Our new Blog series is focused on how a variety of industries are adjusting their marketing activity through lockdown easing – we have picked the brains of sector experts to find out what is happening.
This week, we are focusing on Logistics, and our contributors are Sue Byrne – Founder and Director of Byrne Bright Solutions; Dave Leighton – Co-Founder and Director of JDL Management Services Ltd and Peter Adams – Owner and Managing Director of STR Logistics.
1) How disruptive was COVID-19 to your business?
SB : At first, we were exceptionally busy, as the impact of fear of food shortages and the impact of store closures on Ecommerce hit
PA : For a period of about 3 months business was down, and it recovered to “normal” around September 2020
DL : Not disruptive at all – the pandemic actually helped us to improve revenue
SB : There has also been a flood of resources onto the market from large scale job losses, and subsequently IR35 changes which have affected consultants and interims
2) On a positive note, what were the pleasant surprises for your business during lockdown?
DL : We improved revenue and reduced costs. We were also more productive working from home
PA : For us, much of our throughput is ECommerce related – we are enjoying a boom
SB : The focus on the importance of Logistics, with warehouse staff & lorry drivers being recognized for how important they are, being categorized as essential workers. People also really understood for the first time how international our supply chains are – the NHS PPE supply is a great example, with 90% sourced overseas prior to COVID, now 90% is produced in the UK
3) During the pandemic, which Marketing strategies did you lean on most?
SB : Maintaining my profile on business platforms such as LinkedIn so that myself and my services were visible
PA : We flexed our proposition as our clients’ requirements flexed
DL : We focused on Local Advertising
4) As we come out of lockdown, which Marketing strategies will you continue to use more than you did in 2019?
DL : We will continue with Local Advertising and we are increasing our Social Media presence
PA : We are using social media more effectively
SB : I am engaging more in business networking, but still rely heavily on my personal network rather than campaigns of any kind
5) Which Marketing strategies will you use less than in 2019 & why?
SB : I don’t think I’ll do less activity than in 2019. The pandemic has made me realise you need to be prepared for disruption in your market and be more adaptable to change
DL : None
PA : Conventional advertising (eg trade magazines)
6) What has impressed you about Marketing strategies which you seen other industries use successfully?
PA : Those that have impressed me most are those that have concentrated on demonstrating value, rather than relying on emotional blackmail tactics such as FOMO
SB : I have been so impressed by how companies have used marketing to tailor their goods & services to a very changed customer need, particularly those who have completely adapted their customer interaction to a more value add customer experience
7) What operational changes have you put in place recently to be able to open commercially but safely?
SB : Using online platforms to meet, network and work has been a huge change. I used to spend so much time in the car, but now customers are actively seeking ways in which I can work with them with minimal on-site time
PA : We are continuing to follow the Government’s “Hand / Face / Space” guidelines
DL : We are continuing to work from home
8) Thinking about the next 12 months, will you be spending more or less on marketing than in 2019?
DL : More
PA : About the same, but targeted differently
SB : The same. My marketing spend is focused on my website and networking, but I am considering using someone to help me create a social media presence and content
9) Thinking about the next 12 months, what will be the change in percentage of your marketing spend spent on Digital vs 2019?
SB : A small percentage increase
DL : 100%!
PA : It’s difficult to quantify as our Digital spend is consumed within payroll (team members spending time posting on LinkedIn, Facebook etc)
10) How are your team reacting to lockdown ending?
DL : Positively
SB : There is a mixture of optimism that COVID will be the impetus for more change that will generate opportunities, and also uncertainty in the contracting / consulting arena on the impact of IR35
PA : Relief!
Thank-you to Sue, Dave and Peter for sharing their insights – here are links to their websites if you want to find out more about their businesses :
Sue Byrne : https://www.byrnebrightsolutions.co.uk/
Dave Leighton : https://www.linkedin.com/company/jdl-ltd/
Peter Adams : https://www.strlogistics.co.uk/