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Aligned Podcast


Oct 5, 2021

Marketing has universal truths that guide how to operate best to marketing initiatives. Today’s episode of Aligned is a continuation of our conversation with guest Ed Rusch. He and Sean discuss how these truths, which Ed discovered by working in the supply chain for oil and gas, can be applied for any marketing strategy

These marketing truths can be applied to everyone.

  • Marketers love to say their industry is different and an exception to the rule. But Ed has yet to find an industry where that is the case.
  • The key is identifying the patterns and seeing how you can successfully apply those principles to the company to inspire evolution and forward movement.
  • A core principle of these truths is macroeconomics - the study of the aggregate of how economics behaves. 

The Baltic Dry:

  • As a B2B marketer, Sean follows the Baltic Dry to see some of the nuance and intricacies of modern transoceanic shipping and its effect on the economy.
  • The Baltic Dry Exchange Index is a benchmark for the price of moving major raw materials by sea. Essentially, it’s how much stuff is floating around on boats.
  • There are regular spikes and fluctuations (just like anything else) because many companies rely on transoceanic shipping to create, build, or sell their products. 
  • The challenge for marketers is taking this complex process and distilling it into a simple explanation.
  • You want to articulate a journey forward in a way that’s done for a business mindset.

Pain Mapping - Humans do anything to avoid pain.

  • Everyone has a threshold to manage pain. To sell or convince someone of a particular point, your message (as a marketer) needs to diminish or nullify the actual pain and any transitional pain.
  • Marketers focus on intermittent and chronic pains rather than acute.
  • We as marketers need to be more specific, more focused, and better tailor our macro messaging into something that addresses a specific and acute pain point.
  • Once you solve the acute pain, companies will be more willing to trust you and assist them in solving their chronic and lasting pains that might not be solved as easily.

Low-hanging fruit that you can easily solve for your clients:

  • Help a customer be a better supplier or vendor to their customers.
  • If you cannot capture orders, confirm those orders, and provide an Amazon-like experience to alert your customers about the status of a shipment, those are pains you can and should quickly solve.
  • From a financial perspective, demonstrate an increased yield from your materials and equip customers to work with consumers to maximize that yield. It is an acute pain that needs to be solved because it directly impacts your customer’s bottom line.
  • Many companies carry excess inventory to avoid production shutdowns, and the problem with that (from a financial perspective) is working capital.
  • The speed at which solutions are solved is integral in the B2B world, and massive corporations (like Amazon) can address those acute pains immediately. 
  • These problems are solved by digital transformation.

The main takeaway? Fast is not fast enough. When you look at the normal tempo of B2B businesses, they are highly planned. While it can be beneficial to have a plan for the entire year, is the messaging you planned out nine months ago really the most effective?

Episode Resources:

  • Aligned is a podcast for executives of emerging middle-market companies and executives pursuing growth or looking for new levers to pull. 
  • Read more about cognitive marketing on FitzMartin’s website.
  • Order Sean’s book Shift.
  • To connect with Sean Doyle, find him on LinkedIn, or learn more about FitzMartin on the company web page
  • To get in contact with Ed, connect with him on LinkedIn

Learn more about the Baltic Exchange Dry Index.