The trucking and logistics industry is becoming increasingly saturated. This means that companies operating in this arena face stiff competition and need to find unique ways to stand out. The most effective way to do this is through strategic marketing campaigns that directly reach out to potential buyers and convert them into leads.
Here’s the tricky part: the majority of logistics companies are B2B, which means the journey their buyers go through is far more complex than a B2C journey simply because there are more gatekeepers to persuade and more hoops to jump through.
This is where Account-Based Marketing (ABM) comes into play.
What Exactly is Account-Based Marketing?
ABM isn’t a new approach to marketing, but it is becoming more and more common in the trucking and logistics industry, particularly those that sell targeted tech solutions to buyers. It’s essentially a strategic marketing approach that splits potential prospects up into categories and provides each segment with unique content and information geared toward their specific needs.
Rather than personalizing on an individual level, it personalizes content on a group level, where each group is made up of similar persona types.
Transportation and logistics companies are tapping into this effective way of marketing, but many fall short of getting it right. While companies may be aware of the value it brings, they usually don’t have the expertise, talent or resources in-house to make it work for them.
At its core, a successful ABM strategy aligns marketing, sales and operations, creating a well-oiled machine that turns leads into buyers quickly and effectively. In fact, in research conducted by ITSMA, 87 percent of marketers that measure ROI said that ABM outperforms every other marketing investment.
Here’s how to leverage it:
1. Build a List of Prospects
The first thing you need to do is identify who you’re going to target and gather their contact information. Knowing exactly who you need to communicate with will determine the information and content you create, and it will fuel the rest of your ABM strategy.
Identifying target prospects goes deeper than simply choosing the companies you want to pitch. Instead, it should take into account the key job roles you’ll be targeting and the different kinds of decision makers you might need to reach.
For example, you might have one group of prospects made up of CEOs and another that is filled with operations managers. While these two personas might work at the same company, they have very different needs when it comes to buying into your product.
So, once you know who your main prospects are, it’s worth digging into their pain points, challenges and where they slot into their company’s internal hierarchy.
2. Get All Relevant Departments Involved
Contrary to popular belief, ABM isn’t just a strategy for the marketing department. In fact, it crosses over into multiple disciplines to create a complete perspective of the buying journey.
Get your marketing and sales personnel together to discuss the journey buyers tend to take, the sales funnel that brings the best results, and the major client touchpoints that require attention.
3. Create Targeted Resources
Once you know who you’re targeting and the journey they’re likely to take to the point of sale, you can begin to create an assortment of resources that will help prospects get there.
These resources should be usable by both the marketing and sales teams, albeit in different ways. For example, a brochure of use cases that the marketing department offers as a lead magnet on the website may also double as a talking point for the sales team.
The key here is to think about what information your different persona segments need at various points throughout the sales cycle and create content that gives them that. This might include ebooks, whitepapers, checklists, blog posts, videos and case studies, as well as other useful assets that directly tap into the major pain points your personas are facing.
Loop Logistics calls out the different use cases on its homepage and links to separate portals where interested prospects can find out more about the option that best suits their interests.
If you have the time, you can personalize these offerings before sending them out to each prospect, although your identification and targeting stage should have been thorough enough to semi-personalize the content.
4. Choose the Most Relevant Channels
Next, you’ll need to identify the most relevant channels to share these resources on. The channels you choose are likely to be the platforms where your target personas spend the most time.
For a lot of B2B trucking and logistics companies, this will be LinkedIn. As a professional platform made specifically to connect businesses with other relevant organizations, LinkedIn is the perfect place to share your expertise and reach out to prospects at various stages of the buying cycle.
5. Position Your Solution
Once a prospect has started to make their way through the sales funnel thanks to your personalized and targeted content, you can begin to position your product or service as the best solution.
Again, this will involve understanding the unique needs of each persona group, and it will fall heavily on the sales team to personalize each solution to fit the prospect’s unique use case. This is why it’s so important for marketing and sales teams to work closely on an ABM campaign.
Ready to Create an ABM Campaign?
If you want to stand out in the trucking and logistics industry, you have to target your efforts and directly tackle the individual pain points of your prospects. Creating and implementing an ABM strategy is an effective way to do this, because it lets you dig deep into your prospect’s needs and create content geared specifically toward their individual