Rail Marketing: Engineering a Balance

Rail Marketing
Andy Kendall

Every sector has its cultural norms. Why are we happy to accept much higher risks in a car than in a train, or even less a plane? Because we feel more in control perhaps. Whatever the reason, Marketing agencies need not only to understand the business they’re seeking to promote, they need to understand the cultural influences playing on clients’ minds.

Rail Engineering businesses will, like all organisations, be seeking to show that they are moving forward, and doing so faster than their competitors. However, when it comes to promoting their innovation, be it in products, services or systems, they will be seeking to balance that message with one of “tried and tested”. This makes the wording of marketing in Rail somewhat interesting. How do I show my client/potential client that I am moving forward but doing so in a highly prudent fashion with a more evolutionary than revolutionary approach?

Visual Language Significant for Rail Marketing

In transmitting that message, visual language is, in fact, more significant than written. The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text, explaining why 95% of B2B buyers wanted shorter text and more visual content when surveyed. The use of infographics, iconography, photography, video and animation in the world of rail marketing is a natural step, keeping text down to the key messages.

In written and visual content, rail suppliers require sufficient technical substance for the engineers, whilst providing an overall picture of features & benefits suitable for procurement and management. Striking that balance while rapidly engaging the reader/viewer isn’t easy. 55% of website visitors spend less than 15 seconds actively reading, so culling supplementary information can be important. The goal in general is to get in contact with the client, rather than to have them read your site then move on.

Rail Marketing
Rail Marketing

Consistent Marketing Activity Key to Success

The focal point in all your rail marketing is your brand and in the Consumer world, brands such as Coke and Land Rover invest huge efforts in creating a story around their brands that customers can emotionally connect with. As a rail engineering business, your brand is like all of your marketing, distilled into a handful of key impressions your clients carry around with them. Unfortunately, while you own your logo, you don’t own your brand. It lives in the minds of the industry’s personnel and they will build it from the information they receive in the media and from their colleagues, even from your competitors. As such it’s vital your own marketing is constantly reminding them of what you do best and why they should want to work with you. An ongoing stream of activity is the most effective way to create the right impressions and has been one of the keys to success for many of the world’s best-established businesses.

Bringing together a successful marketing program for a rail engineering business requires many of the same attributes as any other: creating a clear and compelling brand; a website that demonstrates your professional standards and informs the market; all the channels to drive traffic to that website such as SEO and digital marketing; and of course more traditional activities such as events, exhibitions and physical media. At Motion, we have the experience and skills to deliver all the above and both influence your existing customer base, as well as generate leads for new customers.

The icing on the cake comes when we return to talking about the culture within the rail supply chain industry. It can be a complex culture to operate in with both international and local regulations, erratic funding and multi-disciplinary interaction but ultimately capturing the available opportunities is what matters. Is your sales and marketing structure doing that effectively?

Motion’s experience within rail businesses and their knowledge of industry personnel saves Motion time in producing work and in turn, saves money for their rail clients. It also gives them opportunities to offer more support with creating technical marketing tools such as configurators, case studies, product guides and specifications. Here are some examples of our work in rail.

View Our Rail Case Studies

B2B Marketing Tools Learn More >
Marketing Projects Find out more >

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