like a water faucet, and watch the leads flow.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. After all, it took years to get your product “marketing ready.” There are really no marketing shortcuts that will deliver widespread brand awareness and increased deal flow in a matter of weeks.

Marketing Shortcuts: Beware the Lead Pill

It’s like weight loss. Losing pounds and keeping them off typically means eating better and investing time in a regular and long-term exercise regimen. Still people look for the diet pill that will get them the same result faster and easier.

Logistics businesses are no different when it comes to marketing. They want the “lead pill.” Fast, easy, cost-effective. But the search for this magic bullet often ends in disappointment.

Logistics services and high-ticket logistics software or equipment are not impulse buys. The sales cycle is long and shippers tend to buy from companies and people that they know, like and trust. The journey to “know, like and trust” is a long, multi-pronged effort that includes:

  • Clearly defining a compelling value proposition and message platform
  • Building credibility in a crowded space where many companies look and sound the same
  • Forging relationships with very busy executives
  • Nurturing these relationships over time

A Logistics Marketing System

The journey can be streamlined, but no shortcut can make it happen overnight. Here is a logistics marketing system that we use to support new business development, starting from the top and driving down.

magnet marketing diagram 4-16

This is a comprehensive system, not a shortcut, that could involve the use of dozens or hundreds of marketing and sales tactics. But it puts these tactics in the context of an overall strategy to build and nurture relationships with those prospects best aligned with your value proposition.

At some point, logistics marketers must get beyond reactionary responses to a thin pipeline – “let’s buy a list” or “let’s hire a telesales company.” They need to invest in future growth by, once and for all, clearly defining the company’s market position and establishing that brand position with regular and compelling content that is created and shared over months and years.

It’s not the quick fix many would like, but when you do this, and do it well, your best prospects end up finding you. Isn’t that a better formula for achieving long-term business growth?


Free eBook:

Lead GenerationLead Generation for Logistics Services: Whose Job Is It, Anyway?

Asking salespeople to fill, as well as close, the sales pipeline can lead to inefficiency, poor results and attrition.

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