In order for marketing to be successful, your audience has to be listening. Reaching your target audience in the right way at the right time can be difficult. Nowadays, we try reaching potential customers through social media, interactive engagement techniques, high quality websites, etc. This works for a lot of companies, but what if your industry is in Oil & Gas, and leads arise based on relationships with salespeople and not through tweets, ads, or campaigns?
…how do the oil and gas services companies get the attention of their target market—the oil and gas producers that drill, extract, refine, deliver and market oil and gas products? Is it mostly based on relationships, or do they recognize the greater potential with well-planned marketing initiatives to generate strong brand recognition?
Is this industry missing out on a great opportunity to reach clients outside their sales team’s sphere of influence?
Given the down market and low oil prices, many companies are cutting their marketing budgets and entire marketing departments altogether. This might be a smart move for the short term, but having a long term vision is beneficial in times like these. Cutting out all communication to customers and potential customers can send the wrong message. Make noise about your brand NOW while the competitive landscape is rather quiet! Remind people that you are still in business and focusing on your long-term brand image. We aren’t talking about spending an exorbitant amount of money, but just keep the marketing budget there- and use it wisely! AKA: have a marketing strategy.
Having a marketing strategy is beneficial because:
- It leads to consistency in branding
- It creates a unified sales team who knows the brand, and knows how to communicate that to their customers. Just like you know what to expect when you walk into a Starbucks, your customers need to know what to expect when they come in contact with anyone from your company.
- It creates a larger footprint, makes you appear larger than you are, and proves you are “with the times.” Marketing is more than face-to-face interactions. It includes public relations, social media, direct marketing, sales promotions, etc. AKA: What your customer sees when there isn’t a salesman in their office.
There are definitely companies who get this. They have their social accounts set up, they write and release press releases, are active on their website, and make efforts to expand their reach. However, another missing link is TRACKING. How are you making sure you are able to see the effects of your efforts? Commonly, profits are checked at the end of the year to determine if marketing budgets should increase, decrease, or stay the same. But, this isn’t specific enough! Some managers think the effort to track marketing is simply not important. Given the current state of the oil and gas industry, proving your return on investment is more important than ever; especially those with smaller budgets.
Most oil and gas service companies find it difficult to reach their target market, what methods to use, and how best to track them. Your specialty is oil and gas, and ours is marketing. Don’t be afraid to expand your resources and use a team of experts to develop the best plan to help you reach your maximum profitability potential. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it has to be strategic.