Gene Ely, a former heavy-duty marketing consultant and heavy aftermarket key account manager for Triangle Suspension Systems, recently published “The Heavy Duty Marketing Academy” textbook.
The resource is specific to the North American commercial vehicle (CV) and equipment marketplace, Ely said, covering light CVs, heavy trucks, trailers, buses and coaches, as well as industrial, mining and construction equipment markets and their respective dealer organizations.
Ely said he wrote the book because of “major changes as a result of the internet’s ‘information explosion’ that have evolved into the ‘new customer-centric demand generation.’”
“We have become an information-rich and time-poor society that has reshaped the way we prefer to receive our information delivery,” Ely said. “Combined with that, there’ s been a major transition in generational demographics, as well as psychographics.
"Moreover, this industry-changing digital transformation and demographic shift means the familiar generational behaviors of the now-aging dominant generation are transforming as well. The result is that new demographics and psychographics are firmly in place—GenXers, millennials, and GenZers, now include a blend of four entirely different and very diverse generations that have become pervasive throughout the entire industry.”
Ely breaks down the US population by generation, with 109 million “digital-savvy” users between 23 and 54 in the Gen X and Millennial generations, and 41 million Baby Boomers who are aging out of the workplace. Then there’s Generation Z—the next generation of diesel service technicians and CDL drivers helping drive the new customer-centric demand generation.
He says HD marketers traditionally practice “inside-out,” about-us website communication that focuses on ‘us,’ ‘our company’ and a belief that the company’s over-arching reflection of superior capabilities will prevail.
“However, the new blended generational audiences prefer an ‘Outside-In,’ customer-centric type of communication that (provides) engaging, experiential, informational, quick and accurate information … long before they ever see a salesperson,” Ely said.
The textbook covers relevant terms and topics, including digital, blogs, links, videos, webinars, white papers, content marketing, social, engagement and experiential marketing; and highlights how truck, trailer and heavy-equipment media and online magazines are setting the pace for new communication engagement in a digital era through product announcements with sponsored links, blogs, infomercials, videos, case studies, e-books, infographics, resource libraries, e-mail marketing, vocational targeting and more.
“Whoever said trucking, trailer, heavy equipment, dealer and aftermarket magazines are old hat?” Ely said. “It’s obvious, then, that simply migrating current heavy-duty websites to marketing automation that house and contain engagement and experiential communications is not a viable option.
Instead, ‘The Heavy Duty Marketing Academy’ textbook is a strategic resource that demonstrates the need for strategic thinking, the art of positioning, the absolute for branding, developing a services marketing culture, and how to put it all together with marketing automation.”