As we race towards the end of the year, I have found some time in between all of the seasonal festivities and preparation for the New Year to reflect on our business and how far we have come in the last few years. I have also squeezed in some training and read various marketing books to better support you as we move forward.
One of the books I’ve been reading is This I Know by Terry O’Reilly. Terry is a Canadian who has been in marketing for over 30 years. He started in advertising, but now looks at all components of marketing. Although his book is focused primarily on B2C (business to consumer) many of the concepts he highlights are applicable to the B2B (business to business) world. In my mind, one of the most important questions he asks is “What business are you really in?” He uses Molson Coors Brewing Company as a great example. Molson, isn’t in the beer business. Even though Molson’s plants are designed to manufacture beer and every Molson delivery truck you see is full of beer cases, Molson isn’t in the beer business. It’s in the party business. 1 What’s your business? Are you in the fuel business or in the business of keeping your customers moving? How you see your business reflects how your company presents itself to the public. As you prepare for 2019 and beyond, take time to read a book or magazine for new ideas, or just take the time to sit back and reflect on the market you operate in and how you reach out to perspective customers. Whatever you do, outside ideas help to expand your business.
Another key part of moving forward is looking back. Kim Nix and I have been working hard the last several months to assess our current offer to the Esso Branded Reseller network. An essential part of this review was sitting down with several resellers across the network to see what is working well, what we could do better and understand how the industry is changing. First, a huge thank you to everyone who gave us their time. We appreciate your generosity and your candor. As you can imagine, there is a lot of information to take in, and we are still digesting it all. Overall, the reseller method of business is working well and we heard this loud and clear. We are not looking to undo what is working well but simply tweak it so it better meets your needs. We heard a number of recurring issues as well as some unique regional challenges and we are using this feedback to enhance our offer and supporting programs to ensure we continue to help you grow and succeed. For example, finding quality drivers is a recurring item, so we are looking to see if there is some way we can help with this part of your business. Stay tuned for the renewed offer.
I hope all of you find time over this holiday season to get away from the office and spend it with loved ones. Take time to celebrate the year that was and the adventures to come.
1 This I Know, Marketing Lessons from Under the Influence by Terry O’Reilly Knopf Canada