The Internet has dramatically changed the world within the past decade. The rise of social media has become one of the primary methods in which people stay interconnected. Since 2008, the amount of people online has almost doubled, growing from 1.5 Billion users to 2.9 Billion by the end of 2014. That’s 20% of the world’s population and it is only increasing. As technology has developed, businesses have had to adapt in order to stay competitive and only those able to quickly shift their focus have been successful.
”Digital marketing is a science. We should all have realized by now that in the world of online, nothing happens by chance. Every GIF, Vine, video or comment that we see is most likely the result of somebody somewhere’s social media marketing strategy”. ‘’Edmund Ingham’’ Forbes Contributor.
We see this all the time with viral campaigns such as last year’s ‘’Ice Bucket Challenge’’. A viral campaign introduced by The ALS Foundation that required you to either donate $100 or video tape yourself dumping ice cold water on your head in order to simulate the effects of the deadly ALS disease. You then had to nominate a friend to do the same further causing the activity to spread from person to person. This was successful because it made people feel like a part of something bigger than themselves. In that instant, they felt like their participation made a difference in the global fight against the ALS disease. In a little under a year, this organization raised over 100 million dollars in donations. This is incredible.
Within the transportation industry, technological advances have been limited and have only provided slightly better transparency in terms of driver analytics. Shippers use GPS technology to track different carriers of their cargo and these apps provide specific data that time stamp freight movement. But is this all there is to do? Is such an important industry limited to merely tracking shipments with GPS technology? The answer is no. Although a very useful tool, the power of the internet reaches so much further than that. It allows us to innovate and become more than a financial establishment in the public eye. It allows companies to build a community of people who have all come together for a singular purpose.
The real solution is creating that ideal community. Socializing the transportation industry will be an immense challenge that only those who are dedicated to their internal purpose can achieve. Really finding a way to interact with their customers and maybe foster those relationships into long term CRM is a huge opportunity that the internet provides. Communication is the most important factor in the transportation industry. Social media is probably the biggest opportunity the world has seen in years to better its communication channels.
Only through transparent and authentic organizational culture can there be successful use of the internet within the transportation industry. The companies who understand this will soon dominate the market and create the kind of competitive differentiation that will unlikely be matched by anyone in the industry. There are a few companies in transportation that have started to test the depths of social media, but we have not seen anyone with a significant impact. Yet. When will we see the social innovation this industry so desperately needs? Only time will tell.