From 2019 to 2021, I implemented a variety of strategic initiatives to enhance vital touchpoints with customers, employees and other valuable stakeholder groups. Here are seven noteworthy examples.
1. OVERHAULED MARKETING COLLATERAL
Expanding your customer base is a whole lot easier when you have the right tools in your toolbox.
Touchpoint / Prospective Customers
Engineering Doc Templates
LinkedIn Employee Banners
Sales Quote Templates
Various Swag Items
Posters and Signage
Trade Show Booth
Interactions with prospective customers is an incredibly important touchpoint for any business. So, when I first came onboard at Ferus Natural Gas Fuels (Ferus NGF), one of my top priorities was taking stock of the company's existing marketing and communications collateral. Working with internal stakeholders, I identified the gaps and set about overhauling Ferus NGF's internal and external collateral. In collaboration with the sales team and the executive team, I developed new key messages, slogans and technical content. Within my first year, I updated and enhanced the company's brand standards and developed a wide range of materials that were subsequently utilized by business development, corporate development, human resources and the executive team.
As the Manager of Marketing & Communications, I oversaw the development of the following materials:
2. BRANDED THE OFFICES
A well-branded office space speaks volumes to your employees and customers.
Touchpoints / Employees & Customers
During my time at Ferus NGF, the company opened a new field office in Red Deer and relocated its Calgary head office from Gulf Canada Square to the Alberta Stock Exchange Tower. Office spaces are an important touchpoint for visiting customers as well as the employees who work there, so in both cases, I paid attention to how the spaces were branded and decorated.
In Red Deer, I designed interior artwork reinforcing the company's mission, vision and values. Meanwhile, exterior signage was designed to be highly visible so arriving visitors could easily spot the location from afar.
In the Calgary head office, I designed and arranged interior elements with attention to their primary function. For example, the kitchen area decor was designed to be inviting and convivial; the open-plan workplace was designed to convey and reinforce company culture; the lobby and boardroom were places to showcase Ferus NGF's value propositions with a combination of wall-mounted signage and TV video displays.
3. BUILT A SOCIAL MEDIA FOUNDATION
Social media opened the door to new business prospects and community engagement.
Touchpoints / Diverse Stakeholders
Social media is an essential tool for any organization seeking to communicate with its stakeholders whether they be prospective or existing customers, investors, prospective or existing employees, or the general public.
Ferus NGF had virtually no social media presence prior to 2019, which provided an excellent opportunity to test the viability of LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as a means to generate interest in LNG and to engage with stakeholders.
I implemented a social media strategy centred on showcasing industry adoption of LNG with a combination of co-branded posts (featuring key customer) and frequent field updates highlighting Ferus NGF's market activity.
With one or more posts being published per week, Ferus NGF's business development team reported multiple sale inquires arising from social media activity. When new customer contracts were signed, it validated the usefulness of social media in a sales context.
In addition to customer-targeted posts, I also produced content addressing other important stakeholder groups, particularly those within the remote communities in which Ferus NGF operated.
4. ENGAGED WITH THE COMMUNITY
Relationships that are nurtured will grow. It's really that simple.
Touchpoint / General Public
While at Ferus NGF, I reported to the Vice President of Business Development & External Relations who was an exceptional leader and a strong advocate for face-to-face community engagement. Together, we planned and organized all of Ferus NGF's community events and speaking engagements across western and northern Canada.
For speaking engagements, I furnished Ferus NGF's executive team with well-designed PowerPoint presentations, populated with an appropriate mix of marketing and technical content.
For trade shows and community events, I designed booth signage and giveaway items while working with trusted vendors to ensure logistical tasks were completed. During events, I often personally attended to photography and videography.
5. STREAMLINED processes
Visual Aid Example: Sourced from the Document Development Process
Effective teamwork starts with having clear goals, making sure everyone knows their role, and sticking to the game plan.
Touchpoints / Employees & Partners
Culture can be defined as the ideas, customs, and practices of a particular group of people. In a business context, a company's culture is grounded, in part, by the unique processes and procedures that guide employee activities.
While working with Ferus NGF, I worked with departmental leaders in Corporate Development, Human Resources, Business Development, and HSE, to streamline processes, and, subsequently, communicate them to employees and strategic partners.
Over a period of two years, I streamlined numerous processes, including document development, meeting formats, vendor management, field activity submissions, collateral management, and employee notices. Those processes were rolled out and supplemented with document templates and visual aids.
6. CONTRIBUTED TO THE
Marketing Corner Screen Shots: A section of Ferus NGF's SharePoint site.
Organizational change requires individual change. This is made possible when employees are kept well informed.
Touchpoints / Employees & Partners
Ferus NGF kicked off a company-wide Digital Transformation Initiative a few months prior to my arrival. Driven by the company's strategic business goals, the Digital Transformation resulted in the development of several new tools and systems that streamlined business processes and enabled sophisticated analytics.
During my tenure at Ferus NGF, I contributed to the Digital Transformation by leading the development of the marketing and communications component, while supporting internal communications to employees.
I worked closely with the consulting partner, Convverge, to build the Ferus NGF's marketing SharePoint site. Dubbed Marketing Corner, the site consisted of four main sections:
Resources: contained a well-organized directory populated with standardized templates, logo files, and multimedia assets.
Processes: contained all the procedural information I authored for communications related projects.
Events: contained Ferus NGF's the entire calendar year's event schedule as well as important industry events.
Swag: provided an up-to-date inventory of all give-away items complete with meta data for item cost, vendor contacts, and items remaining. A PowerApp was created so employees could request items and make suggestions.
During the digital transformation initiative, I worked with the department heads to craft periodic memos aimed at keeping employees and partners well informed about the project's progress. Special attention was given to key benefits and expected impacts.
In late 2021, I was hired by Convverge as a consultant to support a similar SharePoint project for a leading power transmission construction company.
7. PRODUCED WINNING PROPOSALS
Jesse's work is beautiful and brilliant ... he fosters a culture of communication company wide.
Touchpoint / Customers
Ferus NGF secured several long-term LNG supply contracts during my tenure. These business development activities were a team effort centred on the development of in-depth proposals containing complex, multi-year fuel supply and delivery scenarios. Large-scale proposals were led by the Corporate Development team with support from Operations, HSE, Finance, HR and Marketing.
I ensured proposals were well-designed and well-written. This often involved the design of charts, diagrams, photo-illustrations, and an eye-catching cover page. I edited verbiage to clarify concepts, enhance readability and eliminate grammatical errors.
Blaire Lancaster was a member of the leadership team and led Ferus NGF's business development and marketing group. As my leader, she provided valuable guidance and support on a daily basis. So, I think it's wise to let her have the last word about my contribution.
"I worked closely with Jesse for two years at Ferus Natural Gas Fuels. He's exceptionally talented and was instrumental in building our unique and engaging corporate brand amongst all stakeholders including customers, partners, Indigenous groups, communities, and government. Jesse has vision, business savvy and the ability to dovetail the marketing & communications strategy to the overarching corporate/ESG strategy. Tactically, he can do almost everything himself: he's a talented graphic designer, photographer, videographer, website designer, writer, and social media producer. He asks thoughtful, thought-provoking questions; he digs deep; and his work is beautiful and brilliant. He's dependable, and he fosters a culture of communication company-wide, from the corporate office to the field."