The logistics and transport industry has been growing rapidly in the past few years. In 2017, the global transportation sector revenues amounted to $4.8 trillion (business-to-business — B2B — and business-to-consumer — B2C). According to a recent report, the logistics and transport industry is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.2% by 2023.
For businesses like food and grocery delivery, efficiency is even more challenging because transportation and product freshness go hand-in-hand. With technological innovations like drone deliveries, autonomous trucks, driverless cars, hyperloop, and business models like MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service) finding its way into transport, the industry is set to change its mode of operation.
However, the one thing that has remained constant irrespective of all the technological advancements is the significance of marketing. A recent report by PwC explains how disruption and uncertainty will reshape the logistics and transportation industry. With new entrants, players and collaborations taking place across the transport and logistics industry, marketing does half the job of increasing brand awareness and attracting the target market. Marketing managers are now relying more and more on data to fully optimize their marketing efforts and gain a competitive edge in the industry.
This article is especially crafted for marketing managers in the transportation industry
Marketing Metrics for Transportation Industry
For a marketing manager of B2C and B2B businesses, there are a set of questions that are of concern:
- How well does the target audience know our brand?
- How many viewers convert to leads?
- What are the costs associated and revenues generated per customer?
- What is your marketing Return on Investment (mROI)?
To answer these questions, a bunch of marketing metrics have to be taken into account as shown in the chart below:
- Social Media Reach
With a wide usage of Social Media for creating brand awareness and better reach, this is the first and foremost metric to assess. The commonly known social media metrics to track are number of likes, shares and the volume of reach i.e. how many people can see your posts. Traditionally, the transport industry is not known to use Internet platforms like social media for marketing. However, with the recent outburst of Internet of Things in the transport industry, marketing avenues need to expand to leverage the benefits of social media. Read more on How Social Media Helps the Transport Industry.
What should I track? Number of followers, number of interactions: shares, likes etc
How should I track them? Dashboard tools like Chartio or social tools like Hootsuite enable you to track all the social media activities under one roof.
Data Visualization charts: Single-value indicator, Single-value, Bar graph, Map chart, Pie chart
- Mentions and Sentiment
Mentions are not merely when someone on social media talks about your product, brand or company. They increase the number of eyeballs your inbound marketing has potentially attracted, and the sentiment indicator of these mentions. Sentiment indicator is a new angle of marketing analytics; it analyzes the tone of the posts that mention your product/brand name. For the transport industry, a marketing campaign that tells stories about the drivers, like UPS does or sharing unique customer experiences on social media, tracking mentions can give a significant insight into brand awareness and perception. #DeleteUber is a recent example that highlights the importance of tracking and analyzing mentions for the transport industry.
How should I track? Ratio of positive posts and negative posts for sentiment indicator, track mentions on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, #hashtag tracking tools
Data Visualization charts: Bubble Map Chart, Map Chart, Bar graph
Web Conversion KPIs:
- Visit to Purchase Conversion Rate
Loosely translated, conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete an action on your website out of the total visitors. Intuitively, a higher rate is a good indication for marketing. Signing up for the newsletters, buying a product, enquiring about the product are a few actions that form part of the conversion rate. Conversion rate reveals the touch-points in the way to your website that can be improved and optimized to increase the conversion. In the transportation industry, customer experience has been prioritized over the product/service itself for a better conversion rate. Uber, for example, focuses more on the user experience (e.g. booking a cab, meeting the driver, feedback of the ride). It is easier to gain loyalty through an experience than a product. This metric can bring down customer acquisition cost, online marketing spend and insert more leads into the sales funnel.
How is it calculated? (Number of leads ➗ Number of visitors) x 100
Data Visualization charts: Bar graph, Single-value, Single-value indicator
- Bounce rate
This metric is directly related to conversion rate. It tells you the percentage of visitors who left the website before completing an action. Typically, for any industry, a bounce rate of 50% and above is an alert sign and needs to be further investigated. A bounce rate can indicate things like technical issues with the website, non-engaging content, or navigation problems.
How is it calculated? (Total number of bounces ➗ Total number of visitors) x 100. The time period for both the factors must be same and bounces must be across all pages of the website
Data Visualization charts: Line chart, Bar graph
As the name suggests, this is the cost that is incurred to gain a new customer. This cost depends largely on the industry and pricing plan of your product. Usually for a transport industry, the customers are not one-time buyers but are on a subscription or are repeat buyers. It is a known and proven fact that acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining existing customers. According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, the CAC for the transport industry is typically lower than most of the industries.
How is it calculated? For multi-channel marketing, CAC is calculated as the weighted average of all the costs.
Data Visualization charts: Single-value indicator, Multi-axis chart, Pie chart, Map chart
Marketing Return KPIs:
CLV helps you to understand how much will a loyal customer will spend over time on your product/service. Since the word ‘loyal’ customers is mentioned, intuitively, this involves metrics like repeat sales and retention rate. Like CAC, CLV varies across industries and depends largely on the business model. A product that is closely associated with daily activities of the customer has a higher CLV than a product that customers buy with large time lags between the repeat purchases. For a transport industry, while this may slightly differ according to the business model (B2B or B2C), the foundation remains the same because the products under transport industries are routinely associated with the customer.
How is it calculated? CLV = (Average Order Value) x (Number of Repeat Sales) x (Average Retention Time)
Data Visualization charts: Single-value indicator, Bubble Map chart, Map chart, Multi-axis chart, Stacked Bar chart (for multiple products)
- Marketing Return on Investment (mROI)
The ultimate metric to quantify the results of the marketing spend is mROI. It indicates how effective and impactful the marketing on sales and revenue of the business is. Tracking this metric is important and yet challenging due to multiple touch-points in the marketing pipeline. Business Intelligence (BI) software tools like Chartio and Marketo offer channel-based analysis (i.e. mobile marketing, email marketing, customer based marketing) that can ease the process of determining the mROI to a great extent.
How is it calculated? mROI (%) = (Sales Growth – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost
Data Visualization charts: Single-value indicator, Bar chart, Multi-axis chart
Marketing Attribution KPIs:
- Marketing Influenced Customers/Opportunities
The marketing funnel now has multiple touch points like content marketing, digital marketing, email marketing, traditional marketing, which directly or indirectly influence customers/opportunities. It becomes essential to identify and further explore the touch points that influenced the most customers/opportunities. Another measure that allows everyone in the marketing team to know if their efforts were effective is the pipeline value. It is tracked in the backdrop that marketing and sales are now closely associated and tightly aligned to drive the revenue growth.
How is it calculated?
Conduct surveys to find out the marketing source that influenced new customers.
Arithmetically = New customers who contacted through marketing ➗ Total new customers during the same time period.
Tracking the above marketing KPIs will assist the marketing manager of a transport industry to emphasize marketing impact on customers, to enhance customer experience and direct marketing resources accordingly.