Exploring AI in Marketing, Personal Growth, and Diversity in the Workplace: Insights from Industry Experts LIVE at TMSA in Savannah
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Who wouldn’t want to accelerate mundane tasks, spark fresh ideas, and swiftly create content? Tune into our latest podcast episode where we, your hosts Trey Griggs and Blythe Brumleve, peel back the curtain on how ChatGPT and AI technologies are shaping the world of marketing and sales. We chat about the wonders of ChatGPT and Swell AI, and even guide you on creating large language models using your very own data sets. 

Rest assured, the conversation is not all tech. We pivot towards the subject of personal growth and its undeniable role in professional success. Joined by the industrious Kameel Gaines from Rigs On Wheels, we delve into how they use cutting-edge marketing strategies to reach drivers. We underscore the significance of curiosity, asking questions, and taking command of our schedules to make room for learning. 

Ever thought about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace? Eileen Dabrowski, director of learning and development at Reed TMS Logistics, joins us to share her enlightening thoughts on these momentous topics. We also spin the conversation towards alternative content avenues for marketing and sales professionals and the untapped potential of podcast sponsorships. Rounding off the discussion, we chat with David Hoppens and Mike Mikulik on the latest in the brokerage world,  starting a podcast, building a brand, and transportation marketing strategies. So gear up for an episode chock-full of valuable insights and practical advice!



Are you experienced in freight sales or already an independent freight agent? Listen to our Freight Agent Trenches interview series powered by SPI Logistics to hear directly from company’s agents on how they took the leap and found a home with SPI.

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Everything is Logistics is a podcast for the thinkers in freight. Follow the podcast to never miss an episode.

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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Blythe Brumleve: 0:00

LinkedIn presents Oh, welcome into another episode of everything is logistics a podcast for the thinkers in freight, we are presented by SPI logistics, if you're afraid aged, not working for SPI logistics, and what are you doing with your life, it's time to make that jump, make that move, go check out my friends over at SBI, three pl.com to learn more. And also,if you're in freight sales, and you're looking to start out on your own, what better way to do it then with your own support model through SPI which will be able to help you with that back office technology, access to more carriers, quality carriers,and, and all of that good stuff.So be sure to hit them up and make sure you tell them that everything is logistics podcast sent them to you, they support me and allows me to create, you know a lot of this content for y'all. And speaking of content,I am fresh off of the TMSA elevate conference. And that's what I wanted to talk to you about today. Because anytime you leave a conference, I feel like you have so many good ideas. But when you leave a marketing and sales conference, and you leave with even more ideas, and that's what I really wanted to break down today. So it's a little bit of an I don't want to say a little bit of an off the cuff show today. Because typically how I like to, to create a show is I like to write a copious amounts of notes, research, all that good stuff loaded up into a Google Doc. But today I am working with one little note pad. And if you can't see it, it is one little like kind of post it size note pad that what I am dealing with, it's my favorite,probably my favorite hack in the world is this little notepad called awkward notes, and you hang it up in your shower, and it's waterproof. And so if you're anything like me, and you come up with a good idea, and you don't immediately write it down, then you're going to forget it. So awkward notes helps me a ton. And that's where I am bringing my TMSA takeaways to you is from this little notepad, also some some cell phone takeaways while I was at the conference, so let's get into it. So So first things first is, you know, there's probably about six takeaways that I want to jump into. But the first one being is that with the conference itself with a typical conference, you have your normal sort of speaker events, lunches, you know, all that good stuff. But with the TMSA event, they kind of took a new approach this year. And I say as I was as if I'm not part of the board, but I actually I am an at large board member. So there are other people within the board and within the organization of TMSA that put blood sweat and tears into creating this conference. And this year, we had a new record amount of attendees, it was held in Savannah, Georgia. And it was just it was a beautiful location. And because it was in Savannah, Georgia, we were able to book into kind of like almost like a conference sandwich of events that in addition to the conference itself, so to kind of like the lay out the scene for you. The conference itself, it kind of starts on Sunday of this week. But a lot of people arrived on Saturday because one of the keynote speakers for the conference was an executive from the savannah bananas. And so what did we do, we all went to a or not all of us, but most of us went to a savannah bananas game that Saturday night. So we were able to see some of the best marketing in any industry live and in person. And if you want to, if you want to know is, you know, sort of, I guess the the behind a little bit of the behind the scenes, you know, me and my fellow sort of conference, buddy, and that's Whitney from over at kch transportation, we sat together during the game and we were making notes of all of the cool marketing aspects that we saw at the game and to take a lesson from this team. You know, minor league baseball is typically known as some of the most creative marketing moments in all of sports, they have some of the best promos, the best giveaways, the best food, you know, the combos, like the strange foods that you can get,you know, at ballparks all throughout the nation. And it's been bananas have really taken that level of, I guess,expectations when it comes to sports, and they kicked it up a notch. And so there were so many moments from at the game. We're just going to read through a few of them that they involve everyone it is an entire sort of entertainment from start to finish during the game. Now you know for a lot of like baseball purists. They don't like going to you know a savannah bananas game because it's not a quote on Well, real game. But what the bananas have done as a small market team is that well, I don't even know if you can consider them a small market team anymore. Maybe a small market team is the correct way to put it, but they have big impact. And they to the point where they are inviting, and garnering the attention of teams from all over the world. So this particular game, they had the in Australian minor league baseball team come over, that's kind of I would assume, kind of trying to do the same thing as the bananas. And that's to create a family fun, family friendly environment where everyone is involved. And when I say everyone, I mean, everyone. So a couple of examples. They had like the baby racing on the field, they had grandmas racing around the bases, they had moms,they had two moms of three,racing around the bases carrying their children, then they also have, you know, a cheerleading dance squad called the Nana's and they're all you know, you know, some older women, you know, Grandma looking types that are dancing on the field, in addition to the players themselves, that are dancing throughout, they're getting the crowd involved. I mean, it really was like they, they involved the crowd, at every aspect of this game. And so that was really interesting to see it from that perspective, where you have so many different touch points. And they just made the,they took all of the points of friction in a typical minor league baseball game, and they made it smoother. So one of those examples is with your ticket, you get all you can eat food. So all you can eat chicken sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs,popcorn, cookies, chips, soft drinks. Now you didn't have to pay for your beer, of course,that's not going to be free as it probably shouldn't be,because that's a huge, that's a huge cost. But all of that food being included in your ticket just made things so much easier,because you're able to get a grab bag, loaded up with food,and then go sit at your seat.And then you don't have to worry about sitting in line or standing in line. For more food,if you want to go back and get more food, you're more than welcome to and they're just removing that friction point of missing the entertainment because you're waiting in line to go and, you know, try to get some nachos or you know, to try to feed your family and paying exorbitant prices for you know,food that isn't the most expensive. And let's be honest,you know, everybody goes to the ballpark, and they probably want a hot dog. Think of how much that hot dog cost to them,probably 30 cents, it costs it for the bananas to actually purchase that and make it and serve it. But from the lens of the fan, the fact that that is included in their ticket makes things so much easier, so much less friction. So I thought that that was a really cool moment. A couple of other things had music going on the entire game. So there was no at no point did you feel like oh, this is kind of boring, like, oh, do I want to leave. And speaking of which I did here a while back before I ever went to a bananas game that they had studied the attendance and they had studied the crowds during their games. And what they would do is they would take photos of the crowd. And they would see when folks started leaving the game. And when they would start leaving the game was around the you know, the set the seventh thing. So they would leave after the seventh inning stretch typically, or even maybe a little bit before that,because they want to be you know, people want to be traffic and they want to get home. And if there's extra innings, they don't want to have to worry about getting the kids you know off of their sleep schedule and all of those things. So they made the game two hours. And then they studied the fans to see when they would be leaving the most. And then typically it was around the seventh inning.And it was because of all of those factors that I just mentioned. So by making these changes, they were able and making the entertainment changes as well they were able to keep butts in the seats for the entire game for the entire two hours. So from seven to nine,nobody was leaving, and everybody was in their seats,watching the entire production.So I thought that that was a really cool nugget to sort of see in person live in action of how they keep your attention in today's day and age when attention is very difficult to come by you're competing with cell phones, you're competing with Netflix, you're competing with all of these different entertainment options to be able to give folks and families you know that that set of expectations and to fulfill it and go up I would argue to go above and beyond fulfilling those expectations was really just you know, for lack of a better phrase a homerun and in my opinion, they involve the entire the entire team throughout the entire process.So there were always people were always you know, the ballplayers were walking through, going into the stands, walking around the stadium, throwing things into the stands, you know, to keep that crowd engagement really,really active. And I think that a music the entire game. I kind of already said that building food into your ticket pricing,lots of giveaways there. also had fun signage throughout the entire stadium to like I was walking through, you know, some of the bleacher areas. And there was one particular section that looked like it should be an alleyway that you should walk be able to walk through. And as soon as you look down, you look down, and there's just a cement wall. So there's no way for you to walk through there. But they did have a little sign that said, made you look. So I thought that that was That was clever that they had, you know,bathroom signs on the bathroom.For the men, it was a bit of a banana shaped, but the bow tie was around the neck. For the women's bathrooms, there was a bow tie, but it was the bow in the hair. So that was super cute. When you go into the bathrooms, they have the advertisements on you know, the,you know, when you sit down or especially for women, and when you sit down on the toilet, and you close the door, and there's signage there, there's advertising there, which is the most underutilized part of I think, any kind of event space bathroom space, if there's nothing on those doors, you're missing out on primo advertising. So they had that taken care of, of course, they also had little like motivational messages on all of the different mirrors within the bathroom. So it was just that you could tell that they were really thoughtful, not only with their entire sort of presentation as far as the team is concerned, but the presentation of the stadium as well. And like I said they had music going on there dancing,they had players on the field just interacting with everyone,so tons and tons of fun, from that respect. And then to piggyback off of that, we actually actually also had the savannah bananas team come over and be the keynote speaker at during the TMSA conference. And so a couple of those things,that I think, you know, it really sort of plays into a larger philosophy for the bananas is from the UK, some takeaways from the keynote itself, that mapping your people was a way that they are able to engage their employees to find out more about the employees before they ever actually start on the job. And what they found is that when they know an employee's favorite candy favorite musical act, something that that you know, a goal that they have of theirs that they want to do within five years, a trip that they want to take, you know, asking these questions,prior to an employee's start date, they were able to build welcome baskets, so with their favorite candy, and, you know,maybe, you know, now album or something from a favorite singer or something like that, they were able to build these little engagement packages so that when that employee started, they already felt like they were heavily invested into that place of employment, because that place of employment was already invested in them. And they did so by just asking, you know,simple questions, like, what are your favorite things, and then they went out and bought those favorite things and made that employee feel special. So that has a two fold effect where the employee feels much more of an emotional investment into that place of employment, which prevents turnover, but then also on the flip side, is that they also know that those employees,they're not going to probably stay with them forever. They're not going to work for the savannah bananas forever. But what they do count on is that when that employee does leave to go work somewhere else, that they're going to have the full support of the bananas, but they also know that that employee is going to speak glowingly about them for ever and for years and years to come. So that word of mouth that that referral based business, that hey, you should probably go look at getting a job at the bananas for XYZ reasons really goes a long way.So that was another takeaway from the keynote itself is how much the bananas invest not just from the team that you see on the field, but the team that is making those operations and making that game day experience much more impactful for the fans. Because then the fan, what are the fans gonna do kind of the same thing as the employees,they're gonna go home, they're gonna tell their network,they're gonna tell everyone how much fun they had. And that's gonna create that ripple effect that content snowball effect that I love to talk about so much on this show. Let me see about a couple of other takeaways. Oh, there was actually a video that they played during the takeaway during the keynote. It was from a former employee. And he said when I put my two weeks notice and they asked they meaning that bananas, asked this employee,how can we help and it meant the world to that employee, and he's going to talk lovingly about his time there forever. So keep in mind that that employee was leaving to go somewhere else.And the bananas executive team in the banana support team asked them when he made that announcement. How can we help and that made this employee so grateful for his time there that he really started he got emotional and He started tearing up. And so that was a really moving video that they played during the keynote. And they also talked about, you know,sort of the, the, the shift of when they started changing their marketing. And it really happened around 2020. So they were forced to reevaluate it,you know, with a lot of businesses, they were forced to reevaluate everything that they do. And that's really when they revamped their entire sort of entertainment offering, as far as the bananas was concerned. So they, you know, they're not comfortable with just staying in the same spot, they always want to take it to that next level,which is, I think, really applicable for a lot of different businesses, and, you know, really applicable for the survival mentality that a lot of businesses need to have today.Last one, from the keynote,which I thought was really powerful, and it is the power of saying yes, and, and it's in language that builds on positive and negative feedback. So if someone gives you some kind of negative feedback, using the phrase not disagreeing with them immediately, but using the phrase, yes. And the reason we do that is XYZ. So using that,yes, and a phrase to combat positive, or not to combat positive, but to combat negative feedback, negative opinions,things like that, agreeing with it, and saying, and yes, and this is why we do XYZ. So that was, I thought, a really important takeaway. So I mentioned earlier about the bookend event sandwiches without mentioning the final event of the TMSA conference. So we started off with the baseball game, then you have your conference. And then at the end of the conference, we got to tour the savannah port, which are the Port of Savannah. And that was so incredible for as someone who I live in a port city, I live in Jack's port, you know, I'll be visiting too much my Jacksonville JaxPort people,I will be visiting that port very soon in order to you know,give the same love to JaxPort my hometown, as I will be doing so here with the Port of Savannah,because it really was incredible to see this kind of operation up close and personal, the giant cranes, the giant ships, I mean,you see photos of these cargo ships, you see photos, and you probably drive by, you know, the the cargo cranes that are responsible for taking the containers off of the ship and loading them onto the port or loading them onto the chasis or,you know, trucks within the port infrastructure. You see those things, but you don't really grasp how large these things are, until you're in person. And so we were able to do a port tour. And actually anyone can do a port tour of the Port of Savannah, you just have to schedule it in advance, there's a private tour, you don't get to actually like walk around the port itself. It's strictly by bus. So you have a tour guide,he tells everything that goes on, you know, he knows the ins and outs of everything, the top commodity that shipped out of the Port of Savannah, it's typically cars, which is their biggest import, their biggest export, I believe, is chicken.And that is their that I think that the number one port in the United States as far as being the exporter of poultry products. So I thought that that was interesting, you learn all of these different, like commodity factoids, that when you take this port tour, so that was super interesting. Also,because of the history of Savannah, it's one of the nation's oldest cities, you know, with a complicated pasture to put it lightly. But it used to be where the port is now used to be plantation land. And on that plantation land, they also have a cemetery, which was crazy to be that there's a cemetery right on the the Port of Savannah land itself. So that highly, highly recommend doing a port tour, I believe it cost about 40 bucks to do it. So it was well worth it. And like I said, you get to see how massive these things are, and the organizational structure to think about, you know, where you're going to put the containers to make your systems work so efficiently. I just I mean, that is as a project manager as a type A, you know,planner type person, I just, I mean, all of that kind of organizational structure of how you can organize all of those different moving pieces literally and figuratively, to make sure that that that cargo rack goes from port to port,which is it was really incredible to see that firsthand. So that book end of of conference events, that book in conference sandwich was really impactful because you could have the marketing lessons from the savannah bananas, and then you also have the firsthand educational experience of touring the ports really come together to really I mean, it was it was the perfect sort of TMSA conference where you can see educational logistics type,information type experiences. In addition to you know, a savannah bananas game where you can see the marketing lessons like live and in person and a couple that in with, you know, your your your normal conference attendance, you know, speeches,lunches, that sort of thing. So so that was really, really impactful, I highly, highly recommend going to a savannah bananas game or at least watching some of their videos on YouTube. There's also you know,a couple books that they have for sale over on Amazon, you know, talk, I think fans first is one of the books, but I think they have three books total. But go to Amazon look those up because it really was that the their philosophy I think any industry can take lessons from and learn from and apply it to your industry as well. Let's,let's move on to a couple more different takeaways. The next takeaway I have is a live show as a main stage entertainment,I'm a little bit biased when I say that I really liked this takeaway, because I actually co hosted this along with Trey Griggs, he did a lot of the heavy lifting, as far as you know, the show planning, but we did an hour long show live show.In the middle of the conference started at 11am. We ended at 12.And then people immediately went to break for lunch. But it was,it was one of the first moments that I think that at least that I've experienced, where a live morning show, a live podcast is being taped on a main stage,typically with conferences that I've gone to, they've had media stages that aren't part of the main stage, this was part of the main stage where we were able to incorporate the crowd questions also feature, you know, guests and sponsors to have them come up on stage and talk about their different roles. So we had an incredible lineup of guests.It's live streamed or it was live streamed, so you can go over to the TMSA LinkedIn page,and you should be able to watch a replay of that. So that was a really great experience just to be able to, to get I mean,selfishly, to get back to my you know, it reminded me a lot of like doing live radio, when we would back in my Sports Radio Days, we would do these live shows at different restaurants around town. And we would host them in coordination with the local fan groups. So think of like the Florida State Seminoles, or the Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, those are all, you know, schools that have a very heavy college presence here in North Florida.And so what we would do is we would coordinate with a player that was on the Jaguars in a former alumni of one of those schools. And then we will coordinate it with the alumni group that's here locally in town. And we would have a live show at a restaurant. And it was always a ton of fun. So I didn't realize how much I kind of missed that environment until being able to be up on stage during that, you know that that live show environment. So thank you to Jen, Jennifer carpus vervain. She's the executive director over at the TMSA for asking me to do it. And then for Trey for letting me to kind of tag along with and co host with him on the show. It was super fun. So hopefully, that's something that we can keep going at future events. So really,really loved that I would highly recommend to any event organizers out there that that is a really great way to get the crowd involved. Kind of take a lesson from the bananas playbook where you can get the crowd involved, you can get your your sponsors and your speakers involved. And then you can also get the internet involved because it was live streamed. So it wasn't just the crowd that was watching it was you know,the TMSA audience back at home.Maybe they weren't able to make it so you get kind of a little you know, a sneak peek of what the TMSA is all about. Are you in freight sales with a book of business looking for a new home?Or perhaps you're afraid agent in need of a better partnership?These are the kinds of conversations we're exploring in our podcast interview series called The freight agent trenches sponsored by SPI logistics. Now I can tell you all day that SPI is one of the most successful logistics firms in North America who helps their agents with back office operations, such as admin finance it and sales, but I would much rather you hear it directly from SBI sprayed agents themselves. And what better way to do that than by listening to the experienced freight agents tell their stories behind the how and the why they joined SPI.Hit the freight agent link in our show notes to listen to these conversations. Or if you're ready to make the jump visit SPI three pl.com. In our industry we talk we talk about what works and what doesn't. And carton clouds easy to use warehouse and transport management software sure has people talking carton clouds WMS and TMS is designed for growing three peels, giving you the tools you need to compete with the major players with flexible pricing, no lock in contracts and expert local support.They've helped nearly 500logistics companies worldwide with hundreds of five star customer reviews. Want to check it out for yourself Everything is logistics listeners can get50% off your first three months with carton cloud, head on over to the carton cloud.com website and see the show notes for more information.As maybe some of you folks have experience, when you get back from a conference, you are kind of running on fumes. And that's what I'm doing today. But there's just, there's really so much great content that came out of this, I have notes and notes of things that I want to talk about, can't fit it all into one show. So let's move on to the next takeaway. And that is,there are so many marketers who are finding success right now.And I know I talk about on this show, in particular, the things that I hear and the things that I know that marketers are experiencing. And admittedly, it has been a lot of a little bit,not a lot, a little bit of doom and gloom, a little bit of struggle. You know, we all know that when industry struggle,when the economy struggles, the first thing that gets cut is marketing. And that historically has always been the case because it's easy to cut it, especially in I would imagine for today's day and age where a lot of businesses don't know how to attribute success to marketing.So we tend to talk about a lot of the bad and how you can avoid the bad and how you can kind of,you know, grow from the bad. But there were a lot of teams that are growing in transportation logistics, especially in their marketing department, Whitney over at kch transportation is one of those, she has a team of eight people now, which is awesome to see. And GLT Logistics is another marketing team that's growing it s Logistics is another marketing team that's growing. And I think the commonality between the three of them, among others, is that marketing is supported at an organizational foundational level. So they know that marketing is not a silver bullet, they know that it's not just a case of like, you know,let's put an advertisement out there. And all of a sudden,we're gonna get, you know, 100leads, and that's how you know we're going to survive as a company. We're not talking about companies that do that we're talking about companies that genuinely believe that marketing is an important fundamental aspect to their company's success. And they put their money and their patients where their mouth is, if that makes sense. So they put their money where their mouth is, but then they also have the patience to,to see it through and to trust their leaders, that they are making the right investment content decisions. And so those are paying off in in a variety of different ways. So shout out to those three companies, I'm sure there are more. But those in particular, are companies that I spoke with that talked about, you know, how they're finding success, and growing their marketing teams, and that that commonality, that commonality really starts at the organizational foundational level, you have to feel like you're supported as a marketer,from the executive team, to know that you can have a little bit of leeway when it comes to the time it's going to take to see true ROI for marketing investments. If you start a content marketing plan, right now, you're probably not going to see anything for at least six months, you're probably not going to see any kind of success for at least six months, because you have to build on what you're creating. And the only way you can build on what you're creating is by talking to customers listening in on those sales conversations, and then taking those conversations and putting them into your content plan through your social, your email, your website, all of those different touch points. So then that way, the messaging is consistent throughout the entire organization, and then also at a digital level as well. So shout out to those three companies who are actually on the opposite side of things where they're seeing success, and they're growing, versus some of the other, you know, maybe negative stories that we hear about teams getting laid off. So they're,you know, hopefully that's a little bit of hope for folks who are out there that if you're investing in your marketing team, and the marketing team is doing their due diligence by sitting in on sales conversations sitting in on operations meetings, finding out what the prospects are asking what customers are asking and then building content, in addition to that, or it because of those conversations, then you know that you have a winning formula that's going to pay off sooner rather than later. All right. Next sort of takeaway conference. location matters in Savannah was perfect. Savannah,for folks who have never been to Savannah, it is a very small town in the southeast. It is about two hours north of Jacksonville and about two hours south of Charleston. So it's right there and you know, right on the water and when I say that this was a perfect conference location for logistics. It really was because we were located at the Hyatt Regency,which is right on the Savannah River. And those big container ships come right through the river which was incredible to see You kind of have that big backdrop. And it is so funny to be able to witness folks in supply, I would imagine that any other conference that goes on in that location, and they see a container ship going by, they probably look by and say, Oh,that's cool. And then they go,but right back to what they're doing at a supply chain conference, and then another No,everybody's stopping what they're doing. They're going outside, they're taking photos,they're taking selfies with the ship in the background. So I thought that that was that was really cool to see is that for a lot of marketing and sales,folks, we don't get to see this stuff, like up close in, in person. So it couldn't have been a you know that this was a fantastic choice for a conference. And so it was really, really cool to not only see that in person, but to experience it with other folks who are just as passionate about the industry as you are. So that was another little takeaway.Next one, TMSA feels so community driven, and I cannot stress this enough. One of one comment, and I'm sorry, I'm blanking on her name right now.But she said that she had heard so many things about how TMSA is so community driven prior to coming to this conference, and then she came to the conference,and all of those things were true. That makes I know, it makes me happy. I know, it makes the rest of the board happy, and everybody else who is a TMSA member, it makes all of us feel very happy. Because we pride ourselves on having those conversations with other folks knowing that, you know, a rising tide lifts all sails and and for, you're not necessarily worried that you're going to share, you know, trade secrets with your competition, it's not like that it's everybody is sharing where they're finding success, where they're struggling, and offering help offering insight into how they can help you get better, or how you can help somebody else get better. Everybody knows that not everything is going to work for each and every person each and every you know, company or initiative or goals. But you should be able to cherry pick some of those things, and be able to apply it into your own business. And so a lot of that information sharing among marketing and sales professionals, is so driven by the community that exists within TMSA. And so if you are you know, even thinking about becoming a member, or even thinking about checking out the organization, just go to the website, and you know, follow them on on social media, and then you'll be able to get that kind of a hint. And then you'll be able to if the budget can you know, you can budget it appropriately. And you know,attend in the future maybe attend to virtually but first,and then you can go to you know,you can experience an in person event. Next year, we celebrate100 years of TMS 100 years of marketing and sales in the transportation industry, which is incredible, as far as an association is concerned. And it's going to be in New Orleans.So New Orleans, right on the water, fantastic city, great food, great entertainment. And it's going to kind of be a little bit of the same you know,I mentioned earlier, like a conference sandwich, we're going to kind of aim to do the same thing over in New Orleans. So be sure to follow TMSA to get more information, more announcements about that, I believe you can already buy your tickets to that. So become a member first.Buy your tickets, you know, do all the do all the things, but just know that as a marketer or sales professional, if you are a one person team, or if you're a small team, and you're feeling like you're a little lost, like you're a little alone, this is the community for you, because you're going to be held to no matter if you're working at, you know, a transportation company right now. Or maybe you switch jobs to another transportation company, then you know, you always have a home within this community of you know, really,really experienced professionals and then also from the just very, like rookie level. So community is the biggest selling aspect that I think the TMSA has, is just being able to be that resource to other folks who really are just like you that trying to solve a lot of the same problems that you are, so I cannot cannot recommend the community enough. Okay, um, last couple ones. As far as like anecdotally, a lot of the conversations that happened, AI and podcasting were huge. And now I can say this sort of anecdotally because I talk a lot about AI. I have a podcast and so a lot of other businesses were talking to me a lot about that. I hosted a roundtable talk during one of the lunches on chat GPT and how you can start using it in your business, and I cannot tell you how happy it made me to suggest a few tools that will help these marketers and healthy sales professionals and business owners be able to increase their productivity with a limited budget and limited time. Those tools are going to help them tremendously. I hope they do anyways, the only reason why I would mention them is hopefully that that they help.So check GBT is a tool,obviously, that I'm going to mention, because it's a topic of the actual show itself. They have a new app that you can download, and you can use it on your mobile device. There's a lot of different enhancements coming to that platform, which is really going to you know, I already use that now, more than I search for things in Google on my phone. So I'm already using the chat GPT app significantly more. Another tool that I'll mention is chat spot is is an a large language model that sits on top of your CRM, and HubSpot.That's another big one. It's fairly new. I'm a big fan of Dharmesh, which is HubSpot, CTO,and I believe he was a co founder as well, I'm a big fan of his, and he actually coded chat spot himself on a whim. And so now he's kind of spun it up himself, which I love that an executive will still be able to,they're not too good to get back in the weeds again, and get back in the trenches, and start executing on a new idea and just feel passionate about something and just run with it. So Dharmesh is the person that you know, coded this. And now he's got, you know, a little bit of a budget a little bit more of a team backing him that they've put around him, you know, with the Chatbot product, but it sits on top of your CRM data. And you can pull additional insights from your own CRM from your own data. And you can use chat spot on top of your already paid for HubSpot plans. So that was another one. And the last one I'll mention is writer.com,which I think that most companies, if you are creating content, no matter what industry you're in, you should be checking them out, they're very affordable, you can upload your entire sort of content database.So think of it as like all of your blogs, all of your transcripts from every maybe podcasts you've done, video,you've recorded, PowerPoint,you've created, anything like that Google Docs, any kind of learning materials that you've created, you can load that into writer.com. And then you can start building out content that's into your own company voice, your own personal voice,you can choose tone, how you're going to use it, whether it's for blog material, or for future content, ideas that you want to create, based on the content that you've already created, you know, writer.com, very affordable, I think it's about20 bucks a month, per person. So it's very, very, I've tried it out so far. And it is one of those tools that I think is going to be a game changer for a lot of businesses out there. So if you haven't tried it out, try that one, too. So AI and podcasting were a huge thing,more companies are starting their own podcasts, more individuals are starting their own podcasts, which makes me extremely excited and happy to hear because podcasting is is the you know, if you're listening to this, you know that it's one of those things where you don't have to be constrained to you know, a five or 10, maybe even 15 minute long interview,you can talk for as long as the conversation deems appropriate.So whether you are hosting a show solo, you're interviewing subject matter experts, you're interviewing your customers. All of this can be used as a research mechanism to get to know your audience to get to know your customers, and be able to create content that resonates with them. And it doesn't necessarily have to be a podcast like this, it can just be a simple was out, I'll put some links in the show notes. I don't want to get started down a train of talking you guys how to start, you know, a podcast because I've covered it plenty in depth in the past. And I mean, that deserves its own,like multiple, multiple deep dive shows. So but it made me really, really happy to see that a lot of folks are using these tools, these communication tools to be able to have these sort of in depth conversations that can really fuel the rest of your marketing ship. So those were a few takeaways from the event.One more thing that I did want to bring up is we also had a shippers panel at the event which shippers panels for folks who have maybe gone to like Tia in the past or other conferences where they have shippers that get up on stage and they give insight into what works best for them as far as communication marketing sales strategies, what they're experiencing what they wish they knew more of, from their relationships with their vendors, such as the brokers and the carriers. They really, that shines so much light on to what they're going through and then that helps everyone else with it. In the industry, know how they want to be contacted, and how they want to be approached and how they want to be sold to and marketed to, that it really can help you cut out a lot of extra time and a lot of extra BS. And you know, just a useless work that you may be creating,that isn't going to resonate at all with a shipper in the future. And so being able to have them up on stage and to share their perspective really,really went a long way. And I'm going to share a few of those takeaways with you now, because I will say, also, anecdotally,I've interviewed half a dozen shippers, and they've been on the podcast before and actually have an entire landing page dedicated to just the shipper point of view, those shows are always my most successful,because we very rarely hear from shippers, and we very rarely hear from their perspective. So I think it was really smart of the TMSA to have that additional panel so that these frontline,you know, marketing and sales professionals can know what works and know what doesn't. So few takeaways that I will share with you. And the first one is templated emails are a no go.One, even in Gmail, one of the shippers commented that they can tell when you use a template to to replace the name, or the company because the font or the color changes in the email itself. So when you're crafting those cold emails, and you're sending them out, and you're sending them out in mass, and they're not personalized, and they're not well researched,that it's one of those things that they can spot a mile away,they can spot those templated emails a mile away, you're gonna get deleted, and you're not going to get a response. So if you have the time and the capacity to do so, which you should I mean, this is directly coming from the shippers mouth,personalize the email, right at fresh have. Having a framework to work off is great. But just know that there are other detection methods of how the shippers on the other end can see if that email was actually personalized or not. And so if there's a font change a color change within the email body itself, they know that you didn't personalize that message.They know that you didn't take that due diligence. And so they're not going to take that time to respond to you. They're just going to delete and move on99% of the time. So templated emails are a no go. Also they said absolutely. Don't call me Don't call don't call me. Don't cold call me that was sent by every single shipper that was on there was only three. But every single shipper said do not cold call me and they it was a resounding Affirmative, don't cold call me very simple,straight to the point. So I know that there are a lot of folks out there who still believe in the power of a cold call. Sure.But at the end of the day, if your prospect and the person that you're going after is telling you that they don't want to be cold called Don't do it,don't do it, warm up the introduction, connect with them on social media First, don't DM them a sales pitch immediately after connecting with them. They also mentioned that they hate doing that they hate getting those. So make sure you really put the time the effort in to build on those to start those relationships from an authentic way. And then to build on those,you know, from an organic perspective, which organic and authentic are just words that are infinitely overused, but they also are infinitely important, both on the shipper side and then on, you know, just from yourself, you know, just knowing that if you're going to take the time to do the research and to write an email to someone, what if you meet that person in the future? And what if it wasn't you who wrote that email? You know, I would just I don't know, I would feel very strange to have a conversation with somebody that I sent an email to. And I pretended to personalize it. And yet it didn't come from me. I didn't actually do the research. And so when that person actually met with me in person, then I have no idea what they're talking about. And think of how embarrassing that that would look on you to not be able to remember that customer interaction, but that customer interaction was remembered on their end. So keep that in mind as well. Another takeaway expertise matters. You would much rather have someone who has moved that kind of freight before who's moved to kind of commodity or type of equipment before move that lane before expertise matters to the shippers and so being able to start off the conversation with your experience. And or their I would say not your experience,but hint to your experience by hinting to their pain points. So don't immediately that was another thing that they brought up. Don't immediately start talking about everything that your company does and who you are and yada yada. They don't care. They care about how can you solve their problem. So if you have that expertise, then you know what problems are already experiencing. Speak to them. I was and then use your social media presence, use your website use these other tools of communication as a way to solidify that experience, but talk about their problems first and show that you have some expertise in their company and in the freight that they're moving. All right. All right,last two ones, sales should have a relationship with their operations team to know that when the deal is landed, that everything sales discussed happens on the operational side of things, too. So that was another really big one, make sure that sales and ops are communicating regularly, so that those expectations are met. As a salesperson, the last thing you want to happen, and I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here, and I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. But from the lens of you've done all the hard work, you did all the sale, you lated the deal, make sure the operations team is at least aware of those terms and conditions, and so that they can fulfill that end of the bargain.And so then that way, your customers at last, you know, two months after you onboard them,because of communication have an internal communication error on your part. And trust me if they do not say if,if you have to clean up your own internal communications, then that is a red flag to the shippers to know that you don't even have an eye a grasp of what's going on in your own building, how could you possibly have a grasp on what's going to go on with my freight. And so that's what these shippers are thinking. So make sure that you are regular sales and operations and marketing are meeting regularly. So everybody is on the same page. You know, one of the top sort of tips that I've heard is, you know, from a an internal marketing perspective,is that you want to make sure that everyone within the organization is on the same page first, before you start marketing that message to external parties. So that's just, I think a really good lesson for marketing and sales is to make sure that everybody from marketing sales and operations are on the same page.Final one, keeping communication consistent in the market,whether it's your first whether it's the first month you're working with them, or the first few years, quote, don't disappear after you won the business. And so what they were referring to is that during COVID, there, were they what the shippers were personally experiencing is that they had a lot of communication, regular communication of what's going on in the market, how it's affecting their freight, how it's affecting their pricing,and that that was communicated regularly. But now with the market turned a little bit, it's not you know, sort of this gold rush anymore. Now it's a situation where everybody's fighting for their life and communication from your current customers is dwindled. And so they're not hearing from their account reps from their sales reps from their ops teams on a regular basis like they were to,and they want that they want that regular communication so they can sit whether the market is tight, or whether it's a bull or a bear market, they want that regular communication. So that was another little takeaway from the shippers panel. So that was about six or seven, I think takeaways that I gave you a plus the Savannah, bananas,takeaways, which I can't even count right now, it's probably closer to like 20 takeaways from from TMSA. So hopefully, you enjoyed, you know, this little bit of a of a roundup of all of the big takeaways, at least from my perspective, that I experienced, attending TMSA Elevate, like I said, the community is, is just so powerful with this group, that if you are at any the slightest interest, I highly recommend just at minimum, following the group on social media, LinkedIn is the platform where they are most active. So I would suggest following them there, you know,connecting with other board members, you know, there were all listed, you know, under the employee section of the TMSA,LinkedIn page connect with all of us there, Jennifer, who is the executive director is constantly on, you know,different podcasts and shows and so she's always sharing the perspectives and the goals of the TMSA. So highly, highly recommend giving her a follow and really listening in on anytime she does an interview. I mean, she she really is leading this nearly 100 year old Association into the modern age.And it's been incredible to watch from my first TMSA last year where we had, you know, a little over 100 people attend that conference to this year where we had 236 people attend in person, which, you know,obviously there are other events where 1000s of people show up,but this event, you can really have those in depth conversations and really get those key takeaways to help you better yourself have that you know, own internal growth trajectory be increased, and then you can better your company or you maybe your next company,you know, by learning the things that you learned from these people and from this event, so I cannot cannot state it. More enough, more Enough, enough more. That that's where my brain is kind and about right now, you guys got me with all of the takeaways. I will have more content coming about this conference, especially from a social media perspective, I've got a lot of great V roll from the bananas game and from the port tours, so I'll be sharing those in the coming weeks. Just be sure to check out my socials,for more of that information,but that about does it. I am going to go make a sandwich and I'm going to lay my behind on the couch and answer some emails. Which is I guess you know, sort of the things you got to do after you get back from a conference is to catch up on email inbox health, which is what I am currently experiencing at the moment. So hope you all enjoyed this conversation to find more of my work be sure to hit up everything is logistics.com. And until next time, I will see you all real soon and go Jags I hope you enjoy this episode of everything is logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. Subscribe to the show,sign up for our newsletter and follow our socials over at everything is logistics.com. And in addition to the podcast, I also wanted to let y'all know about another company I operate.And that's digital dispatch where we help you build a better website. Now a lot of the times we hand this task of building a new website or refreshing a current one off to a coworkers child, a neighbor down the street or stranger around the world where you probably spend more time explaining the freight industry than it takes to actually build the dang website.Well, that doesn't happen at Digital dispatch. We've been building online since 2009. But we're also early adopters of AI automation, and other website tactics that help your company to be a central place to pull in all of your social media posts,recruit new employees and give potential customers a glimpse into how you operate your business. Our new website builds start as low as $1,500 along with ongoing website management,maintenance and updates starting at $90 a month plus some bonus great marketing and sales content. Similar to what you hear on the podcast. You can watch a quick explainer video over on digital dispatch.io Just check out the pricing page once you arrive and you can see how we can build your digital ecosystem on a strong foundation. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this episode. I'll see you all real soon and go Jags

About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.