Four-time CMO Rachel Meranus talks Transfix’s 2022 rebrand and building a high-performance marketing team
Episode Transcript

Rachel Meranus started out in public relations but found her way into marketing during her career. She has held the position of chief marketing officer (CMO) four times and is now the chief revenue and marketing officer at Transfix. During this discussion, she covers her time as Chief Marketing Officer, the rebranding of Transfix 2022, and the process of constructing a high-performance marketing team.

Shippers and carriers are able to interact with one another and have their truckload transportation optimized with the assistance of Transfix, a software-first logistics firm. Transfix has been in business for ten years, and its technology matches shippers and carriers on specific loads and lanes through automation and data modeling. In addition to the brokerage platform they provide, Transfix also provides software solutions that aid shippers and carriers with the execution, optimization, and management of truckload transportation. These solutions are available for both shippers and carriers.

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Show Transcript

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Blythe Brumleve:

Welcome to another episode of everything is logistics a podcast for the thinkers in freight. I'm your host Blythe Brumleve, and I'm happy to welcome in Rachel Miranda's Chief Revenue and marketing officer at transfix. And she's gonna be talking about her experience as a four time CMO, the transfixed 2020 to rebrand and building a high performing marketing team. Rachel, welcome into the show. Thank you so much, Bryce. I'm really happy to be here. Absolutely. So as I just mentioned, you're a four time CMO. But take us back to before you were ever a CMO? Was marketing a role that you know you just kind of fell into? Or were you drawn to it?

Rachel Meranus:

Yeah, great question. Because there's a different path for everyone I find. I actually started my career on the PR side. So on pure public relations, corporate communications, I skipped around different industries in the first couple of years of my career. And then I settled in at a company and I spent about five years there running PR getting promoted, you know, throughout the PR, you know, career path, and so forth. And one day, the CEO came up to me and said, Hey, how do you feel about taking on marketing, and I said, Hey, sure, why not. And I literally fell into the job. And so from that day forward, I really built my career around marketing. And it was, it was an interesting time to get into marketing, because it was right at the time where all of the marketing automation tools were coming on the market. So Salesforce had kind of established itself in the CRM space. And I remember sitting down and go into Google marketing platform like Salesforce, at I literally came upon at the time Marketo, which was, you know, one of the leading platforms they had just launched, and I became a super early customer of theirs. And, you know, from from there forward, kind of built my career around marketing, digital marketing, product marketing, obviously, communications, and PR was still a big part of that. But really the sort of full integrated marketing scope. And then I went on and, you know, grew from there and became cmo somewhere along the lines. And you know, just continued that.

Blythe Brumleve:

And now with your role within transfix give us a sense of who transfix is for you know, it obviously, as part of the logistics industry, its software first approach. But give us a sense of of the type of customer that that transfix is for.

Rachel Meranus:

Yeah, sure. So transfix has been around for almost 10 years now. Our co founders came together in 2013, to sort of disrupt the traditional brokerage model. DREW. McIlroy, who is one of our co founders had grown up in the logistics space, his parents had had a, you know, a traditional analog brokerage he had worked there. And he really believed that there was a better way to do things that there was a way to drive inefficiencies out of the system, that there was a way to, you know, bring shippers and carriers closer together and, and improve and optimize the entire process from end to end. So he found another co founder, Jonathan Salama, who is our CTO. And together, they built this that was really the first digital freight brokerage platform. And that was back in 2013. Now since then, and I think we're probably going to get into this a little bit, but since then, we've we've added a lot of different elements to that. So we serve both the shipper and the carrier through this brokerage or marketplace platform. It is an AI powered digital brokerage that uses automation, data modeling and so forth to be able to match shippers and carriers on specific loads and lanes. In addition to that, we've got a software offering for both shippers and carriers that helps to execute and optimize and manage you know, truckload transportation, if you will. And then of course, we have all of our incredible logistics experts. So what I alluded to that I think we're going to talk about later is, you know, in order to kind of take credit for all of the things that we are today, we did a rebrand earlier this year. And we looked at, you know, what are what are ways in which a we can differentiate and be, we can really encompass the brokerage, the software, the expertise, the data, modeling the data science and all those things into one, you know, easy to kind of umbrella term, if you will, and we came up with the intelligent freight platform. And so that is what kind of encompasses all that we do today. But yeah, we serve shippers, so we serve, you know, mid sized large enterprise shippers. And we also serve carriers and our sort of bread and butter carrier is like the mid size carrier. So we do work with owner operators. And we do work with some of the large asset carriers. But mostly our core is that midsize carrier.

Blythe Brumleve:

And so what transmits to the company, you know, going through this rebrand over the last year you were present for that is, is it safe to say that you that was one of the first things you wanted to tackle when, when joining transfix? Or, or work? What drew you into transfix? Initially? And then, what was those first moments? We were like, Okay, we gotta get some of this changed.

Rachel Meranus:

Yeah. So I sort of happened upon transfix, or it happened upon me. You know, one of the things that in the past, I think five years in the marketing community is there now these networks, which never existed when I was growing up in the industry. And so I'm part of a bunch of different cmo networks, and we all try and help each other out. And you know, especially when there are opportunities, and someone passed along this opportunity to me and I got a chance to sit down and meet Lilly Shan, who is our CEO and president and I had never, I knew nothing about transportation and logistics or supply chain or anything like that. I was a history, major European history, taught even US history. And I sat down with Lily, and she sort of told me her journey with transfix. And it just sounded really exciting. I had been doing a lot of mahr tech work for much of my career, I had been CMO of a couple of different Mar tech companies. And I wanted something different, I wanted something that was more tangible, that was making a difference, you know, ESG, diversity and inclusion, all of those things, were very important to Lilly having a female CEO, you know, especially in an industry like this, like at all, it all sort of, it just was very interesting to me. And so it was kind of a short courtship, we quickly, you know, made plans to to meet everyone. And I came on board in August, September of last year. And one of the first projects that I undertook, you know, in partnership with the exec team was the rebrand. And it took us, you know, took us until we really didn't launch until end of March, I believe, is when we launched the rebrand. And, you know, that was inclusive of a new website, and, you know, a reskin of our mobile app and all of that. So it was a pretty big endeavor that we did in a fairly quick turnaround. But you know, I think it was well worth all of the hard work that was put in during that time.

Blythe Brumleve:

And so it was kind of serendipitous that you, you came into this role with transfix. And as someone who, you know, like, you kind of say, I didn't really know much about transportation and logistics, what was that learning curve, kind of like for you? Because there's, you know, we kind of talked about this in the pre show, but there's so many different acronyms about logistics, and marketing and kind of the the learning curve is steep for a lot of especially entry level marketers that come into the space. So I'm curious as to how you approach the learning curve of transportation and logistics?

Rachel Meranus:

Yeah. So I think it's an important question. And I think you're right, that, you know, it's it is hard, hard for entry level people to even sort of see the bigger picture of what we're doing, if they've come from, you know, traditional, digital b2b or what have you. So I approach everything by you know, with like, a learner's mentality, I read as much as I possibly can. And I ask as many questions as I possibly can. And I, you know, approach it from the perspective of I will be a lot dumber if I don't ask this question than if I do. So. Thankfully, this organization is just so open and welcoming, and everybody was there to kind of help bring me on board. And to this day, I mean, I have a question every single day about the industry. And, you know, I know exactly who to go to, it's about navigating the org as well, understanding who who's, you know, can help you with the specific questions that you're asking. I still run things by the people who've been here, or who've lived in this industry for a long time on a regular basis. And it just makes me better each day at what I do. In terms of entry level, you know, I, I had I hired the bulk of the team. After getting here, I had a couple of really amazing core people on the team that I inherited, thank God, they kept the trucks running, if you will, while I got acclimated. And while we started to build out the team overall. But one of the things that I actually sort of utilized in my pitch in hiring people was that this was an opportunity to transform the way an industry communicates. And the way you know, and the way it goes, goes to market. Really, you know, I think you and I were briefly talking about this in the pre show, but marketing is not something that has been front and center in, you know, the logistics industry for very long, I think. I think it's up and coming now. But I think up until now, it's been a lot of you know, yeah, we'll run some ads, we'll do some conferences and so forth. It hasn't been analytics driven, data driven. It hasn't been targeted. It hasn't been, you know, based on a Have a narrative and a story that you want everyone to be able to tell. And so when I'm pitching people to come on the team, I'm telling them about this transformation. So not only is the supply chain and logistics overall going through massive transportation, but so is the marketing industry within this broader industry. So I think that's a big selling point for someone who wants to, you know, leave a mark on something.

Blythe Brumleve:

And so when you're first getting into transfix, or getting into the day to day, you're you probably quickly realized, Okay, well, we probably need to do a rebrand. And as you're going through the process of a rebrand, it takes me through that that process, what was important to you to prioritize maybe in like a first phase versus a second phase? Or did it you just do it all at once? Walk me through that process of what that rebrand looked like?

Rachel Meranus:

Yeah. So So I think, you know, the, we have to agree kind of going into it, what we wanted to do and what we didn't want to do, so what was on the table and what wasn't on the table. So for example, there was no way we're going to change our name, that was not going to happen, our name is our name, it has a lot of equity, and so forth. But our logo didn't represent what we believed sort of the future of our company should be and it didn't, it didn't exude sort of like modern, you know, cutting edge innovative. And so we agreed to, you know, before we even found the agency, we're going to work with that we wanted to include a logo in that rebrand. We talked a lot about, you know, the positioning statements, the mission, the vision. So it was the words and the pictures, right, it was both of those things that we needed to do a pretty big overhaul on. And, you know, I had the benefit of Lilly, who our CEO who has a marketing background, you know, and has a really intuitive and creative eyes. So she was a great partner and all of this. But at the end of the day, we we, you know, we agreed that we were going to change the language that we were going to try and get credit for all the things that we do, we're going to try and differentiate in this sea of, you know, sameness, we wanted to look more modern. And we agreed that we were going to take our vision and the mission and all of that and just Morfitt just take it one step further. So we didn't completely rip and replace everything, we kind of did it, you know, step by step, the website was a major overhaul, we, we really wanted to just change that sort of storefront, if you will, and all of the visuals associated with it. It's still a work in progress, as I think any website should be. But you know, we got that the change for the brand launch. And we've been iterating and doing testing and you know, really learning about our audience and what converts and all of that over the past nine months now, I guess.

Blythe Brumleve:

I love that. Yeah, I love that you said a website is never truly done, because that is something that I think I take on probably too much, once or twice every six months. Maybe I'm I'm tweaking something major on the site, which is probably, you know, for better or worse. But you know, it is that work in progress, always. Because you always want it to get better, especially when it comes to your storefront, like you said, and so you had mentioned something earlier, the was this a a task that you undertook internally? Or did you rely on, you know, consultants or agencies or you know, your internal team? Or maybe it's a combination of all of them? How did you approach it team wise?

Rachel Meranus:

Yeah, so we did end up working both with an external agency as well as our internal designers and, and communications experts, messaging experts. I had a fortuitous moment where I had just joined the company just put it on LinkedIn, I was in the middle of doing the, the the agency reviews, and someone that I used to work with, at a different agency reached out to me and said, I see you just took a you know, on the CMO role. I've done rebrands in the logistics industry. And it was literally like, the day before I was about to make a decision. So I was like you have 24 hours to send me a proposal. Wow. And you've got to do better than this. And they did and they ended up winning the business. Wow. Yeah. So I got to work with someone who I knew and trusted as well as someone who had had the knowledge of the industry pre this work, which was very helpful since I did not have a knowledge of the industry free this work.

Blythe Brumleve:

So when you're when you're building that, that team so you have the I guess the the luxury of having somebody that does have that experience with real with logistics rebrands. And then you'd also mentioned that you had a hat you inherited, you know, a team of marketers within the organization. What does the team look like now? Or how has that team evolved? Are there certain positions that you're prioritizing? Give us a sense of what the team looks like?

Rachel Meranus:

Yeah, So, when I joined, we had a bunch of fantastic marketers who were wearing many, many hats. And one of the first things that I wanted to do was understand where they wanted to sit what they wanted their career to look like, and marketing, and, you know, make sure that we built around them. And so we, you know, we had a couple of product marketers, one of whom wanted to kind of switch more into a different, you know, brand and ESG role. I had some some great comms people, great designers. And so I just tried to augment the team and put people in places that I knew they could grow with it. So today we have, we have the little design hubs or creative hub, we have a creative director and one designer, we have a little content communications hub. So we've got someone who's managing all of our external communications, as well as our content strategy, our podcast, which has become a really big part of of our thought leadership strategy. And then we of course, have you know, our revenue marketing and our product marketing team. So very lean team, you know, two in each, if you will, to product marketers to revenue marketers someone on top of them, but that's really the whole team so content communications, creative thought leadership, demand gen product marketing.

Blythe Brumleve:

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Rachel Meranus:

look like? Yeah, yeah. I love this question. So one of the things that I think, you know, I bring to the table wherever I go, is a just deep desire to understand the business from all areas of the business. So I don't believe that a marketer can do a good job marketing if they don't really understand the business across everything. So that obviously means sitting in sales seat, understanding how they operate, understanding, you know, what that go to market strategy looks like. So wherever I go, my first sort of partnership, and I make sure of this in the interview process is with the CRO. And so early on here, we the CRO that I think it was Chief Customer Officer at the time, and I just really, you know, gelled immediately, and we started to bring our teams as close together as we could. Since then, I actually recently took over the CRO role. So I am now running CRO and CMO. So I'm sitting, we're calling it the CRMO or the CMR. What whichever

Blythe Brumleve:

one, I do acronym,

Rachel Meranus:

acronym, yes, I'm starting something new. And so between, you know, my leadership team, I've got the VPs of sales, the VPs of marketing in the head of revenue operations. And to me, that is the integrated team that, you know, determines how we go to market, how we tell our story, you know, how we, how we create and capture demand in the market. And it's got to be a fully integrated approach. So it's exciting to be sitting on top of both, but I've never felt like I had to own sales. In order to be able to do that. I've always felt like I've been a very good you know, bridge or if you will, I've built I build bridges between sales and marketing, because it's important to me, and that's the only way I can be successful

Blythe Brumleve:

100% Because I mean, it sounds like you're you're very data driven, and it's so it's just increasingly important for marketers to understand what's driving revenue, so I love that you actually married the two positions. And so it's like it feels like a core principle now for transfix in order to prioritize both of those roles and how they play off of each other in play together. But now that you know sort of your you feel like maybe your team has been built the rebrand is complete. What does a typical sort of work week workday look like for you and squad?

Rachel Meranus:

Oh, yeah. So since we're since it's the beginning end and beginning of the year, you know, it's it's all about planning for you know, for 2023 and beyond, especially since I am new to the revenue see So a lot of my time right now is being spent on, you know, logistics. So, you know, really making sure that we are set up for success in 2023. And the teams to, you know, my marketing team is is busy writing their marketing plan, you know, make it, they're looking back actually a year to understand what we did well, and what we didn't do well, and where the white spaces in the market and what we should double down on sales team is doing the same thing, you know, how do we go to market where's the opportunity? The market is, you know, drastically different today than it was six months ago? What does it look like in six months? What do we have to plan for? So, right now, it's a lot of planning. On a typical day, you know, for sort of mid year end of q1, I think, you know, I'm dabbling in everything, really, you know, I'm meeting with my direct reports, making sure they're empowered to make the decisions that they need to be able to make, I'm meeting with my head of revenue operations, who is really, you know, like the CRM whisperer, because he, he's the one who keeps me on top of everything and make sure that I know what's going on across all of the organization, and the market at large. So it's, it's really sort of like touching base with all of these people, making sure that the that everything is running smoothly, and answering questions and blocking and tackling and partnering with, you know, my fellow executives on whatever, you know, the next big initiative is and so forth. So right now planning, hopefully, soon, more of this kind of day to day stuff.

Blythe Brumleve:

So So for you, you, you have the luxury and I say luxury comparative to the rest of seemingly the you know, logistics and transportation space, where you have a team of marketers that are working for you. I'm curious as to as you're going through this planning process for the next year, probably the next couple of years. What positions or maybe skill sets? are you prioritizing? Is it? Are you hiring, you know, podcasting talent? Are you hiring, you know, SEO experts? Or is it like a combination of a bunch of different things, what I guess aspects of marketing are the most important to you.

Rachel Meranus:

So I don't, so I feel like we have our core team in place. So it's less about hiring, and more about focus. And, you know, what we're focusing on. And I think, you know, the past year has really been about building the team and building the function. I think the next year and beyond is really about maximizing and optimizing all areas of marketing. So you know, making sure that if we are doing if we're creating a piece of content, or if we're hosting a podcast with a special guest, that we have a full plan for how we're going to get that into the market, that we understand exactly how we're promoting this in social how we're putting it on our website, what we're doing to get it in front of customers and prospects, you know, how we're leveraging it to land ourselves, you know, a podcast, you know, as a guest on a podcast somewhere else, how we're using it to leverage getting new guests on the podcast, all of those kinds of things. So I think really, what this year is about is making sure that all of the functional areas of marketing, are really integrated, and really working together towards sort of that common goal, which is, you know, growth, its business growth for for marketing, as well as, you know, any other commercial function.

Blythe Brumleve:

And so when with your new, I guess, not, not new role, but new acronyms, so is it CMR? Oh, I

Rachel Meranus:

believe that one or

Blythe Brumleve:

so, so the CMR a role? It obviously, you know, data and certain, you know, metrics of success are very important and measuring what's working and what's not working, what metrics stand out to you as, as the most important that you're looking at now and in the future.

Rachel Meranus:

So so, you know, from a, from a day to day kind of revenue perspective, we are always looking at Pipeline, right. So pipeline, how it's being generated, what channels are driving pipeline, I'm not so much looking at MQ ELLs or MQ A's anymore, I really just want to look at what's driving opportunity. And we can trace back for you know, to understand how we spend money, but I want to report on the opportunities. And so obviously, Salesforce is a huge tool for us. But we are now also investing in a new tool. Let you know how it turns out. Have me back on in six months, I'll let you know how the investment is. But it's called. It's called hockey stock. And I had never heard of it but my VP of revenue marketing brought it to me. And it's a tool that basically takes all of your external touchpoints and brings them together in an analytics dashboard. So you know, where whereas you used to go to HubSpot or Google Analytics or you know, whatever other programs you're using. This is kind of that one Stop view of all of the marketing touchpoints that lead to ultimately the pipeline generation. So, I mean, you know, everything from who's coming to our website, to who's filling out forms to, you know, to who's actually making it through the funnel. But I will say, I think the thing that's most challenging about this industry versus other industries, is actually how it is run from a sales process perspective. And the idea that so much of it is run off the RFP, and so much of it is run off of, you know, is transit is, is price oriented. And that's something that, you know, I really would like to see change in this industry, I think there's, you know, there's so much to be said, for the service side of the industry, and what companies like ours are doing to make sure that shippers are being taken care of, and to make sure that carriers are being taken care of making sure that they have the data and the insights that help them to buy better in the future that help them to understand, you know, how to optimize their network, how to have difficult conversations with a specific DCS or facilities or what have you, you know, where, where wait time is, you know, over what it should be, and therefore, they're having to pay more, you know, for capacity and all that kind of stuff. So I think there's a massive opportunity to flip this industry on its head, and not manage through the RFP process that managed through a real true, you know, true solution sale. And that's what I would like to see change over the next sort of, you know, 12 to 18 months.

Blythe Brumleve:

I love that, because as you know, with anyone within the industry, you've kind of seen there's a lot of focus that's just placed on price. But if it's if your shipment is delayed, or if it's all these other things that are affecting that, that price that is it really worth it. And so,

Rachel Meranus:

I mean, you get what you pay for. Right, right. I mean, exactly. It's an adage for a reason

Blythe Brumleve:

100% And with and I also find that it really interesting that you're Are you almost helping your customers communicate challenging situations to their customers? Because it kind of sounds like that? 100% 100%

Rachel Meranus:

Yeah, I mean, if they're, if they, you know, one of the things that I think we pride ourselves on is not just the data that we provide, but you know, sitting down with our customers, and really sort of looking at it together and saying, Well, what are you seeing here, you know, this is an opportunity to go back and renegotiate with your customers on, you know, these type of things. Or comparatively, you know, we don't see this with every other shipper. So there's something going on here, you know, with you, and this particular facility, lots of different ways that we can slice and dice the data and provide it to them and obviously, connect that data with other data that they have within their platforms.

Blythe Brumleve:

So it's also like, it's not just you doing the marketing for transfix. But you're also tentatively helping you know, some of these other companies do their own marketing and communications to their customers, which I think is super interesting. Now, with your ex you you have previous experience, I think it's a bonafide a previous company that you had worked for SEO enterprise level. Company, I'm curious as to how you think, you know, SEO plays a role in in logistics and just in modern marketing strategies, do you see it as still an important function that you need to be focused on? Or is it something that's becoming less important?

Rachel Meranus:

I mean, I think I think it's very important. But I think you know, so So bonafide does work with enterprise brands, the difference with the brands that Spotify works with, and, and companies like ours, and yours is just the sheer size of the website, right? A tool like bada phi is good for a massive brand, it's not something that I would use, it's too technical, I don't have enough pages on my website to make it worthwhile. So from an SEO perspective, for me, it's more about making sure that I'm showing up for keywords that, you know, my, my core audience is looking for that I have the right structure on my website, so that, you know, my links are active, I have, you know, all the key pages that I need to be visible to search engines are visible to search engines. But we are not an enterprise size website. And so it's a very different it's a very different approach than you know, someone like a Nike or you know, a Home Depot, which is just the type of clients that Spotify worked on. But I think SEO is important and it's it's honestly low hanging fruit for anyone if you if you if you get it right, if you put the you put the right you know the right strategy around it and the right thought process around

Blythe Brumleve:

100% It's still like I struggle with with SEO because I put such a strong focus on it. I think earlier in my career, and now I just it's seeing the power of not just I guess the quote unquote newer even though podcasting has been around for a long time, but prioritizing podcasting with SEO has been a game changer.

Rachel Meranus:

I think. I think that's Probably the, the best approach you could come up with is, you know, making sure that none of the channels that you are investing in are being invested in in a silo, but that they are actually playing off each other, that they're actually increasing the investment wherever it is. So if you've got a podcast, then, you know, SEO makes sure that your podcast that you have the landing pages that are showing up in you know, SEO, I mean, an organic search and so forth, but that you're using your organic social channels to promote the podcast that, you know, and these not everything is measurable, as we know, so you've got to take heart that people are seeing it and that they're, you know, your your, your your listener increase is due to that even if you can't tie it back directly. For that, I think it's that has to do a lot. You know, with the integrated approach, nothing should be working in silos in this day and age, it should all be integrated.

Blythe Brumleve:

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Rachel Meranus:

Yeah. So when I got here, I think we had just sort of started out with a podcast, and we were doing mostly market updates, we also have a weekly market update that we send out. It has evolved significantly in the past 12 months, and I'm so proud of the team behind it. Jenny, Amanda, Pat, they they just they've created a destination for information that I you know, I think our listener, I don't know, the latest metrics, but they're pretty high, I think it you know, it speaks for itself. It is 100% Part of our marketing strategy. It gives us the ability to and I don't want to say too much, because I don't want to give away the secret sauce. But it gives us the ability to not only, you know, be thought leaders and put our point of view out there, but also to give a platform to shippers to carriers to partners. And that gives us another conversation to have, right? It doesn't we don't have to be calling them to talk about, you know, loads and you know, logistics and all that we can call them to say, Hey, do you have a diversity expert? Do you have an ESG expert, we're doing a podcast on this that the other thing and we'd love to feature them doesn't have to be directly related to you know, logistics but knowing that we can provide a platform and a forum for people, you know, whether it's our shipper, customers carriers for you, we're having you on, you know, like, that's huge. That is that's, you know, to me, that's just gold right there. And it's a very cost effective way to build a brand

Blythe Brumleve:

100% I power of podcasting, I mean that the power of podcasting has brought us together. So it's one of the things where you can have these authentic, you know, I just really, I guess valuable conversations with other people within the space. And it's like that quote that everyone says, you know, a rising tide lifts all sales, but it really is, you know, these types of conversations need to be had, and they need to be heard over and over again, in order to it's not just from a communication standpoint, but it's also from a relationship building standpoint. Like you said it it helps you connect with your customers on a more deeper level. And that probably has much more of a long term value for them to remain a customer and even though it's not the primary focus of a podcast, but it does have that residual effect later on. Yep. 100%. And so with, you know, we've talked about podcasting, which isn't really new, as you know, as far as a channel to mark it on. Neither is SEO but there are lots of tools that are coming into the space with AI with automation. I don't know if you've dove into you know, any of the chat GPT stuff Over the last few weeks that has taken the internet by storm, are you a fan of some of these newer tools coming into the mix? Or are there still some some, I guess, platforms or strategies that we still need to be focused on more?

Rachel Meranus:

Yeah, I mean, it's a great question. I mean, I'm grappling with it, you know, just literally, three hours ago, someone showed me the results of the chap GBT prompts that he had done, and it was mind boggling. I mean, it was it was mind boggling. Yeah, it was written, and it sounded like a human being, you know. And so I'm always a little bit skeptical of all these things as they come out. And I'm not I'm usually not the first person to jump on it. Content is so important to us, though, and how we drive our business, whether it's, you know, blog posts, or, you know, sales cadences or what have you, that, you know, it's it's potentially worth trying and testing. That said, I worry about authenticity, I worry about, you know, our brand voice, I worry about things like that, when it comes to these these particular content, you know, AI driven content sites. I do think that there is a fine line and a balance that needs to be met between over investing in technology, and, you know, really kind of digging in as a human being to understand what works and what doesn't. And it's the same argument, you know, the marketing industry went from not being measurable at all right? So, knowing the famous Wanamaker quote, right, I'll never get it right now that maybe we can come back and Greek tape it so that I get it right. I can't get it right. I'll figure

Blythe Brumleve:

it'll come to you. As soon as he shows it will, as well. So it works.

Rachel Meranus:

Because it's, it's I mean, it's exactly. It's exactly. So it went from not knowing how your dollars are being spent. To being so overly measurable. Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don't know which half Yes. Okay. So that's the way it was like pre, you know, Hubbs, pre HubSpot pre Marketo, pre aliqua, pre Google Analytics, right? spent so much money, you just didn't know what the results were, then we over indexed to being able to measure things. And that meant that things that we couldn't measure got cut. And we immediately said, Well, if I can't measure it, then it can't possibly be working. And I think the industry is finally kind of coming back to the middle ground, which is to say that, you know, there are going to be things that we have to invest in, that either aren't immediately measurable, or won't be measurable, ever, right? And we have to take face and there have to be proxies, yes, I don't want to spend money, you know, willy nilly, there have to be proxies, but you have to trust that those proxies are indicating something to, you know, to hang your hat on, right, so that you can continue investing, because if you only invest in the things that are measurable, you will only be taking a you know, a short term, immediate approach to marketing. And as we know, brand comms content, you know, even investment in your website, it's a long, it's a long game. It's not a short game. And so I forgot I forgot at this point, what your question was, but I think, you know, I think that's, yeah,

Blythe Brumleve:

I mean, it's very well said, because now that we have sort of the pendulum has swung so far in one direction, it swings back in the other direction, we kind of find ourselves, you know, in the middle, and then we have all of these other tools that are coming in to play, but it's still there, you still have to be somewhat creative in order to give these tools the prompts, you know, there's like 8000 tools out are a marketing tools that are out on the market, you know, you have to have that one central sort of come to Jesus moment. And it feels like that moment, always falls back to are you talking to your customers? Are you talking to your leads? Are you getting that firsthand in the trenches, insight, and then those see how those tools and all these reporting functionalities and how that all plays a role in your overall strategy? Yep, exactly. And so when we, when we look at, you know, you've been in logistics for about, you know, a year and a handful of months. I'm curious, is there are there any brands within logistics or maybe outside of logistics that you draw inspiration from?

Rachel Meranus:

It's a good question. I mean, I think outside of logistics, the brands that I think have really done a good job are a lot of the b2b Mar Tech brands. So, you know, HubSpot I think, you know, they they just kill their marketing. They're just they're kings and queens at it. Gong has been really solid in their marketing over the years, it's funny, I think Salesforce started strong, and then they kind of just gave up because they're the default forever. But you know, those are the sort of b2b brands that come to mind. Because they really talk to their customers about a pain point, right? They really, they really get in there. And they, you know, they expose that pain point, and then they speak to that pain point. So that those are the ones that come to mind are off the top of my head. In the logistics space, I have to give that some thought. I mean, I think our brand is pretty amazing that I can't, off the top of my head, there's nothing that really stand out to me.

Blythe Brumleve:

Yeah, because it really is, it's kind of alluding to what we talked about earlier, it the marketing role within Logistics is becoming more important, but it's still nowhere near comparative to other industries, especially when it comes to like b2b marketing or, or any of these other spaces where there's a lot of room for improvement in the logistics space, which is, you know, great to see your team making those strides and making those improvements. Now, you you talked about, you're in the middle, you know, we're recording this and you know, mid to late December, you're planning for 2023? Are there any maybe like social platforms or strategies that you really want to dive into? And in the next year,

Rachel Meranus:

I actually think we are more going to consolidate, then we are going to expand I think I love that. And this year, yeah, I think we did a lot of testing this year and found you know, what works and what doesn't, and we're gonna try and double down on that. You never know, though, I mean, things pop up. And you know, I am very much a fan of experimentation, and, you know, looking for, for new ways of communicating. But I think you know, at least in the first half of the year, we're going to kind of double down on some of the things that we found to be true. In our experiments this year.

Blythe Brumleve:

Love it. Well, you know, I guess we'll have to pay attention to the transfixed brands in order to find out what you are going to be focusing on and doubling down on in the year and in the coming months. But in the meantime, where can folks follow those different social media accounts? Follow your work, get in touch with transfix? All that good stuff?

Rachel Meranus:

Yeah, I mean, you know, it's transfix wherever it is, but a LinkedIn, we're on LinkedIn. That's where we speak mostly to our shipper audiences. We do use Facebook for carrier audiences. And of course, our podcast. I mean, you know, that's on all of the podcast channels. transfix take, so I highly recommend listening to that. I think as the year progresses, we're gonna have some pretty incredible guests. And you know, and I'm really excited about that for the team.

Blythe Brumleve:

100 personnel, I'll make sure to link to all of those in the show notes make it super easy for folks to follow along with your work and with transfixes work. But thank you so much, Rachel, for joining us. This was a fascinating conversation. And thank you for joining show.

Rachel Meranus:

Yeah, thank you so much. I love being here.

Blythe Brumleve:

I hope you enjoy this episode of everything was logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight, telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. If you liked this episode, do me a favor and sign up for our newsletter. I know what you're probably thinking, oh God, another newsletter. But it's the easiest way to stay updated when new episodes are released. Plus, we drop a lot of gems in that email to help the one person marketing team and folks like yourself who are probably wearing a lot of hats at work in order to help you navigate this digital world a little bit easier. You could find that email signup link along with our socials in past episodes. Over at everything is logistics.com And until next time, I'm blind 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.

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