Oil and gas companies have always lagged behind the most cutting-edge digital marketing trends and initiatives. This is hardly surprising considering that this industry still spends a paltry 7% of their revenue on marketing. It’s also slow to adopt new marketing technologies like automation software, analytics tools, social media, and content management.
This lack of advertising effort prevents B2B oil and gas companies from standing out in a crowded marketplace. Brands can no longer afford to overlook marketing due to the sheer amount of changes in the industry landscape. The solution lies in investing in digital marketing technologies and approaches to increase ROI and shareholder returns as well as boost growth.
Below we look at some marketing trends oil and gas companies can leverage to do just that.
More companies are investing in B2B digital marketing platforms
Many in the oil and gas world are beginning to see the value of digital platforms. After all, according to stats, 74% of B2B buyers prefer to buy online through some kind of self-service website. A digital platform is the solution, as digital is the common denominator when it comes to cost reduction, streamlining of business processes, improved efficiency and better decision-making. Investing in it is the perfect recipe for creating long-term growth and reaching new customers.
But far too many in the oil and gas world are relying on the same marketing and sales tactics that they have for decades. In a nutshell, this involves focusing on sales teams gathering leads, which is why many B2Bs, oil and gas especially, have such long sales cycles.
One solution is to invest in a digital platform that brings buyers, service providers, manufacturers together under one digital tent. Manufacturers and providers can create a dedicated company page in an oil and gas directory in which they can showcase their services, products, and reputation. Conversely, buyers can visit these platforms to get a comprehensive overview of different companies and see which might be the right fit.
It’s having access to a community like this that makes marketing easier, as companies have quick access to their target audience.
Technological innovation, AI, smart data, and the IoT
What’s shaping marketing in the oil and gas industries are the same trends that are improving operational efficiency. Equipment vendors, specifically, are at the forefront of this tech vanguard by embedding artificial intelligence to supply customers with support services to help them optimize maintenance.
The ability to gather ever more data from installations allows companies to reduce costs and boost operational efficiency. New tech like remote sensors, robotic drilling, and 3D printers are contributing to this development. Massive amounts of data are also being produced by the Internet of Things, as more IoT endpoints are projected to grow from 13 billion in 2015 to 30 billion by 2020.
This is all producing machine-generated data at record rates. How companies handle this data and translate it to marketing will determine their success or failure. Companies taking advantage of real-time data analytics and IoT applications enjoy a higher value proposition to potential customers than those who don’t. Because harnessing this info by investing in enterprise IoT data systems will differentiate them from the competition. They will be able to offer better improved customer experiences thus boosting customer satisfaction.
High-quality customer interactions across multiple channels
Consumers today, be it your typical Amazon shopper or a B2B buyer of oil and gas services now crave one thing: a meaningful customer experience. We’ve discussed how investing in digital platforms can help boost efficiency and streamline processes, now it’s time to look at how channel marketing can be the competitive differentiator that can help your company stand out from the competition.
Those in the B2B oil and gas industry who are just now getting into digital adoption are seeing some interesting trends. 89% of all B2B buyers research online before making a final purchase decision. It’s up to the marketer to meet them where they are and appeal to them across all channels, from mobile to laptop to social-media to blogs, vlogs, and more.
The goal is to give the buyer as consistent an experience as possible no matter where they are accessing information.
Another crucial part of appealing to the modern buyer is by offering them personalized service. This is a dominant trend, as B2B companies even admit that personalizing their website was more effective in helping to reach their objectives. state that they are more likely to buy from a company that offers personalized service and hassle-free purchasing options than those who don’t.
One way B2Bs in the oil and gas company are addressing this is by investing in dedicated account managers who can manage various client relationships at once with the help of digital platforms and CRM solutions.
If marketers are to take one major theme away from the above points, it’s that embracing digital marketing platforms is now mandatory. To put a final point on it, according to McKinsey & Company, B2Bs that master these digital marketing practices experience revenue growth at five times the rate as those who don’t. The writing is on the wall; it’s time to act accordingly.