I listen to a marketing podcast each week called This Old Marketing, hosted by Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose about what’s happening in the world of content marketing. Â It’s a great podcast, and if you’re at all interested in the latest dynamics in the rapidly changing world of content marketing, I would encourage you to check it out.
They end each podcast with 6 simple words …… It’s your story, tell it well. Â Great words of advice!
Yet, what strikes me each and every week, is how devoid or behind the times the oil and gas industry is when it comes, not only to content marketing, but to pure old marketing itself. Â We constantly hear from service and supply companies how difficult it is to find the right person to speak to at exploration and production companies, about their upcoming projects, covering the service areas they support. Â They are constantly struggling to get doors opened for them, through a constant barrage of unanswered telephone messages and unreturned emails.
How has the industry responded in the past? Â Well, unfortunately, the way it continues to respond today. Â Throw more salespeople and expense account dollars at the problem! Â A costly solution, particularly when we’re all being told by operators they are committed to squeezing every bit of cost efficiency out of the lifecycle of a well, and by extension, out of pockets of the vendors they call on for services, supplies and rentals under those elusive AFE budgets.
Everyone in the industry would agree that once you’re in with an operator, you’re in for good! Â But really are you? Â In the next breath, many salespeople, execs and owners will go on to say, well we’re in with so and so, but they have two other ops, several field guys or an EPC that we barely know who don’t purchase from us or use our services as all.
How can we change that, more expense accounts or better marketing? Â In speaking to many industry vets, the common answer usually is …… I know my clients, and they know me, so why do I need to market? Â That’s what I have salespeople for! Â Who needs marketing?
When looking at their websites, they also freely admit their pages haven’t been updated consistently for years, with fresh and useful content that would be of interest, not only to their existing clients, but to those precious new clients everyone has trouble nailing down. Â In our experience, many of these companies shy away from marketing because it just scares them off. Â They just don’t have the marketing skills themselves or the appropriate people on staff to make it happen, and they are more than reluctant to hire a pricy agency to help them out. Â That is, of course, if they think they need any help at all.
Sadly, what they don’t realize is they do in fact have content to share but don’t even know it. Â It’s occasionally hard for us to get a service and supply company to commit to a meeting to talk about our Oilfield HUB and Oilfield PULSE services, but once we’re sitting down for what we thought was a 30 minute get to know you call, it turns into a 2 hour session filled with stories and experiences being shared by our prospective customer. Â Fabulous and engaging content that should be shared with many, rather than just the two of us sitting across the desk. Â The same holds true over those downtown Calgary lunches, why just swap these relevant stories with one client over beer and meal, versus sharing your stories to your entire prospective audience in the patch!
Marketing is no longer just running an ad or running up your entertainment budget! Â Content marketing is the new expense account. Â We haven’t come across a
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service and supply company yet in the oil and gas industry that doesn’t have a boatload of interesting stories to tell about their company, services, technology, or about the people in their company that make it happen. Â The next time you’re reaching for your credit card or approving that next expense account, ask yourself how many clients, prospects, and people did you reach with those dollars? Â Perhaps there just might there be a better way! Â Don’t cut up your credit cards yet, just take a little time to reflect and channel a fraction of those, and perhaps other dollars to telling your story, and by all means, tell it well.