To win in logistics marketing, lose the fear

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.

I like nature in the raw.  Seeing and experiencing unexplored places.

fear-imageWith family obligations and work, I don’t get to scratch that itch often, but I’ve done remote glacier hiking in Alaska, spent time in the Amazon rainforest, walked through the South Bronx after midnight (OK, not fair. I grew up there.).

Once, in the Peruvian Amazon, I slipped away for an hour-long walk in the jungle without a guide. Unknown to me, this caused a small panic in the camp. Evidently, there are these carnivorous animals called jaguars that really do exist outside PBS documentaries. When I returned to camp, the tour director explained the danger and why eco-tourism companies take pains not to have clients eaten during tours.

“Weren’t you scared?” was the greeting I got from fellow travelers when I returned.

Well, fear is an element of any good adventure. Fear implies that it could go well or it could go badly. You take that chance for the sake of a meaningful experience. To get your heart beating faster. To do something that matters.

Fear also plays a role in logistics marketing.

There is a lot of sameness in the logistics service provider space.  Lots of companies doing much the same things to achieve the same results.  As logistics marketers and salespeople, our job is to make our companies or our clients stand out amidst this sameness.  But it’s hard to do that without walking into the jungle.  Without forging a better value proposition, or choosing to dominate a specific niche, or spearheading a new approach, or any bold initiative that dares to trade safety for true differentiation and relevance.

Safe avoids the fear.

It also makes your company invisible, and makes you interchangeable with lots of logistics marketing professionals who can write a newsletter, design a presentation, or generate some leads from an email campaign.

Instead of avoiding the fear, dance with the fear, as Seth Godin says. Accept it as a by-product of attempting to do something meaningful – even remarkable.

Figure out why your company should matter, then own it.

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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