TMSA 2016 In Review: Highlights of Emerging Trends in Marketing, Sales

By Scott Grady, SVP Automotive Solutions, Landstar, and Brian Everett, CEO of TMSA

The end of the year is upon us (can you believe there’s only 17 days remaining in 2016?!) As you finish your marketing and sales planning and budgets, we couldn’t let you ring in the new year without leaving you with a reflection of the many things accomplished at the Transportation Marketing & Sales Association. With more than 70 companies joining so far in 2016, we’ve seen a very positive response from the market in TMSA’s new value in helping members and their companies to make sales, marketing and communications strategies more effective, productive, and profitable. It’s been a successful year, indeed.

Smaller Transportation Companies Focus on Becoming More Savvy
Strategic sales and marketing can have tremendous power in driving business momentum and results. With this premise in mind, TMSA hosted two “Essential Marketing & Sales for Small Business” Workshops in early 2016. One in Chicago, the other in Detroit. With nearly 50 pre-registered attendees, the workshops featured a review of the industry and an economic outlook for 2016, along with practical steps on how to develop a strategic business plan. John Boyens of the Boyens Group and TMSA Affiliate member then provided practical tips on how to apply marketing and sales management principles to generate business results. > View Highlights

Key take-aways from these two workshops:

  • Shippers have to look at new strategies that include redefined third-party relationships, regulatory compliance, value-add networks. Carriers and 3PLs need to ensure that they have the right tools, capabilities, and resources in place. And honestly ask yourself this question: “How user-friendly is my service?”
  • Make sure your business plan is regularly accessible and/or communicated to employees, easily adaptable as market conditions change, and measurable.
  • Make sure you have a solid plan with the “5 Ps.” This includes Position (outlining your unique value proposition), Placement (identify your targeted vertical markets, your geographic coverage, and titles and functional areas you’re selling to), Products (Core, Near-Core, and Sunset phases), Pricing (including gross margin/profit requirements), and Promotion (lead generation, leveraging your professional and social networks, advertising, PR, sponsorships, etc)

2016 Metrics Study Highlights Key Sales & Marketing Trends
For the second year, TMSA published its 2016 Sales & Marketing Metrics Study. Led by Hernan Vera of Sales Outcomes, this year’s study had 145 qualified responses – making this year’s study statistically valid. Highlights of key sales and marketing metrics include:

  • The marketplace continues to improve. Sales results from 2015 were expected to be better or significantly better for 65% of respondents.
  • Inside Sales contributes 43% of sales revenue when deployed (a 14-point increase from last year).
  • Compensation and T&E make up a significant part of sales budgets (86%) – so make sure you have the right people, training, and resources in place to support their efforts.
  • In marketing, 51% reported increased marketing budgets for 2015 (compared to only 38% reporting increases in the previous year).
  • Print and online advertising continue to make up a significant percentage of the marketing budget (34% of 2015 versus 38% in 2014).
  • There is a continued trend to shift to outsourcing marketing activities as opposed to managing in-house. Web design, create/design, marketing research, media relations, and content/copy writing lead the way in outsourcing, respectively.

> Download a copy of the 2016 TMSA Sales & Marketing Trends Report and/or view a webinar (free to TMSA members).

Successful Marketing & Sales Best Practices Highlighted in Compass Awards
TMSA held its 64th annual TMSA Compass Awards competition earlier this year – which results in nearly 70 entries from more than 30 transportation and logistics companies. The mission: To recognize marketing and sales best practices that ultimately demonstrate effective execution and measurable business results. Elena Izakson, Director of Marketing at Hub Group and current TMSA Recognition Committee Chairperson, presented awards at a special awards banquet in June in Fort Lauderdale. 
> View recipients of 2016 TMSA Compass Award

A Focus on Content Marketing and Thought Leadership Trends
The 2016 TMSA Marketing & Sales Leadership Conference took place in Fort Lauderdale last June, with more than 200 sales, marketing, communications, and branding in transportation and logistics in attendance. Keynote Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, helped to kick off a campaign of educating TMSA members on how to effectively leverage content marketing for successful lead generation, branding, reputation-building, and business results. Conference attendees had their choice of 30+ educational sessions, networking opportunities, and highlights of best practices in transportation marketing and sales campaigns. 
> View highlights on Pullizi’s Content Marketing Presentation

In addition, TMSA hosted a half-day workshop on Thought Leadership following the conference – and also held a webinar on “9 Easy Steps To Launch A Thought Leadership Campaign.”  These sessions were led by Jill Schmieg of Sol de Naples and Chris Saynor of eft Supply Chain & Logistics.
> View the Thought Leadership webinar and download E-book

Industry Marketing & Sales Pros Make Connections
TMSA hosted several Connections events throughout September – December in larger commercial freight hotspots such as Atlanta, Chicago and Jacksonville. More than 70 pre-registered attendees were able to take advantage of the solid peer-to-peer networking that took place at these events. “Speed Learning” sessions underscored the following trends:

  • Content is still king, as content marketing is still a heavy focus with marketing and communications professionals in transportation and logistics.
  • Social media continues to grow as an effective communication and engagement tactic.

> Summary: What’s Driving Communication & Branding Success?

> Highlights: What’s Propelling Sales Success in 2016?

> In Review: What’s Currently Hot in Marketing This Year?

There are exciting new opportunities for TMSA members to engage in 2017. Your Board of Directors and Committees have been busy planning new ways for you to gain value in this growing community of sales, marketing and communications executives practices in this industry. Stay tuned!

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