Oilfield Leaders: 5 Characteristics of O&G Companies that Crush it Online
I’m in Calgary this week working with the oilfield leaders at petroleum software company, Micotan. Why do I call them oilfield leaders?
It’s been nearly 5 years since I started doing digital marketing in oil and gas. From day one, certain companies have stood out in the online oilfield. These companies have moved faster, captured more market share, and schooled the industry in the ways of driving online results.
When I step back and think about the common bond oilfield leaders online share, five traits come to mind. Some of these traits are tactical, some are strategic, and all are cultural. If you learn nothing else from this article, remember this:
If you don’t have the right culture, you will never be an oilfield leader.
Let’s take a look at the 5 characteristics of oil and gas companies that crush it online.
Oilfield Leaders: Winning the Digital Land Grab
#1: True Innovators Execute
Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” It’s not enough to have good ideas. If you never execute your ideas they are worthless. Oilfield leaders aren’t satisfied with the status quo.
They recognize the digital land grab happening in oil and gas today and take action. They know if they don’t start dominating their digital space, their competitors will. They aren’t afraid of being first, and they know if they aren’t first online it will be damn hard to make up for lost ground once if they don’t move first.
#2: Top-Down Buy-in
It’s not enough to have a few people in your company who get it. You have to get everyone in the organization bought in, and it starts at the top. People in the oilfield don’t change habits and beliefs easily. They are already skeptical of digital marketing.
If your CEO, President, VPs, and entire leadership team don’t believe, they won’t either. This doesn’t mean everyone on your executive team has to become marketers. But it does mean everyone on your executive team must be all-in when it comes to executing online.
That’s exactly what happened when we kicked-off the 3-Day Rainmaker Rollout on Monday at Micotan. It would have been easy to see this new initiative as something just for the marketing team. But company President, Christopher McPhee, had the whole sales team join us for the Sales-Driven Marketing Overview on Day 1, the “They Ask, You Answer” whiteboard session on Day 2, and the Up and Running with LinkedIn session this morning.
When you fully align your sales and marketing team, traffic leads, and sales are sure to follow.
#3: All Hands On Deck
If I had to point to one thing that made the content marketing efforts at Drillinginfo a ridiculous success story, it has to be that everyone in a leadership role at the company wrote for the blog — literally. This could not have happened without Allen Gilmer’s 100% belief that Drillinginfo had to lead the charge online in upstream oil and gas.
Again, it’s impossible to get a company to go all-in without strong leadership.
But once you get the buy-in you have to take action. One of the things that keep companies from taking action and becoming oilfield leaders online is the fear that it’s going to take too much time. You have proposals to write, lunch meetings to attend, a week of emails to catch up with; how can you possibly have time to write all these blog posts?
Here’s the key; you don’t have to become Fuelfix or Oil & Gas Journal publishing multiple articles a day. You don’t even have to publish multiple articles a week, you just have to be consistent. Even if you are posting one article a week, publish every Tuesday or Wednesday morning (those are the best days for to get the most readers).
When you publish at the same time on the same day every week you train your audience to expect your articles. When they expect them, they are much more likely to open your emails, read what you wrote, and share it with their network.
At that rate, if you have 15 people between leadership, sales, and marketing you have 15 weeks of content. Everyone involved basically writes one article a quarter. With that little of a time commitment, you really have no excuse to not become oilfield leaders online.
#4 The Champ is Here
While the time commitment is minimal across the team, you need one person to manage your new initiative. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and hire a Chief Marketing Officer. However, you need someone in the company to own the initiative.
You might already have someone in the company already who is passionate about digital marketing. Maybe someone on the sales team has been dying for an opportunity to grow your business online but hasn’t had the chance. Conversely, you might need to look outside the company to hire someone who understands the internet. In that case, you’re in luck.
Every student graduating from college today grew up online. They are digital natives who don’t know the world without the internet. You can get a new journalism graduate who is a wizard online for around $30,000.
When that journalism student puts you at the top of Google for the keywords your prospects search every day, that $30,000 investment can easily turn into multiple six-figures in revenue.
Not a bad return on investment!
#5: Patience is a Virtue
You aren’t going to publish one blog and change the world. Two articles aren’t going to change everything. You might pick up a few subscribers in the first few weeks, but oilfield leaders who go all-in online understand this is a marathon, not a sprint.
You don’t build relationships offline overnight. You’re not going to build relationships online overnight. In reality, it takes 12 – 18 months of relentless consistency to see results. However, if you do everything right the growth you will see at that time is exponential, hockey stick growth.
Don’t oversell your leadership on insane results in a week or two. Under promise and over deliver. Every time.
I have seen hundreds of oil and gas companies come and go online in the past five years.
These five characteristics are constant across every successful company I have seen in that time. Conversely, failure to live by these principles has led many in the oilfield to still remain skeptical of digital marketing. As a result, if you are trying to convince your boss to let you get started online, you face an uphill battle.
However, if you spark the fire for innovation, get top-down buy-in, and get as many people in the company on board as possible, you will crush it. In time, you too can become oilfield leaders online.
Keep grinding, my friends!