Modern Marketing

Winning Over Digital Marketing Skeptics

The proof is in the payoff.

By Rob Preston

Spring 2018

Mack Trucks Marketing Vice President John Walsh recently was at a Mack Anthem dealer event near the company’s Greensboro, North Carolina, headquarters when the owner of a fleet of highway trucks approached him about “Video 6.”

The owner was referring to the sixth of six biweekly “tease” videos Mack released in the run-up to the official launch of its Anthem highway truck on September 13, 2017. Mack already knew, thanks to the tracking capabilities in its Oracle Eloqua Marketing Cloud Service, that the owner had viewed all six videos.

Walsh recalls the owner telling him, “It was that last video you put out—that was the one that got me to just pick up the phone and call the dealer and say, ‘I’ve got to have one.’” And this was before the owner even knew the price tag of the new highway tractor.

“That’s magic, right?” says Walsh, alluding to the power of digital marketing. “There are examples of that happening all over North America right now.”

Now the big challenge for the company’s marketing team is to convince the people who sell Mack trucks—pros who by nature “are a ‘show me’ bunch”—that the team’s digital efforts will pay off for them, he says.

“We know that what we’re doing with digital works,” Walsh says. “The key is making sure we get enough wins, that we demonstrate enough tie-in between what we’re doing and the number of trucks that get sold, so that the sales guys say, ‘Not only am I open to those leads, but please give them to me.’ We’re not quite there yet, but we’re well along.”

There’s even more skepticism of digital marketing in the trucking industry, given that its demographics skew older than in most other industries, he says.

“You have to do everything you can to educate folks—sort of repetition with variation,” Walsh says. “Just keep talking about what you’re doing. Include the metrics as much as you can. The great thing about digital is that it allows you to do that in a far more robust way than you can with what I would call traditional marketing.”

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Photography By Paul S. Howell