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Common Discussions and Best Practices for Effective Websites

By Nelson Bruton, President, Interchanges

I had the pleasure of facilitating an Interactive Roundtable Discussion on "Website Best Practices" at the recent TMSA Marketing & Sales Leadership Conference. The conversation was about the things to take into consideration when building a new website or when trying to improve an existing website. Here are highlights from the discussion:

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Generating Meaningful Customer Feedback for Meaningful Action

At TMSA's recent Marketing & Sales Leadership Conference, participants representing such well known companies as Fedex, Saddle Creek Logistics, SupplyChainBrain, ODW Logistics and the American Logistics Aid Network gathered over lunch to discuss their company's use of customer feedback for meaningful action. The conversation was facilitated by Anne Miner, President of The Dunvegan Group who encouraged all participants to share their experiences and best practices.

Receiving customer feedback did not appear to be a problem; the challenge lies in capturing the information from a wide array of channels and organizing it in a useful way. Some participants were compiling information from their inbound call centers, sales teams, accounts receivable, social media posts as well as incoming email and web inquiries. In some cases, text analytics were being used to identify themes within the feedback.

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Empowering Your Sales Workforce

Empowering Your Sales Workforce

By Katlynn Goodsell, TMSA Marketing Intern
Out of all of the breakout sessions at the recent TMSA conference, this definitely wasn’t one to miss. The presenter, Chris Patterson of Jacksonville-based Interchanges, began his session by telling his personal story. He explained how, at a younger age, he "got a little lost," dropped out of school, and was stuck inside his own mind until his father took him to see a man by the name of Zig Zigler. Later in life, Zigler ended up mentoring him for a year in exchange for three hours of personal training per week. What an amazing opportunity for Chris! This man became a huge mentor to Chris, and because of him he decided to turn his life around and use his life to his full potential. 

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Brexit: A Marketer’s Response to Media Hype

By Tom Sullivan, CEO, Princeton Partners 

Don’t get me wrong; the British vote to leave the EU is a very big development which I will follow with interest.  I just don’t like the headlines and soundbites I hear from television commentators who hype up the impact and instill anxiety in a large proportion of their audience. Example Soundbite: Market reaction to Brexit caused the average U.S. retirement account to lose over $3,000 in one day.
 
My take: To the half of American adults who have little or no retirement savings, the factoid is mostly irrelevant.  To families who are investing in IRAs and 401Ks, this decline should enable them to attain higher long term returns as long as they continue to invest a portion of every paycheck and benefit from dollar cost averaging.  Market disruptions and recessions and market corrections come and go.  It is well documented that ignoring the short term noise and staying the course over time (decades) is the best strategy to building growth in retirement savings.
 
My Concern: The focus on negative news weighs on consumer confidence which is a key driver of economic growth. An alternative is to focus on the positives.  For instance, consumer credit, which is also a driver of economic growth, will be cheaper since interest rates will likely not rise in the next six months.  Debt can be more easily refinanced by consumers and businesses can leverage lower cost debt to invest in their future growth.
 
My Advice for Marketers: So how is a marketer to act in an economic environment where there is increased volatility, risk aversion and fear amplified by media? Here are four strategies marketers should be pursuing:
  • Product – Find ways to increase the real value of your products and services. You want to increase the value in the benefits/costs equation by enhancing benefits. Think about how automobile companies and dealers are capitalizing on continuously improving features and performance while reducing the total cost of leasing or ownership over time.
  •  Messaging – Help people to see and understand your value. First, you need to understand where your value is important, relevant and competitive. Once identified, bring that to the forefront of the consumers’ understanding.
  •  Tools – Develop decision-making tools to help consumers actually make decisions when you have their attention and engagement. Create a digital experience that makes research and evaluation easy and the decision to buy rewarding.
  •  Hypertargeting – This is the biggest opportunity for marketers today. Data-driven marketing, powered by big data and analytics, enables marketers to precisely target the prospects most likely to buy your product or service based on their personas, behaviors and interests.  Take advantage of the technologies that enable the personalization of messaging to individuals and the development of a dialogue with the brands you are responsible for.

Journey Mapping: Understanding 8 Phases of the Guest Experience to Accomplish Your Event Goals

By Brynn Everett, Marketing & Communications Project Manager, MindShare Strategies

Maritz Travel asks an important question in terms of events: “How can you create an experience that effectively captures the attention of your guests?” An event’s experience is key for guest engagement and delivering results. Without an exceptional and unique experience, attracting and retaining guests can be a struggle.

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Flashback: What Did You Miss At The TMSA Conference This Year?

"More ideas to strengthen my marketing than I ever imagined!"

"Collaborative idea sharing and peer networking that was incredible. Great value."

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Transportation 101: Better Understanding the Freight Industry

By Keaton Everett, Sales & Marketing Intern, MindShare Strategies

As a newcomer to the transportation industry, I recently attended the TMSA Marketing & Sales Leadership Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. One session I attended was ideal, as it laid out the foundation for this industry. Most modes for transportation were covered: truck, rail/intermodal, and ocean.

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The Content Brand: The Future of Content Marketing

By Katlynn Goodsell, Marketing & Communication Intern, MindShare Strategies

Joe Pulizzi is the face of content marketing. He founded the Content Marketing Institute and has an intense amount of energy when speaking. He has a way of keeping you drawn and his words force you to listen. Pulizzi was the keynote speaker at TMSA’s Marketing & Sales Leadership Conference held in Fort Lauderdale this past week. His keynote speech was focused around how to build an audience with a content brand using six phases:

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Building A Relationship With Your Audience Through Valued Content

By Brynn Everett, Marketing & Communications Project Manager, MindShare Strategies

With today’s fragmented communication and marketing channels, and complete control resting in the hands of the consumer, companies are forced to rethink their go-to-market strategies. One key takeaway from Joe Pulizzi’s “The Content Brand,” is to focus on the relationship of the customer. Many companies treat content like advertising, not taking into consideration what the consumer actually wants and values. He says, “You must create value for your audience BEFORE you extract value.” Pulizzi argues to reverse the common strategy. Instead of pursing and bombarding leads, first build a relationship with your audience, and leads will follow.

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Why Is It Important To Recognize Marketing and Sales Executives?

By Brian Everett, CEO of the Transportation Marketing & Sales Association

TMSA is all about encouraging our members to be the best they can be. It's something we take serious and is part of our value proposition: TMSA helps its members and their companies to make sales, marketing and communications strategies more effective, productive, and profitable - and we do this, in part, through recognition. 

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Shorten the Sales Cycle: 6 Tips for Reaching Logistics Decision Makers

As a sales professional, you know how difficult it can be to reach decision makers. Maybe they’re too busy for a phone conversation or you’re just not targeting the right people. Whatever it may be, if you’re looking to shorten the sales cycle, you need to understand who your best buyers are in order to fuel your pipeline with new contacts.

Here are 6 tips to help you grow your sales pipeline with new contacts and shorten the sales cycle:

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3 Core Components to Powerful Content Marketing

By Kenneth Kowal, Founder, www.shipstarter.com

When it comes to using content marketing for your logistics company it should not be a matter of if, but how.

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Internet Marketing Lead Generation Ecosystem

This “Internet Marketing Lead Generation Ecosystem” infographic shows how various online marketing channels can work together to develop an integrated online lead generation campaign. This infographic can help you to:

  • Understand how multiple outlets of the Internet can be combined to create an impactful online lead generation campaign
  • Recognize problems in your campaign that can be costing you leads
  • Find new alternatives to revise and scale your current campaign

The top hexagons shows the various channels that can be used to bring traffic to your website. The middle section represents the reporting, contacting and lead validation process, which should be managed by more experienced Internet marketers. Lastly, shown at the bottom the leads gathered become a new customer. (Click image to view larger)

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3PLs and Logistics Service Providers—Is the Future Changing?

By Tom Craig, President of LTD Management, a supply chain and logistics consulting firm.

Reverse outsourcing. Cutting out the middle man. Not using the usual suspects. These are what shippers—retailers, manufacturers, and others—are doing. At the same time, 3PLs and logistics service providers (LSPs) are dealing with and competing in a commoditized industry where price is the key differentiator.

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Content Marketers: Your WHAT Doesn't Matter if Your WHY Is Lacking

By Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute

Joe Pulizzi will be the Opening Keynote Speaker at the upcoming TMSA Marketing & Sales Leadership Conference June 5-7 in Fort Lauderdale. He shares perspectives from one of his recent blogs here:

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The 5 Keys to Sales Leadership

By John Boyens, Sales Productivity Expert and Business Strategist, Boyens Group

Most sales leaders I know didn’t go into sales leadership because they demonstrated a specific skill or because they expressed an interest. Very simply put they were good salespeople so someone promoted them to a leadership position without giving them the necessary tools, professional development opportunities and/or management training to be successful in the short term. Here are the 5 keys to sales leadership based upon my 40+ years in sales and sales leadership as well as best practices of other, successful sales leaders:

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Increase Your Brand's Visibility Using These 5 Tactics

By Phillip Thune, Textbroker 

Did you know that each day, the average adult takes in nearly 10 hours of media and also views approximately 360 media ads, according to unique research conducted by Media Dynamics? With so many sources of information and media messages out there, your business may need to take additional steps beyond posting new content to be seen and heard above all the clutter.

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TMSA Members Receiving 2016 "Best Fleets to Drive For" Awards

The "Best Fleets to Drive For" award identifies trends, shares best practices, and publicly recognizes the for-hire carriers providing the best workplaces for their drivers. Launched in 2008 CarriersEdge and the Truckload Carriers Association, this award is open to any for-hire trucking company operating 10 trucks or more in the U.S. or Canada.

TMSA member companies that received the 2016 "Best Fleets to Drive For" award are Landstar and Bison Transport. This is Landstar's fifth time in a row to receive this award; and Bison Transport's fourth time to receive this award. Congratulations to these TMSA members for their outstanding achievements!

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ArcBest Executives Participate in Nasdaq Opening Bell Ceremony

By Kathy Fieweger, recent Chief Marketing Officer and Current Consultant at ArcBest Corporation

On November 9, 2015, ArcBest President and CEO Judy R. McReynolds and other members of the company’s management team rang the “opening bell” at the Nasdaq headquarters in New York for the first time in our 22-year history as a Nasdaq-listed company. This exciting milestone, broadcast live on all the financial TV news channels, followed and celebrated ArcBest’s comprehensive corporate rebranding in May 2014. That historic event included a new parent company name and ticker symbol, brand positioning, logos, websites, ad campaign called The Skill & The Will and much more.

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TMSA Models Sound Business Practice With Its Research-Based Approach To Strategy Development

By Scott Grady, Senior Vice President, Landstar System, Inc.

The Transportation Marketing and Sales Association (TMSA) has undergone a series of changes over the past three years and your Board of Directors is refreshing its strategy to deliver member value. With many questions to ponder, and decisions to be make, our Board sought input and insights from TMSA members. The process undertaken in collaboration with The Dunvegan Group (an Affiliate Member of TMSA) in designing the study, capturing and analyzing member responses, summarizing and interpreting the findings, models best practice in creating the foundation for strategy development.

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