A Call to Action: Damn the Marketing Trends, Let’s Live in the Real World

“Digital selling is taking over…are you prepared?” “Identify the existing gaps in the desired sales experience.” “Dealing with scale in a digital-first future.”

As a fleet marketer, you have surely seen the steady stream of alarming online opinions from generalist research firms and one-dimensional product vendors. They start by fear-mongering — “Change is coming!” …duh – and offer snake oil salesmen-like promises of technology that can remedy every symptom.   

As any fleet marketer knows, the road to a future-proof marketing nirvana is littered with unknowns; unforeseen economic conditions; unavailable application-specific proof, untried integrations with existing technologies, unbudgeted expenses that won’t see the light of day in budget-constrained businesses, and many other reasons the journey can come all undone.

Roll your eyes if you and your team have time in the workday to dream of phantasmagoric illuminations that can actually improve lead generation; resolve sales and marketing’s differences about the definition of a MQL or SQL; create an integrated marketing plan from disparate departmental priorities; or convince leadership that the investment in marketing delivers a satisfactory return.

What Thinkers Think Will Help Marketers Succeed

A well-respected research group serving businesses of all stripes postulates that today’s action items must include “development of a visual configuration, a virtual customer assistant, a conversational AI for digital commerce, and a single view of the customer.”

Hmmm. Do you have any extra time to draw a visual configuration?  Are you ready to meet with the leaders of your company to suggest an investment in conversational AI will improve marketing results?

What Effective Fleet Marketers Do to Succeed

So, what steps are marketers themselves taking in their continued approach to succeed?  A recent industry study showed that the leading tactic was “changing communication style and messaging.”  In other words, content and delivery of content hold the master key to successful marketing programs.  We’ll delve into this next month.

I Am Not a Luddite

Let me assure you that I consistently promote and implement continuous improvement! I am not a Luddite. I look forward to enhanced data collection and analytics achieved with the help of new technology. Any marketer would jump at the chance to make better informed decisions through deeper data dives and more quantifiable insight into buyer personas, effective messaging, marketing mix analytics, and more.  However, the value of technology is derived from its application. 

Consultants’ promotion of trends and technology must address the real-world needs  of marketing managers to earn busy fleet marketers’ consideration.  How can a consultant help these managers face the daily pressure coming from senior management, sales, and other customer-relationship department personnel?

According to Todd Lebo, a Partner and CMO of Ascend2, effective marketing technologies should extend the capabilities of the marketing team and strategy. B2B marketers are faced with the lofty challenge of determining which tools will align best with their needs while integrating technologies that ensure optimal performance.

Five Ways to Prioritize Technologies

Lebo goes on to cite five ways to prioritize technologies that can help fleet marketing operations in the real world:

  1. Technology that builds on an account-based approach.  Account-based marketing (ABM) means taking a fit-first approach, ensuring you’re only targeting the accounts with the highest likelihood to buy. 
  2. Develop a strategy and appropriate budget for implementing marketing technology that aligns with the needs of your business.  Then, measure the results to validate success.
  3. Choose an easy-to-implement and utilize the tool that enables your team to execute the planned marketing tactics more efficiently.
  4. Look to expand technology to get in front of new audiences in creative and effective ways. Business growth is aligned with the growth of the marketing budget.
  5. Just as real-time data drives fleet efficiency, real-time marketing and technologies like AI help marketing reach the right audience, at the right time, with the right message.

For marketers, technology alone does not help achieve marketing goals. They need expert advice about how to apply technology that furthers the alignment of marketing with an organization’s business goals.

The FMW Brand Acceleration marketing team specializes in integrating marketing technologies into innovative strategies that help customers overcome fleet industry branding and lead generation challenges.  For a no-obligation consultation, contact Ed Pierce at (484) 957-1246, or [email protected]