Fastway marketing chief: Making the switch from B2B to consumer connections

New head of marketing, Simon Sproule, talks about how he's helping the logistics company become a consumer-focused organisation

The rapid growth of ecommerce in Australia has opened up a lucrative new opportunity for Australia’s logistics industry. But for many of those companies, who previously were deeply entrenched in the world of business-to-business relationships, the switch to servicing consumers has required a switch in customer service mindset.

Hence it not surprising that the new head of Fastway Couriers’ marketing team brings extensive business-to-consumer experience.

Simon Sproule has joined Fastway as global marketing manager after a career with consumer-oriented brands including VideoEzy, Freedom and Pizza Hut. He has also owned and operated a national online marketplace for buying and selling building, pest and strata inspections, called Buy Smart.

Sproule started at Fastway part-way through the redevelopment of the company’s business model to become more consumer-focused, which includes recruiting retail outlets such as newsagents and video rental stores to become pick-up and drop-off points, under the brand Parcel Connect.

“If you look at the explosion of e-tailing, it is changing the face of the logistics industry,” he tells CMO. “We’ve now got to come to grips with the sheer number of customers that we have, so we have to look at what the pressure points are.”

One of the clear pressure points is customer service – an area where many B2B logistics companies have struggled. To combat this, Fastway’s has invested in building Parcel Connect, with Sproule hoping to launch the 500th location this year.

“We have to work out how we deliver a better service, and how we deliver a perceived better service, which means making sure we get the right information to customers at the right time,” he says. “And that will involve a lot of automation. The expectations of consumers are getting harder to meet, and the expectations of what they are prepared to pay for that have not increased.”

The bar for logistics companies was raised even higher in December when Amazon announced it would be offering one-hour delivery on its Daily Essentials products for customers in New York’s Manhattan borough.

“[Consumers] are expecting almost as quick an experience as shopping in bricks and mortar, certainly in larger metropolitan settings,” Sproule says. “That’s the challenge for the industry: To do that in a cost-effective manner.”

As for reaching new customers, Sproule says much of his efforts will be focused on digital channels.

“We have quite a lot of knowledge about our customers and the type of people who could be our customers, so I think that’s where we’ve got to play,” he says. “That’s where our customers are - if they are in to ecommerce they are going to be online.”

With much of Fastway’s business coming via the relationships it forges with retailers, maintaining a high level of customer service will be essential in maintaining relationships with those B2B customers.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

3 ways customer data can increase online sales conversion

Data has been an increasingly critical factor in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing and business operations.

James Bennett

Chief experience officer, Kalido

Our sharing future is both terrifying and exciting

Discussing the future in a realistic fashion is often a disappointing prospect. For all the talk of hoverboards, jetpacks and lightsabers changing the way we do things, the reality tends to end up being something as mundane as a slightly cheaper way to get around the city.

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

Queue experiences that are distinctive, memorable and shareable

Customer service that’s quick, easy and convenient has been shown to boost customer satisfaction. So it’s an odd juxtaposition that customer queues have become a sharable customer experience.

Hi James, shouldn't marketers also be focusing on collecting and utilizing up to date first-party profiling data on customers so that mes...

Tom

3 ways customer data can increase online sales conversion

Read more

Wouldn't reconnecting with younger consumers be in direct contravention of the code on alcohol advertising?

Tim Palmer

Vodka Cruiser reconnects with younger consumers via category-first Facebook Live campaign

Read more

Thanks for the article Jennifer, you raise some interesting points. The supermarket and shopping centre examples particularly struck a c...

Jill Brennan

Why marketers should take note of social robots

Read more

Winning the retail game is really tricky at this point in time. Many retailers have declared themselves as bankrupt. But yes harnessing t...

Vanessa.M.Magers

​Bricks and clicks: Balancing digital and physical to win the retail game

Read more

Excellent article, Thank you.

Steve Beards

How Aprimo hopes to help marketers tackle distribution of content, funds and data

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in