The roles of a bicycle derailleur and marketing are comparable. The first aligns front and rear sprocket wheels to deliver the best pedaling results in different terrain. The second aligns company product and service features with buyer needs to deliver more sales.
By Ed Pierce, ITA Communications. Fleet
In the November and December ‘A Call to Action’ columns, I wrote about fleet service providers’ need to focus on storytelling and substantiation in their promotional messaging. While these keys to marketing success are always valid, they hold even more weight as pandemic disruption puts pressure on companies to cut costs drastically and generate more revenue.
In this third and last part of the series covering effective marketing messaging strategies, I’ve borrowed the term derailleur from the world of bicycles. A derailleur aligns front and rear sprocket wheels, delivering the best pedaling results in different terrain.
Similarly, a company’s marketing plan must align product or service features with the target audience’s buyer persona. It must follow the pain points, strategic goals, competition, and other environmental situations to relate to the buyer. Things are even more complicated in the fleet world because the buyer persona involves the multiple personalities of sourcing committee stakeholders!
No matter how challenging, understanding the buyer persona increases the likelihood of creating messages that emotionally and intellectually resonate with the prospects and customers.
Empathy. Translation. Diligence.
Consider three critical attributes of a marketing message that propel success: Empathy, translation, and diligence.
While storytelling and substantiation positively contribute to compelling content, the foundation of a successful message is empathy. Overcome the urge to ask, ‘How would I react to this idea?’ Instead, project ‘what will the recipient of your message do?’
If your empathic accuracy is factual, interactions stand a greater chance of being successful and will pave the way for future business. The more in-depth marketing and sales go to understand buyer persona attitudes, expectations, and intentions, the greater the chance of successful communication and likelihood of evoking the intended reaction and moving an opportunity forward.
Translation refers to the need to convert internal geek-speak into market-ready external communication. In most businesses, it is easy to get caught up in operational and executive promotion of product features, clever acronyms, technological breakthroughs, and the adoption of new business tools and management fads.
Sales and marketing must separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to what is essential to customers and prospective buyers. Then they must translate features into benefits, applications into stories, percentages into dollars, generalities into real-world metrics. In other words, sell a company’s strategic competencies into a Unique Selling Proposition.
The advances made in digital marketing allow businesses to be much more intelligent in planning and implementing sales and marketing strategies and communicating to customers and prospects. AI and personalization are redefining how we market to, nurture, and convert customers. Applications that unify experiences are fostering seamless multi-channel customer engagement. Advances in data management coincide with the increased volume of data and data sources.
The tools will be available to help deliver compelling marketing messages and win more business, but one constancy remains, diligence. In the fleet industry, like other service-driven businesses, procurement’s goal will remain commoditization. To quantify value, companies will have to dig deeper to understand the buyer persona. They will need to build a differentiated position on a strong foundation of account-based buyer persona attributes.
Diligence in crafting marketing messages that effectively connect with the intended audiences will be the key to success in a future that is already here.
If you’d like to comment or share your own experiences in marketing fleet products and services, I invite you to reach out to me at 215-839-1306. Or, you can reach me at results@ITAcommunications.com .
Happy New Year!