A.P. Moller – Mærsk
Creative Agency: &Co.
The Upside Of Integrated Logistics
Maersk are one of the largest ocean shippers in the market, moving almost 1 in 4 items around the world. They have relationships with the world’s biggest brands who entrust Maersk to move their product around the world in their global operations. Shipping is notorious for its boom-and-bust cycles, which are usually long and can reach up to ten years.
In 2016, CEO Soren Skou launched a new company strategy to diversify the Maersk business and expand beyond ocean to air and land transport. The new strategy would place the company as a challenger brand within the logistics market and allow Maersk to offer integrated services to customers.
In ocean shipping, the top 11 providers hold 85% of the total market capacity. In Logistics & Services the marketplace is highly fragmented with no single dominant player. By entering this market, Maersk would be shifting from a leader to a challenger brand. Pursuing growth in Logistics meant competing against a whole new set of companies who benefit from an established reputation. Some of the competition includes brands who are famous due to big B2C business like DHL or UPS
Campaign objective was to contribute in driving perception change, from an ocean brand to a logistics integrator. We set a traget of +2% on perception whilst the commerical objective was to deliveran incrememental $1bn revenue.
The Content Solution
When Supply chains and logistics work effectively they are invisible to everyone. It is only when they fail that the world notices. According to a McKinsey report, Supply chain disruptions, lasting a month or longer, now happen every 3.7 years on average. The implications for businesses are huge. Inability to source materials or move products can cost companies millions and cripple their ability to deliver to their customers. The interconnectedness of modern supply chains means higher risk of things going wrong. 12% of global trade was put on hold when the “Ever Given” ship blocked the Suez Canal for six days in March 2021. Covid has also impacted supply chains putting pressure in shipping demand, resulting in soaring logistics costs. Our campaign wanted to tackle all these challenges and change the mood of the category.
Our job was to change the conversation from firefighting to seeing new opportunities that can mitigate risks. The hero creative asset, a two-minute video, was a modern fairy tale about a woman trapped in the everyday horrors of logistics until she gets “turned around” and discovers a new approach to it. Smaller versions were edited to serve the diverse media mix such as TV spots, online video and Social. In print our executions featured upside down layout, urging the readers to turn the page for a new view of logistics.
We took this mechanism even further by writing LinkedIn posts upside down, a platform first, and having Maersk employees rotating their LinkedIn image profiles creating conversation starters. In different parts of the world, Maersk containers appeared with upside down branding grabbing attention. In Maersk Headquarters, sitting areas were turned upside down with armchairs and coffee tables placed upside down, fixed on the ceiling. The combination of paid, owned and earned media, amplified the campaign reach and created additional buzz in the category.
The Media/Content Amplification Solution
As in B2C, B2B Decision journeys are not linear. The diversity of these committees and the various depths of understanding within these groups requires marketing and sales to work in parallel than in serial fashion. Our research revealed that the logistics senior execs would still be in charge of assessing vendors, shortlisting offering a recommendation to the wider group. We developed a dual strategy that would target both groups by setting up an integrated comms architecture. At a top level our job was to ensure that Maersk had strong mental availability with the C-Suite. We called this group Approvers. Addressing the Buyers, VPs of logistics and procurement required more granular comms. These execs required hard facts, examples of services and, more importantly, to be convinced of our expertise and ability to deliver against their needs. We called this strategy “Prep the buyer and Prime the Approver”.
Getting the Approvers on board
As per our strategy, we laid our media placements in two layers. A top layer building fame across the Approvers (C-suite) supported by a more targeted category layer to reach the logistics and supply chain executives (Buyers). We created a launch moment by front weighting part of the campaign. We bought TV spots on CNN international in high affinity C-suites environments opting for the most relevant business moments. VOD was used to tighten up the targeting, using contextual filters in related business topics. To extend the campaign reach, we leveraged lean back moments taking the campaign to Facebook & Instagram. These placements benefited the longer ad versions achieving 48%. View through rate for the 2-minute formats, double the industry average!
Convincing the buyers
We knew that buyers (Logistics execs) would require more depth of information to boost their confidence over our claims. We used a mix of traditional channels, such as trade press, along with paid social and digital display. On LinkedIn we were able to segment audiences even further, based on seniority, company and position. This allowed us to upweight frequency to priority accounts providing the air cover for our sales teams. To demonstrate our expertise, we created client case studies and partnered with the Economist to produce a series of thought leadership pieces and podcasts. Our content strategy went even further addressing key vertical industries such as Retail, FMCG, Reefer etc. producing bespoke vertical content to highlight our expertise and promote the breadth of our solutions.
Commercial Results: We achieved our target of $1bn incremental revenue. There was a strong correlation between the companies we targeted with advertising and the new contracts that helped us deliver the revenue.
Perception shift on point. ‘(Maersk) can connect different components of my supply-chain through its end-to-end (L&S) logistic solutions’ grew by +2% as a direct result of the campaign. Looking at Approvers&Buyers, we achieved even higher growth of +3% and +4%.
Thought leadership. Prior to the campaign launch, as captured by Online Media Listening, Maersk SOV in the field of Integrated Logistics was at 6%. Following the first three weeks of the campaign, Maersk SOV rose to 29% of the category. A strong indication of the attention and talkability the campaign had achieved in the field of integrated logistics. In the ensuing months our SOV decreased setting eventually between 10-15%, which was still higher than pre campaign levels. Another major milestone for this campaign is becoming a Thought Leader in the “Supply Chain” topic on LinkedIn. Analysis provided by LinkedIn showed that post the campaign launch Maersk achieved the highest content engagement score in the category.
Furthermore, the strong view through rate for the Video (48%) and the large number of interactions across social platforms (2.7m reactions) were further testament to the creative efficacy.