I interviewed Laura Patterson who discussed What Best in Class Marketers are Doing That Logistics People Should Know About.
It’s nice to speak with you today, Laura. This is going to be an interesting topic. I’m looking forward to hearing your views on what best-in-class marketers are doing that logistics people should know about. Can you first provide a brief background of yourself?
Thank you, Dustin, for having me be a part of your program and series. I’m really excited and delighted to be here with you guys. I have been in business for a very long time, and our company is 15 years old—VisionEdge Marketing. We came to start this company because we wanted to help our customers be able to make better fact-based decisions about the market, customers, and products.
My background is in technology—both semiconductors and software and computing—as well as financial services and health care. In our company we’ve had the privilege of working with firms in the logistics space, such as BAX Global, Agility Logistics, Southwest Airlines Cargo, Ryder, and other organizations. I think we’ll have a great conversation here.
It’s great to hear you have a good experience in the logistics industry. In your opinion, what’s most important in logistics?
I think what’s most important in logistics and any company is understanding your customer. As Peter Drucker once said, the purpose of business is to create a customer. In order to create a customer, you have to understand your market. The only organization inside the company that carries the name “market” in its title is marketing. It’s marketing’s job is to help any company—logistics companies and others—understand the customers’ wants and needs so that the companies—particularly, logistics companies—can provide the products that customers are going to buy through the channels that are most convenient for them with the functionality and feature set that will meet their requirements, give them satisfaction, and ultimately turn them into advocates and repeat, loyal customers.
How do you get to know your customers?
That’s an excellent question. If you’re not a very small company where your customers are all very local and you can get to know them face-to-face, like the local dry-cleaner or bakery, and if you’re a global company and your customers are global—there are many of them, particularly a B2B type of company, or even a B2C company, like Amazon, which I would put in the category of a logistics company—then you’re going to have to have good information and data. That means you’ll have to take the time to use data to do appropriate segmentation, persona development to understand buying preferences, voice of customer.
All of that takes a particular level of sophistication by marketers. One of the things we’ve been trying to understand is how well marketers have been performing in these areas for the companies they serve.
Can you talk about where you’ve seen some success or some findings?
Sure, that’s a great question, and I appreciate you asking because, Dustin, for the past 14 years, we’ve been doing an annual study on marketing’s ability to prove its value and contribution to the business, and we’re about to release the results from the 2015 study. There are only a few, one in five marketers does a really good job of being able to prove their contribution and value to the company.
They’re the only group that earns what we would call an A, which is a score of 90 or better from their leadership team for their ability to demonstrate their value and demonstrate their impact.
We can talk about what that group does, but what the other thing that’s shocking about the findings is that about half the marketers earn a C or a D; they earn very poor scores. We have about nearly four hundred people participate in this study, and that’s fairly typical over the past few years, about the same number. It’s a statistically valid study; it’s global, it’s in industries all over the world, of all sizes. It’s pretty fascinating findings.
Thank you, Laura, for sharing today on this topic. Where can the audience go to learn more about this, especially people in logistics, who may not be as familiar with marketing?
They can come to our Web site; we’ll have a copy of the report and survey on our Web site at VisionEdgeMarketing.com. I think one of the things that might be really important for these folks to know about what these best-in-class marketers do better and differently is that they’re known as value creators. They really focus on creating value for the customers as opposed to the other types of marketers, the middle-of-the-pack marketers, which are like sales enablers, really focused on supporting the sales team, and that bottom group of marketers, which are campaign producers, which really tend to be more focused on operating like an agency.
If you think about those value creators and their focus on creating value for the company and customer, they do that by really understanding the customer, and they do that through really excellent market segmentation and persona development and being able to really make the marketing mix and do the right kinds of analytics to understand customer behavior and capture information that will enable the company to serve those customers better, create a better customer experience, and grow customer share of wallet, which are important metrics these value creators focus on.
Thanks, Laura, for sharing.
My pleasure. I’m really glad to be here. If I can leave them with one thought. I do encourage them to understand the customer as much as they possibly can, to ask their marketing people to really develop and elevate their customer knowledge, and to be able to use data and analytics to inform them about their customers and to focus more on creating a customer-centric, outcome-based marketing as opposed to focusing on activities of marketing, such as producing campaigns, whether those are e-mail or offline campaigns or other types of production-oriented efforts. Dustin, do you have any last questions?
No, I think that’s good.
Thank you, I really appreciate being a part of your program.
About Laura Patterson
You might find the BAX Global and the SW Airlines Cargo case studies on our website of interest, www.visionedgemarketing.com. These can be found in the case studies section under resources. They are free with registration. The 2015 marketing performance management report and press release are also on our site if you become interested in learning more about what the top 20% of marketers do better and different to prove their value. Alan can help you with anything on our website.
These links will take you to articles that your audience might find of interest "Why You Need a Customer Engagement Metric" - this one talks about measuring customer engagement
And since logistics is often about getting the right product to the right customer in the preferred channel – this 3 part article series may be of interest too
President, VisionEdge Marketing- Improving Marketing Effectiveness and Creating Marketing Centers of Excellence