As maritime continues its journey towards digitalisation, the importance of having a clear and well-planned branding strategy is becoming ever more important. Especially in maritime, where the audience tends to be well-informed about industry events and actors, having a focused and concise strategy around branding is both a key to differentiation, and an important driver for growth and market reach.
True now as it has ever been, one of the most important aspects of designing a successful brand, especially when aimed towards an industry in transition, is understanding the mindset and persona of your audience. As Eric Cavoli, Creative Director of CashmanKatz said in a recent interview on Ship Talk "One of the earliest things we need to understand is that we are often working with people who are generational in this business— who have done things the same way for a long time." Having an understanding of your audience's mindset is key to informing the creation of effective branding and marketing material.
Another equally important factor is understanding which media channels your audience is most comfortable using— this in turn helps shape the most important types of content for each. Knowledge of the digital channels popular with your audience also enables the flexible tailoring of campaign material to optimize for certain interactions; for example, if you're torn between two pieces of copy for the same item you can run an A/B test and find out which resonates more with your audience.
Knowing how to engage with your audience is, as you would expect, imperative to the functioning of a successful marketing or branding initiative. Your success in this area will hinge on something unique: knowledge of your own brand. In this case, your brand is much more than just a logo, a color scheme, and a font family; rather, as Cavoli says, it's the promise of an experience that your audience will have while using your product. In order to really connect with your audience, you need to know about them, sure, but you also need to know about you. What is the promise of your brand? Is that promise reflected accurately and succinctly throughout your marketing materials, in your copy, and on your website? Having an intimate knowledge of your own identity is a fundamental building block to a successful branding strategy. Using current digital marketing strategies will it help you more easily identify compatible audience segments, and also enables you to trim the fat from your messaging, ensuring that the material that reaches the customer is focused, high quality, and on-brand.
The expansive amount of analytic data that can be drawn from digital channels allows for an impressive amount of insight into the effectiveness of a given material, and both can (and should) be used to iterate and inform your future creative strategy. With modern digital campaigns, success can be represented by any number of things— still the classic items like sales and contact inquiries, but also clicks, reach, time engaged, click through rate, files downloaded, and many more. Using modern digital marketing tools means that it is possible to conceive, plan, and execute a strategy that is optimized for any number of outcomes.
If you'd like to hear more about how modern branding and marketing tools can strengthen the maritime industry, click the links below to see or hear the latest episode of Ship Talk, featuring our full interview with Eric Cavoli, Creative Director of the communications agency CashmanKatz.
Listen on Spotify: Listen
Watch on YouTube: Watch