How important is the role of marketing in logistics?
Andrew Dolby, Marketing Administration Officer at CML explores the importance of using marketing to promote your logistics company...
From my experience, marketing in the logistics industry is only really just developing for the vast majority of small to medium third party logistics (3PL) providers; however, it is becoming increasingly important as the economy continues to grow.
Logistics is an industry that's historically tight-knit and was previously heavily network driven when it came to attracting new business, with 3PL's relying primarily on word-of-mouth to promote their services. However, times are changing and competition is becoming fierce as more and more companies, from different sectors, jump on the logistics bandwagon, offering add-on logistics services to what they already provide.
As a result, 3PLs are waking up to the understanding that if they want to attract new business and continue to stand-out in an increasingly competitive market-place they must have a comprehensive marketing strategy in place to guarantee on-going success. For CML, our marketing strategy has included taking advantage of advertising, public relations and social media to help raise our profile.
To achieve maximum impact, a logistics company should launch its marketing strategy by creating a strong identity on which to pin its publicity. At CML, we looked at what set us apart from other logistics and mover providers and decided that we wanted to promote our personable and friendly approach to logistics and the fact that we continuously put our clients' needs first. We created the slogan the 'core approach, a unique approach to logistics management,' and expanded on this by developing the term CML, 'at the core of your business.' This slogan went onto be reflected in our logo, a green apple.
Targeting the right media outlets to place your company's message is also key; it's all about understanding what type of customers your company is looking to attract. For example many of CML's clients come from the retail industry so for us we have looked to target our marketing at trade magazines which we know our customers read. Ensuring that you reach out to the right media outlets will in turn ensure that you are seen by the right audience.
Due to the prominence of social-networking sites, it is also important for companies in the logistics sector to utilise social-media marketing. In today's digital age, having a strong social-media presence is just as important as having a well designed website. Social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are also a cost effective way for companies to increase their exposure and engage with their target audience. However, a logistics company's message should be based less around consumer spending and more on corporate engagement, using social media as a networking and research tool, to build links with other like-minded professionals.
As the economy picks up post-recession, investing in marketing has therefore become vital for 3PLs' if they are to stand out from the crowd.