I haven’t been writing as much lately, for a number of reasons; sold our condo, doing a major house Reno, got a new pup, recorded a full length CD and busier than crap at work. Anyway, I thought I should send one more out for 2012.
It was a good year for us and the industry too. Caution is still King but not as many complaints around…everyone has made the adjustments needed to cope with what seems to be “the new economy”.
The driver crisis hasn’t brought the industry to a standstill yet and somehow the folks at the helm of the various trucking operations will find their way through it. It’s a tough business but one that I have enjoyed supporting, in my small way, for what seems like a lifetime… 2013 is our 25th year!
There was a record turnout at the recent Toronto Transportation Club dinner and Don Cherry was certainly a factor in the increased attendance. Sports and transportation have always seemed to go hand in hand…a guy thing I guess. Still, more and more ladies are making their mark on the industry and they were well represented at the event.
We added a person in Montreal and it appears to be a tough market to crack for an English company, even though our guy there is French. I’ve spoken with some English carrier customers and they have found it equally difficult. We’re still working on that one. The reverse scenario appears to be true for our Quebec customers breaking ground in Ontario. If anyone has some tips on that one, they would gratefully be received by all.
We added an account manager in Toronto too, which has been a great help. We had continued to run a bit too lean coming out of the recession. We’ve seen many of our carrier customers start to add bodies as well…a good sign I hope.
We’re adding a young gal in the New Year to help with social media. As mentioned when I spoke at the recent Transportation Summit, Canadian transportation has some catching up to do in this area and we are gearing up to help further with this in 2013.
When I looked over our account list for 2012, I saw many loyal customers that have been with us for decades and something new…a high number of good size accounts that came as a result of our web marketing. The web in 2012 was good news for smaller companies. A shift is occurring, with more and more buyers sourcing on the web. Resource to resource, a 1 million dollar company can get as many opportunities from web marketing as a 200 million dollar company… if they are willing and able to create the same amount of content and use proper search engine optimization.
I’m still amazed when people today, running great companies, don’t put much stock in the power of the web to build their business, help with recruiting, or simply make a favourable impression on customers, suppliers and their carrier partner network. More than ever, it’s not “a” or “b” when it comes to choosing the best way to market, it’s “a, b, c, & d”. That will be our core message for the upcoming year. Add to your relationships and referral business, with the new techniques available…add to, not replace!
Best of the holidays to everyone and we’ll see you in the New Year.
Lee’s quote for the day
I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months now but I’ve seen the benefits and I’m definitely a believer. Because we track everything we do, we can directly attribute a significant increase in our web rankings on Google to our blog efforts. Jerry, who manages our Web, IT and SEO and Robin who heads up our Promotional Services are also frequent bloggers on our site.
From my perspective, there is no shortage of marketing related topics to write about. I find it somewhat therapeutic as a matter of fact and enjoy putting my digital pen to paper as a regular part of my weekly ritual. At this point, we haven’t seen direct comments in response to our blogs but they are being read and shared. As we gain more experience in this venue and with time, we hope our efforts will be helpful to others and that eventually we’ll get more interaction and collaboration on the various subject areas posted.
This past 4-day week we had two sales leads that materialized as a direct result of our web marketing. One where we weren’t the right solution (company was looking for canned newsletter content) and one that was right up our alley and turned into an appointment. Not all that significant maybe, except that 1 branding/web appointment for us can turn into 20-50,000 dollars of immediate work and a customer for life.
In the B2B environment, I believe getting your web ranking higher organically is (at a minimum) like having another full time sales person on the road and at a fraction (3%) of the cost. Similar to adding a new sales person it takes time to see the results. In this past economy it can be 6-9 months before you see the benefit…but there are soft benefits in the meantime. Now more than ever, the purchasers of your services are forming opinions of your organization based on your presence on the web. Your message needs to be clear; your look professional and when someone searches, ending up on the first page in your category doesn’t hurt.