AMA Houston Chapter’s Energy Special Interest Group (ESIG) was thrilled to present our fall program on “Marketing: Does It Really Matter in the Oilfield”. The event took place Friday, November 8, 2013 with over 140 of Houston’s best energy industry marketers in attendance.
Attendees had the opportunity to hear from seasoned marketers, Jim Squires, Senior Communication Manager at TMK IPSCO, Mike Hopfe, Director of Marketing at Exterran, and Sally Charpiot, PSL Marketing Manager. And the seminar was skillfully moderated by Susan Farrell, President and CEO of Captavi.
Jim Squires shared his insights on how important the name of a product and service is to the successful marketing. He explained how companies typically name products and who names them and presented his methodology on how to name products that evoke emotion and increase awareness.
Mike Hopfe discussed brand awareness challenges prompted by a merger. The company found itself in a position where they realized that didn’t know their position in the market, they had different opinions on what their messaging should be – and didn’t have the resources to address their marketing needs. They hired a marketing agency that helped them define their strategy and program, based on market research. The result was increased online impressions and brand awareness.
Sally Charpiot presented on how her organization sought to shorten the sales cycle of a new technology. Their program consisted of structured internal communications that not only provided technical information, but also provided materials intended to generate questions and curiosity from their customers. Through traditional, digital and social marketing, they were able to have a higher number of sales than in past marketing campaigns.
Our presenters demonstrated that a strategic marketing program followed up with measurable activities delivered sales results that positively impacted by
the bottom line – showing that marketing does make a difference in the oilfield. All the attendees appreciated the time and effort that the presenters gave to the chapter.
The event would not have been possible with generous sponsorship by Fifth Ring, Unleaded Communications and Foster Marketing. Co-chairs Kristy Bell and Shanthi Subramanian were supported by our wonderful ESIG committee: John Bramblett, Ebru Erdini, Lorry Harju, Nicholette Ross, and Betty Wong.
Please mark your calendar to attend our next event on Thursday, May 15, 2014.
Linda Ruff and Lionel Carter recently planned and executed their first B2B Marketing SIG workshop of the 2013-14 year and they nailed it. Focusing on the utilization of tech tools in the marketing process, the three speakers presented thought-provoking and relevant content, which tied marketing automation to the various stages of the sales funnel.
Moderated by Michelle LeBlanc, Founder of Blue Sky Marketing, the well-attended event was broken up into three presentations with a Q&A at the end.
Thinking about expanding your brand beyond US borders? If you missed the latest Multicultural SIG event, you missed two and a half hours of solid information from 4 seasoned marketers, all with extensive experience on the ground. The topic was well chosen and the speakers, articulate, extremely knowledgeable, and engaging. I was riveted to my seat throughout the entire presentation, there was so much information and so little time!
Here’s what I learned:
Marketing your brand internationally really isn’t that different from marketing at home, except that it’s done from a different cultural perspective, with all of the complexities of communication, business practices and legal rules and regulations from the other culture rolled in. While the marketing principles remain the same, the adage “when in Rome” applies here. And research is key to understanding, evaluating and strategizing within the new landscape
On the human front, presenting your brand from the cultural perspective of the region where you are doing business is fundamental. In Latin America and Asia, business is founded on personal relationships. You’ll need to take the time required to cultivate a strong foundation by building integrity, credibility and trust. Talk about who you are, what you do and how you do it, framing it from the appropriate cultural perspective. Be aware that each geographic area within the culture has it’s own nuances. It’s good business to partner with experts who are steeped in the business values and practices of the region. A good rule of thumb is to stay true to your own compliance standards when navigating new territories. Build a marketing program that resonates with your customer, simply translating your US materials into another language will most likely not be effective.
“The more you know the better you will do”, Pete Garcia’s mantra, identifies research as the roadmap that informs every step of the process. Know your customer and how to deliver on the promise of your product and service within that culture. Understand the competitive landscape and who owns certain equities in the market before you start. Determine where you differentiate and what your customers like and want from your product. Use what your competitors are doing as a baseline to determine the most economic way to move forward. And, monitor the facts constantly.
Brushing the surface with a few other things to consider before jumping in….
Is my product or service needed, what is the gdp buying power of the individual, where are the markets and opportunities, how do I find the decision makers, what is the ease of doing business in that country, what is the method of payment, how do I do background checks on the people I want to do business with, are there any trade agreements and preference programs in place, how do I protect my intellectual property and brand, and on and on and on. Fortunately, there are resources available to help with your decision making – US based foreign chambers of commerce, government data, consultants with ties to the region your are exploring, all good places to start.
The amount of information to consider may seem daunting, however, James Brown summed it up succinctly “It’s always a learning process, sending your brand into a new market. Trust your gut and verify with data. The real growth is happening outside the US. A lot of locations are hungry for American brands and it’s an opportunity lost if your aren’t there.”
It’s a lot to consider and there’s a world of opportunity out there waiting for you.
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The marketing landscape is dynamic and demands that marketers continue to learn about technology, how people are interacting with it, and how we can effectively adapt our messages to these platforms.
Tim presented four key points to being a successful marketing scientist.
1. Intersect with your customers.
Technology for technology’s sake is never the point. The point is to understand the technology and how your customers are using it. And beyond a computer or mobile screen, understand the behaviors of your customer. Then find ways to intersect into the day-to-day action rather than interrupting it. Remember, social media is where people go to play! So don’t use it as a distribution channel.
Here is a great case study Tim shared about Honda-CRV using Pinterest to intersect with their market rather than interrupt it: http://youtu.be/eloAPdsn3IM
2. Focus on the outcome.
Be a brand with sharp corners. The brands we think of and envy are all brands that have taken a specific stand for something. If you try to be all things to all people, you won’t be anything to anybody.
3. Build 20% flex into your marketing plan.
Give yourself room in your marketing budget to try and fail or try and succeed. Ingenuity needs space. Also, building flex into your budget allows you to be proactively reactive. Know that opportunities are going to come up that you’ll need to take advantage of…ones that you can’t foresee now. So go ahead and put room in your budget for it.
4. Create a “lab” culture.
Stop brainstorming and start “brainpooling!” When you need to think of a new solution, have everyone come to the table with an attempt at the solution. Pool your resources and these sessions will be much more productive.
Want to know more about Tim McMullen and Red Pepper? Check out their website.