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Marketer advises customer experience focus during freight industry uncertainty

Global marketer Andrew Lark used a racing analogy to compare how freight companies can survive and even grow their businesses during a recession by focusing on customer experience and marketing.

“There’s a great quote that I really love that says the best operators — and many of you are the best operators — know how to win on a wet track and it’s a wet track out there, but it’s pretty easy to win on a dry track,” said Lark during his keynote address at FreightWaves’ Future of Supply Chain event in Cleveland on Thursday.

“We always sit and look at the current condition and go, ‘Oh, my God, it’s never been this nuts,’ but then people that are old and tired and exhausted like me remember, ‘Yeah, actually there was that Iraq War and there was another war before that and then there was another recession,’” Lark said. “We’ve been through this before.”

As an investor, adviser, mentor and founder of multiple startups, Lark chairs Group Lark, a global consultancy that helps companies survive and thrive during difficult times when the markets take a sudden turn.

He’s also one of the authors of the international bestselling book, “The Augmented Age: Life in the Smart Lane.” The book is about the rising use of artificial intelligence.

Lark, a native of Auckland, New Zealand, advises companies not to cancel their marketing budgets during a recession but to evaluate how that marketing money is being spent and how much of the budget “actually touches a customer.”


“You have to look at the ratio in your business and go, ‘If I’m putting $100 into marketing and only $10 is viewed, there is something fundamentally wrong.’ In my businesses, we target a minimum of 50% of all spend has to be viewable,” Lark said.

“Marketers make for pretty soft targets when it comes to budgets,” he said. “But spend is a huge issue in marketing.”

Lark added, “The reality today is business-to-business marketers spend roughly 92% of their budgets chasing 5% of their customers in the market.”

Instead of investing more money in search engine optimization, focus on using existing customers as a source of revenue, he said.

“Find customers who love [your business] and get them to introduce [you] to other customers,” Lark said.

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