When the world leader in industrial belts and hoses sought more even more growth in the oilfield industry, it found promise inside the well completion segment—the business of making an oil well ready for production. To warm up this slice of the market to Gates sales calls, and drive prospects down the purchase path, Gates required a crafty communications plan that holistically threaded its compelling message across many tactical touch points—including a toolkit to educate their sales team on key messages, the well completion process, and what’s important to decision makers.
The costs and delays of unexpected downtime can keep an maintenance supervisor up at night—and often, abrasion problems with the machinery's hydraulic hoses are the hidden culprits. So the program's overarching messaging focuses on waking up prospects to the hidden costs of a "reactive" approach to hose replacement—and helping them to understand how Gates product innovations and gold-standard preventative maintenance programs can address and prevent these issues, and help them achieve big operational savings.
To tell the most impactful story, we strategized a sequence of touch points in varied media, from dimensional direct mail to personal contact to focused digital communications. The targeting plan involved a double-pronged approach that split a cultivated list of qualified targets into Highly Qualified and Moderately Qualified categories, to better align allocation of resources to best opportunities.
Highly Qualified targets were initially contacted through a high-impact dimensional mailer with internal product sample, and followed up with a sales call. The piece focuses awareness on a key issue among oilfield operations—the cost and risk associated unexpected hose failure due to abrasion—while positioning Gates the provider of a new product solution offering a key solve to that issue. From there, those who do not participate in a sales meeting are then entered into a marketing automation campaign, where they are joined by group two, Moderately Qualified prospects.
Through stages of the marketing automation campaign, we offered supplemental education to prospective customers to further their awareness and understanding. The suite of materials includes a safety guide and animated hose rendering video to further demonstrate the benefits and competitive superiority of Gates products.
In order to set the sales team up for success, Slack armed the sales team with a full toolkit of training materials, including an overview of the market and customer pain points to fully capitalize on potential opportunities for Gates solutions on site. Plus, to keep messaging consistent for all sales meetings, a presentation was developed that mirrored the story and key messaging sequence in order to illustrate the prospect's unrealized problems and set Gates up as the solution for efficiency and safety.
As results keep tallying up, the program has proven to be highly successful in opening doors and starting key conversations among the sales team with prospective customers. Notably, the UltraBrasion™ wear indicator has become a true differentiator for Gates in the oilfield market. Supported by an ongoing opt-in email nurture campaign, this new awareness is helping to establish Gates as the industry leader for fluid power solutions in well completion.