A Call to Action (for Fleet Providers)

This is the first Fleet Man­age­ment Week­ly-exclu­sive col­umn writ­ten by brand­ing and mar­ket­ing author­i­ty Ed Pierce express­ly for prod­uct and ser­vice providers who want to con­nect and influ­ence fleet deci­sion-mak­ers.

Hav­ing just eclipsed 21 years of fleet indus­try mar­ket­ing, I can con­fi­dent­ly say this is the most excit­ing time to mar­ket your com­pa­ny, prod­ucts and ser­vices to fleet deci­sion-mak­ers. As fast as tech­nol­o­gy is chang­ing the fleet prod­ucts and ser­vices you are pro­mot­ing, it is chang­ing the media that you use to pro­mote them.

Twen­ty years ago, Mar­ket­ing sup­port­ed sales by cre­at­ing aware­ness. No sales rep want­ed to make a cold call or go to a meet­ing and hear, “Who is (name of com­pa­ny)?” Today, stud­ies show that about 71 per­cent of enter­prise pur­chase deci­sions in the U.S. begin with research con­duct­ed online. More so, busi­ness buy­ers do not con­tact sup­pli­ers direct­ly until 57 per­cent of the pur­chase process is com­plete.

Obvi­ous­ly, aware­ness is now just the first of sev­er­al crit­i­cal mar­ket­ing goals. In this age of the well-informed buy­er, earn­ing a great rep­u­ta­tion, cre­at­ing a dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed posi­tion, pro­vid­ing quan­tifi­able val­ue, build­ing a strong base of cus­tomer “advo­cates,” and deliv­er­ing those mes­sages effec­tive­ly through mul­ti­ple chan­nels are your oth­er impor­tant mar­ket­ing goals.

Mul­ti­ple Chan­nels

Not that long ago, there was just one media chan­nel, that was, “earned”. Com­pa­nies either paid (adver­tis­ing) for access or earned edi­to­r­i­al cov­er­age based on news­wor­thi­ness (pub­lic rela­tions). Yes, you could dis­sem­i­nate a cus­tomer newslet­ter, but dis­tri­b­u­tion was lim­it­ed to cus­tomers and pos­si­bly a prospect list.

In today’s dig­i­tal world, “earned” media has expand­ed to include ban­ner adver­tis­ing, Google Ads (AdWords), native adver­tis­ing and more. Fleet Man­age­ment Week­ly was one of the dig­i­tal media pio­neers in any indus­try, and it is still a great exam­ple of how “earned” media must be an impor­tant part of your mar­ket­ing mix. But the web has ush­ered in a sec­ond media chan­nel, that is, “owned.” The “owned” chan­nel includes your own cor­po­rate web­site, microsites, land­ing pages, video, blogs, social media pres­ence, back links, and con­tent mar­ket­ing. The “owned” chan­nel pro­vides com­plete­ly new oppor­tu­ni­ties to effec­tive­ly reach fleet deci­sion-mak­ers.

In the next col­umn, we’ll take a look at trends and oppor­tu­ni­ties relat­ed to the “earned” media chan­nel as they per­tain to the fleet indus­try.

I wel­come feed­back, ques­tions, sug­ges­tions, expe­ri­ences and dif­fer­ing points of view from fleet prod­uct and ser­vice providers as well as from fleet man­agers, cor­po­rate buy­ers, con­sul­tants, trade asso­ci­a­tion and media rep­re­sen­ta­tives who want to help build bet­ter con­nec­tions. Just send an email to EdPierce@ItsTheArts.com.



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