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7 Reasons Budget Meetings Aren't Strategic

Just by the nature of the subject and process, budget meetings aren’t typically strategic. These 10 reasons all contribute to making the process non-strategic and sometimes even counter-intuitive to being directly tied to the business strategy:

1. Perhaps one of the biggest issues is that budget meetings oftentimes are not integrated with the processes of strategic planning and business strategy. To add to the problem, meetings that are focused primarily on budget-setting solve for numbers and do not solve for business results. Also the length of budget meetings isn’t matched to the strategic complexity or importance of the area.

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YRC Freight Accelerated: A Fast-Paced Product Launch Success Story

Have you ever found yourself with a business opportunity for your company, yet you had but a small time-frame to seize on it? It’s a common occurrence in the world of today’s marketing department - and the team at YRC Freight can relate.

Matt Ferguson, Service Marketing Manager with this leading transporter of industrial, commercial, and retail goods in LTL shipping solutions, shared a recent story at the TMSA Connections Seminar in Kansas City last month.

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4 Tips To Avoid the "Commodity" Trap

By Brian Everett, CEO of the Transportation Marketing & Sales Association

In transportation and logistics, all too often the value of a company's service or product is minimized - and what they offer their customers is "commoditized." How often have you heard a sales executive blame commoditization for failing to deliver a sale or new block of business? Sometimes this can be a convenient excuse, but in many instances it's a valid point because the company's business model has fallen into that trap.

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Establishing Your Target Market

Part 1 of a 3-Part Series: Recap of the TMSA Connections Seminar in Kansas City

Some of the key buzzwords in marketing these days are “firmographic targets” and “buyer persona.” But some suggest these new buzzwords or catch phrases are really sexy (and more sophisticated) ways to describe what smart marketing and sales professionals have been doing for years: Intelligently establishing your target markets with laser precision.

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Game-Changing Sales Tips in a Male-Dominated Industry

There’s no question that roles in the transportation industry historically have been predominantly male. Men would be in primary buying roles in traffic management, logistics, and supply chain. And on the provider side of the equation, men would by in key leadership, operations, and sales and business development roles. And only a small handful of females were professional over-the-road drivers.

But times are changing dramatically, thanks in part to the Women In Trucking Association (WIT), which is a TMSA member. Last week, more than 500 professionals in transportation attended the 2017 Accelerate! Conference & Expo in Kansas City, which was hosted by WIT. The Transportation Marketing & Sales Association helped to manage the Marketing & Sales Education Track, and one topic was heavily focused on: How sales and business development professionals who are women can succeed in what is still a male-dominated industry.

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Are you getting the most from your marketing automation investment?

This is the third article in a series on how marketing automation can help you business grow and thrive. Guest author is Jill Schmieg, founder and chief strategist at Sol de Naples Marketing, a marketing services firm specializing in helping B2B companies find brighter ways to reach their markets. Learn more at www.soldenaples.com

With more than half of B2B marketers using some form of marketing automation, it is astonishing that 85% of them feel they’re not using it to its fullest potential.  (Source: EmailMonday and SiriusDecisions)

Over the course of 2 sessions totaling more than 20 marketers in transportation and logistics at last June’s TMSA Conference, four key themes about marketing automation emerged. They were voiced as:

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Bison Transport: Driver Recruiting Best Practices

This is the final installment of a 3-Part Series: Recap of the TMSA Connections Seminar in early October in Chicago.

More and more, driver recruiting and engagement is becoming a priority for marketing and communications professionals in transportation and logistics – particularly with the every-challenging driver shortage. More than 40 marketing and sales professionals in transportation and logistics pre-registered for the TMSA Connections Seminar recently held in Chicago. The group learned about some of the best practices in driver recruiting from Lionel Johnston, Corporate Marketing Manager with Bison Transport, one of the largest carriers in Canada. Johnston also is Chair of TMSA’s Communications Committee. 

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Prioritizing your precious marketing dollars: website vs. marketing automation?

This is the second article in a series on how marketing automation can help you business grow and thrive. Guest author is Jill Schmieg, founder and chief strategist at Sol de Naples Marketing, a marketing services firm specializing in helping B2B companies find brighter ways to reach their markets. Learn more at www.soldenaples.com

E-Marketer estimates that digital will make up 45% of marketing spend by 2020, bypassing any other category by far. Within digital, however, marketers often struggle to prioritize their precious dollars across SEO, websites, email, social, online advertising alongside possible investments in platforms such as marketing automation, social monitoring and so on.

Over the course of 2 sessions totaling more than 20 marketers in transportation and logistics at last June’s TMSA Conference, four key themes about marketing automation emerged. They were voiced as:

  1. I’m a single person managing both sales and marketing. How can marketing automation help me? (I answered this question in a previous post, read it here.
  2. I’m struggling with what to prioritize: my website vs. marketing automation?
  3. I have marketing automation, but I’m pretty sure I’m not using it in the best ways I should be.
  4. My company wants to send tons of outbound email to promote just about everything we want to say, but our open rates and other metrics are really bad with this approach.

In today’s post, we’ll answer the question “I’m struggling with what to prioritize: my website vs. marketing automation?”




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Developing Your Firmographic Targets and Buyer Personas

Part 2 of a 3-Part Series: Recap of the TMSA Connections Seminar in Chicago

More than 40 marketing and sales professionals in transportation and logistics pre-registered for the TMSA Connections Seminar, held last Thursday in Chicagoland. The group discussed the importance of identifying and knowing your targeted firmographic profiles as well as your buyer personas.

Steps to Develop Your Firmographic Profiles and Buyer Personas 
Who is your ideal customer? If you’re not 100% sure of your answer to the that question, you’re likely missing out on sales. The more you know about your customers, the better you’re able to target your marketing to who they are and what they want. The more you speak their language, the more they’re going to be responsive to you and your company.


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TMSA Champion Mark Miller Provides Strategic Direction and Member Guidance

Mark Miller serves on the TMSA Board of Directors as a Member at Large and has been a member of the TMSA for more than 10 years. Miller brings exceptional perspective and member guidance to the TMSA through his experience spanning 23 years of diverse marketing work with Crowley Maritime and over thirty years serving the transportation industry.  

Mark Miller, Vice President, Corporate & Marketing Communications, Crowley Maritime 

Based out of Jacksonville, Miller is a 30-year veteran of the transportation industry, with 23 of those years spent developing his career at Crowley Maritime. Currently serving as a TMSA Board Member at Large, Miller has been a key part of the TMSA for more than 10 years. Like so many members of the TMSA, Miller holds a diverse role within an even more diverse organization, leading Crowley’s small, yet very adept Corporate and Marketing Communications team. Looking back, Miller’s career has seen many milestones including a Crowley subsidiary’s salvage of the cruise ship Costa Concordia in Italy – the largest, most technically challenging marine salvage in history – which drew worldwide coverage for his organization.

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7 Steps of a Successful Digital Culture

If you're looking at ways to improve your success in digital marketing and sales strategy, listen to what Marcus Sheridan has to say. One of TMSA's most incredible "thought leaders" and recently named as the “web marketing guru” by the New York Times, Sheridan started in 2009 his sales and marketing blog, The Sales Lion. He has since grown this brand to be synonymous with inbound and content marketing excellence.

Sheridan was TMSA’s keynote presenter at the 2017 TMSA Logistics Marketing & Sales Conference, and as a follow-up he presented 7 steps to a successful digital culture in a recent TMSA Webinar:

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State of Transportation Key Topic at TMSA Seminar in Chicago

Part 1 of a 3-Part Series: Recap of the TMSA Connections Seminar in Chicago

More than 40 marketing and sales professionals in transportation and logistics pre-registered for the TMSA Connections Seminar, held last Thursday in Chicagoland. A significant amount of time was devoted to discussion around these two questions involving the state of the marketplace: What are you hearing from shippers? And what are the biggest challenges and opportunities facing transportation companies in serving their customers?

What are you hearing from shippers?
TMSA’s CEO Brian Everett led conversation around how demand patterns are shifting, technological advances are changing industry economics, and emerging competitors are challenging traditional business models. Most agreed that the over-the-road trucking market has ben gaining traction after a weak 2015. Everett referenced a recent A.T. Kearney analysis of Truckstop.com data (a TMSA member) showing spot rates for dry van shipments rising 10 percent in 2016, reversing much of 2015’s steep decline. Full truckload rates also overcame early weakness to close 2016 higher than 2015 levels, according to Morgan Stanley’s Full TL Index.


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Crowley Moves Containers of Relief Cargo to Caribbean following Hurricane Maria

Crowley Maritime Corp., a long-time TMSA member, has established a flow of relief cargo into San Juan, Puerto Rico, following Hurricane Maria - the devastating Category 4 storm that made direct impact with the island last Wednesday. To make this possible, Crowley has four vessels loaded with a mix of relief and commercial cargo currently en route to the company’s Isla Grande terminal in San Juan, with two more scheduled to follow. These six vessels will begin entering the harbor as soon as the U.S. Coast Guard deems it is safe to do so, which some reports indicate may be as early as tomorrow morning. In total, these six vessels will bring in more than 2,200 full container loads of food and aid cargo, as well as commercial goods, to Puerto Rico.

In addition to these incoming barge loads, the company currently has more than 2,200 full container loads of food and aid cargo, as well as commercial goods, safely stored and awaiting distribution at its terminal now.

“Our focus and priority continues to be on the safety and health of our employees and the recovery efforts for all the families of Puerto Rico,” says Crowley’s John Hourihan, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Puerto Rico Services. “While our schedule of operations is contingent on the U.S. Coast Guard giving us the ‘all clear’ in the harbor to safely operate, we are working with the local authorities to resume operations, as well as with Hacienda to facilitate the efficient and timely release of food and aid cargo.”

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ISO Certification Gives Oakley Transport a Competitive Edge

Oakley Transport, a liquid food-grade transportation company and TMSA member, has proven itself a pioneer in the industry by spearheading a new standard for excellence. In early August, Oakley became the first in their industry globally to earn two ISO Certifications.

ISO certifies that a management system or manufacturing process meets all the requirements for standardization and quality assurance. Oakley received two derivative certifications of ISO 9000 (QMS), ISO 9001:2015 and 22000:2005, which focus on food safety and superior management systems.

In order to earn these certifications, Oakley performed an exhaustive evaluation of their procedures. Working with their customers and faced with new food safety regulations, Oakley saw a need to transform the business from a trucking company into a food transportation company.

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How Can You Help? Maria Response, Irma & Harvey Recovery

From Kathy Fulton, Executive Director, American Logistics Aid Network (www.ALANaid.org)

Today Hurricane Maria battered St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, and left the island of Puerto Rico completely without power. The storm lost some strength after striking Puerto Rico, but is expected to regain intensity as it moves northward on Thursday. The situation in the Caribbean continues to unfold, but ALAN has already engaged to assist with the logistics of moving tarps, meals, and clean-up supplies for non-profit responders. As we shared last night, many of these organizations are launching their efforts from airports in Florida. Please consider supporting those transportation requests.

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What's Needed Before Considering Marketing Automation Software

By Zen Newman, Partner Program Manager, PipelineDeals

The logistics industry has long struggled with a lack of process in their sales efforts. By not defining the steps they go through to bring clients on board, companies in the industry are letting opportunities drop through the cracks and leaving their customer base vulnerable to predation by competitors.

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TMSA Members Named Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies

When you make the “Inc. 5000” list, your company has been proven worthy of entrepreneurial success, leadership and innovation. The Inc. 5000's aggregate revenue is $206 billion, and the companies on the list collectively generated 619,500 jobs over the past three years. Recently announced, there are nearly 150 companies in the logistics and transportation sector whose creativity propelled them to the top of the list in 2017. This is the 36th annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation's fastest-growing, private companies.

One TMSA member, MacroPoint, was ranked 567 on the list. “MacroPoint’s success is due to the hard work of our talented employees, who strive daily to bring freight visibility to the global supply chain,” says Bennett Adelson, CEO of MacroPoint. “Our patented freight tracking platform provides shippers, carriers and third-party logistics providers with real-time updates and predictive analytics on every load. We are committed to providing disruptive supply chain innovation to the world’s leading transportation companies.”

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Developing a Company Culture of Innovation

About the Author: Ricardo Roman is the Director of Association Management with Caliper, an employee assessment and development firm located in Princeton, NJ. Caliper is an Affiliate member of TMSA. 

Technological advances have forced businesses to adapt on the fly in recent years, but it’s fair to say the transport and logistics industry has been challenged more than any other. Continuous reinvention is not an option in this field; it’s a necessity.

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Looking to Help? Opportunities to Respond to Texas Hurricane Disaster

The effects of Hurricane Harvey have been devastating to southeast Texas as it made landfall along the gulf coast and produced significant rainfall and record flooding. TMSA and our members support the American Logistics Aid Network - an active member and partner of our association that has the mission of supporting disaster recovery by engaging industry to address the unmet needs of relief organizations, communities, and people. 

Latest Updates from ALAN
TMSA's CEO, Brian Everett, was asked to join a meeting this morning (Thursday) with Robert Glenn of FEMA Private Sector; ALAN representatives; the Texas Trucking Association; Truckstop.com: and other partners that support ALAN's mission. The American Logistics Aid Network briefing included:

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Lessons Learned from Tropical Storm Harvey: 7 Steps in Crisis Communications Planning

TMSA members and other transportation companies are scrambling to reroute cargo and set up alternate supply lines as Tropical Storm Harvey pummels southeast Texas with even more flooding over the coming days. The ports in Houston and Corpus Christi remain closed to most ships and rising waters threaten highways and railroad track lines - bringing the distribution of vital goods, including food stuffs and water and the region’s foundation energy products to a virtual standstill. 

The impact on commercial freight transportation runs from trucking companies and couriers to railroads and big shipping lines, and one analyst says the storm has affected up to 10% of the nation’s trucking capacity. In fact, Truckstop.com economist Noel Perry says shipping costs will likely increase across a wide area far from Houston, based on the market’s response to previous natural disasters. 

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