These days, the word marketing might be one of the largest umbrella terms in the business environment. From Print, Door to Door, Telephone, Billboard, B2B, B2C, Digital, SEO, Press Advertising, TV advertising, social media advertising, there is a role for everyone and everything in large marketing teams. Marketing a business and an idea can take so many forms and so many directions that the key to strong marketing is not about having the largest budget or team, it really is all about having a total and evolving understanding of consumer trends and being two steps ahead in capitalizing on those trends.
The Oil and Gas Industry is no different. New technologies, new laws and regulations, and even new weather and climates affect businesses and can cripple whole sectors and being on top of those trends is the sign of a successful and long-lasting business. Oil and Gas consultancies have an interesting job in understanding and following business trends whilst also keeping two feet firmly on the ground in terms of marketing trends in the industry. As this industry is currently in a transitional phase, both in terms of people and in terms of the energy transition, consultancies will have to be ready to adapt to both the changing marketing environment and the changing demographic. This blog will briefly highlight the transition of marketing for Oil and Gas consultancies and shed light into some key trends going into this new year in 2022.
Tried and Tested Marketing Techniques
Oil and Gas might be one of the last few industries where B2B and B2C marketing is dominated and still effective through Face-to-Face corporate events. These events allow businesses to pitch their ideas, present new findings, and allow sales and development leads of consultancies to widen their networks and grow their clientele both from a business perspective as well as a personnel/HR perspective. There is no denying this is a tried and tested method however, with Covid-19 affecting how we meet, how we interact, and the safety of events, this method might be slowing down. Furthermore, with changes to the way we work and the shifting of younger demographics in Oil and Gas, there are some easier and more cost-effective ways to reach the upcoming decision makers.
Webinars might seem to be the next best solution to the problems that in-person events have in this day and age. They can be accessed from anywhere in the globe, they are cheaper to run, you can have a variety of topics and speakers from all around the world, and a larger audience as you are not limited by event space. On the surface, they seem like the perfect solution, but research has shown that if you can even get people to join your webinar, they will most likely be multitasking and you will on average gain just a mere 10% of their full attention span. Furthermore, decision makers are now full teams and not individuals so making a webinar targeted to all of them is no easy feat as you have to first get them all there and somehow capture all of their attention spans.
Moving on from digital and in person events and now looking at some more traditional digital marketing. Email marketing has been around for many years now and it is true that email marketing in a Business-to-Business setting has a higher click through rate than B2C: 3.2% and 2.1% respectively. It also has an average open rate of 15.1% and these two statistics might, on the surface, show that combined with a Webinar, this would be the ideal way to capture an Oil and Gas decision making team’s attention. Answer this though… You are a busy team leader looking to hire a new HSE consultant, you get around 20-30 emails a day about all your other projects, and now you start to receive digital leaflets and standardized emails from every consultancy under the sun that knows you’re looking for their services. How do you decide? Is it a mix of who you know best? Can you really decide this way? Will you even open the 33rd email? All of these questions cloud email marketing and although it is useful, it really is outdated because in 2022, nobody likes to open any more emails than they really have to!
New and Necessary Techniques
Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation is nothing new. It actually falls under the necessary bracket of this section as I believe that every single Oil and Gas consultancy should have an SEO strategy and implementation team/person. Google Oil and Gas consultancy or Offshore consultants! Where your company ranks is all about your SEO. The new generation of decision makers is googling everything, and where you show up on their page has a direct correlation to how trustworthy they find you because Google knows best right? Having an SEO strategy can lead to more engagement, stronger leads, and especially more visibility of your website and your company. Moving forward into 2022, it is still not the be all and end all of marketing in Oil and Gas, but companies who continue this year without at least giving SEO a thought, will start to be left behind at a quick pace with both the changing ways people research and the ways they work.
Content Thought Leadership
It used to be the case that whitepapers and listing all your services and accreditations was more than enough for an Oil and Gas consultancy to show their “stuff” online and have a strong presence. Don’t get us wrong, we do the same here, but it is also important to mix up your content, provoke your readers, stimulate their thinking, and ask the questions everyone is thinking of but is too scared to ask. Being a thought leader in today’s Oil and Gas world allows you to differentiate your content and through that, your company from your competitors. This is because without even being in the room with your potential client, you are already engaging with their thinking and showing them your individual and forward-thinking perspective on the topics and services that they need and think of- and which you provide and solve. Vary your content, ask questions, create polls, engage in comment sections, and ask challenging questions. All these methods make you a thought leader and provide a free way to market your company’s uniqueness.
Marketing Automation & Pay Per Click
Not too much to say about Pay Per Click marketing. You can target the exact demographic of individual you want to and show them the exact post or service you want to provide to them all from your laptop. Of course, your content still matters, and actually reaching and getting a reaction from that individual is the result of a variety of factors but it is not only a necessity for companies to have any kind of digital advertisement budget, but it is also a very easy way to digitally grow your consultancy.
Marketing automation is where it gets interesting. We have Bots, AI, VR, cookie trackers, automated chatbots, and the list goes on. Artificial Intelligence is the biggest trend of this decade, and it will keep evolving and changing both the way we work, and the way we engage with the internet and maybe even each other. Automating your marketing on your website and in other activities you do, will not only allow you to streamline your marketing funnel, but it will also keep you aligned to trends and at least on pace with any of your competitors who are also understanding of current trends. Combining this with any of the methods mentioned above will continue to yield the greatest results.
What do this mean for 2022 then?
No one method is perfect and each company, depending on their business model and budgets, can find their own way to market effectively in this new day and age. However, the methods mentioned above are all things that can be done by everyone and can be considered for each and every Oil and Gas Consultancy and that is why it is important to be open to adapting your processes and be open to new ideas and suggestions. This adaptability is something Onward has always been proud of, and it has allowed for a smooth evolution of the company’s marketing mix and the company itself. Follow the trends, understand where the industry’s demographic is spending their time and headed towards, and find the best way your business model and ethos can be effectively and efficiently marketed to others using the answers and knowledge you learn. That’s how you approach 2022.