THE DOWNLOAD with James Neal, Vice President, Strategic Marketing at EROAD

The commercial transportation industry is a major component of our country’s economic backbone, yet we often don’t think about what keeps these fleets up and running. This is where EROAD, a leading global fleet performance management partner, comes in.

For the past year, EROAD has partnered with ARPR to drive brand awareness and lead generation, as well as penetrate new core verticals thanks to the company’s recent acquisition of Coretex.

We recently discussed the role of an integrated marketing approach in driving awareness and breaking into these new markets with EROAD’s VP of Marketing, James Neal.

Question: What drew you to the fleet telematics industry and your current role at EROAD?

Answer: I have always been fascinated by how new business models and service offerings emerge once a device or asset is reliably connected to a network. Transportation is an essential part of our economy and EROAD has a tremendous opportunity to empower its clients to improve their operational efficiency, comply with regulations, make roads safer, and ultimately reduce their carbon footprint. I love making our roads and communities cleaner and safer!
Question: You joined EROAD just after it acquired Coretex, helping the company reach deeper into core verticals like waste, construction, and cold chain. How have you approached the integration of the two brands, and what advice do you have for marketers facing the same task? 

Answer: Although it’s true that EROAD acquired Coretex, there are people on the other side of this transaction. Because I understand the importance of words and their impact, I only ever refer to the transaction as a strategic combination. We’ve taken the past six months to understand the value of our combined teams, solutions, target verticals, and brand equity. And we’ve learned some new math along the way: 1+1=5, meaning our combined companies can achieve far more together. 

My advice would be to find a good brand strategy partner, quickly conduct a cross-section of interviews with stakeholders and clients from both companies, then build a brand strategy that articulates a bigger value proposition. If we just took an acquiring-company mentality, we may not have reached important insights about how to serve small and large enterprise customers, alike. An early insight is that EROAD is more than a fleet telematics company. With its deep vertical expertise, EROAD is a fleet performance management partner that empowers its clients to transform their businesses.

Question: You’ve significantly grown EROAD’s marketing function since you joined the team six months ago, with several key hires in product marketing, segment marketing, and marketing ops. How have you created a shared mission among this new team and your partners, especially in the midst of a brand integration?

Answer: My first priority was to establish a marketing organization that could scale for growth. That meant adding roles with deep functional expertise. Segment marketing was a new but vital role—they’re tasked with identifying the verticals we target, personas and watering holes of buyers, and overall demand generation. They have a matrix reporting structure to vertical business partners and are focused on penetration goals. We added a product marketing lead to up our new product introduction and lifecycle management game—customer-facing teams have what they need to be successful and prospects are beginning to understand how different we are from our competition. Add marketing communications and operations for creative execution and we’ve won a trifecta. A shared mission has been achieved by articulating how each role contributes to our growth goals. The team feels an awesome responsibility to deliver results. But I try to help manage stress levels by communicating my mantra: 1. Do your best, 2. Make a difference, and 3. Have fun.

Question: The fleet industry is extremely competitive, with numerous established players in the space. How has an integrated marketing and PR approach helped EROAD dominate share of voice in the market?

Answer: By integrating talented partners like ARPR into our planning and execution, we’re able to accomplish a high SOV through a steady stream of press releases and industry stand-out content. We collaborate on strategies, problems we need to solve, and opportunities to occupy whitespace. ARPR’s paid media team also helps us drive leads from SEO/SEM. Honestly, with the strategic combination of companies and the buildout of a modern marketing organization, EROAD could not have maintained such a high SOV without ARPR’s focused resources. 

Question: How do you measure the success of your marketing program?

Answer: We’re building a Marketing Tech stack that measures volume of leads into the funnel, conversion rate of leads through the funnel (MQLs), and velocity of leads to closed/won business. I remind my team regularly that if a meeting or tactic doesn’t create leads, question whether you should be there or do it.
For more information on ARPR’s integrated approach, click here.

Renee Spurlin
As SVP of digital marketing and analytics and Alloy's resident data geek, Renee bridges the gap between traditional PR and demand generation.