Why Oil & Gas Industry Needs to Adopt Digital Marketing

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Digital marketing is revolutionizing the way businesses operate today and this is true for all industries. 

B2B digital marketing is as challenging for the oil & gas industry, as for any other. It involves meticulous planning, thorough understanding, and accurate channelizing of appropriate resources for tapping viable markets. 

Nevertheless, digital marketing is indispensable for businesses to flourish in an otherwise competitive environment. 

Digital Marketing Matters for Oil & Gas Companies

The oil & gas sector is long used to volatility in terms of prices, technologies, and geopolitics. 

Come 2020 and the industry is facing major subsistence challenges. With the Coronavirus outbreak, the Russian / Saudi oil price wars, and significant policy upheavals,  the sector is being crippled by a drastic demand slump. 

Over the years, as the environmental impacts of fossil fuel are being questioned, there is a noticeable shift in energy demand from conventional resources, to more sustainable forms. Consequently, the social and financial well-being of the oil & gas sector is at stake. 

As predicted by the International Energy Agency, the World primary energy demand for oil & gas will dwindle by 1 percent over the next 20 years (oil demand will slide down by 4 percent and gas demand will go up by 3 percent in 2040, compared to 2017 figures). 

Image Courtesy: Oil and Gas Trends 2019, PwC

Under these circumstances, it is critical, that alongside other corrective measures, oil & gas companies implement up-to-date digital marketing strategies as well, to regain market shares in the long run.

To gauge the impact of digital marketing on the oil & gas sector, it is imperative to have a sneak peek into the marketing strategies followed by the industry, as of now.

The Scenario So Far

Till now, the oil & gas sector has lagged behind others in adopting requisite digital marketing trends – be it social media marketing, content management, or the use of simple analytical tools. Statistics suggest that oil & gas companies usually have a very negligible marketing budget (a mere 7 percent). 

For years together, the sector has primarily relied on conferences and trade shows, for product showcasing and has thus faced too long sales cycles. 

In a modern fast-paced business environment, these outdated marketing strategies fail to highlight the competitive advantages of B2B companies. 

The solution lies in creating a unique buyer-supplier interface digitally, that can be used to the benefit of both.

Research shows, innovation-friendly oil & gas companies, which have adopted the latest digital marketing techniques, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), website designing, etc., have created a well-deserved niche for themselves. 

RELATED POST: Why Content Marketing is Important for Renewable Energy

Here comes the need for digital marketing and there cannot be a better time for implementation than now!

Image Courtesy: atlanriccouncil.org, (Reuters, Nick Oxford)

Digital Marketing  – The Positives

Digital marketing enables:

  • Precise data analytics 
  • Target marketing
  • Inexpensive marketing
  • Access to new E&P markets
  • Digital branding
  • Marketing without geographical barriers

Why Oil & Gas Needs to Adopt Digital Marketing

Digital marketing reduces costs, streamlines business processes, improves efficiency, and enables better decision-making.

The main strength of digital marketing lies in its ability to run real-time campaigns that achieve long-term growth targets for organizations. 

Digital marketing can benefit the oil & gas industry in myriad ways:

  1. Competition – The oil & gas industry is highly competitive. Suppliers need to practice digital marketing to pave their way to the top. Running SEO-optimized websites and regular customer interaction through social media platforms, help leverage competitive advantage.
  2. Reach – B2B Oil and Gas buyers nowadays rely heavily on online research for making purchase decisions. Around 91 percent of them want a hassle-free user experience on the internet. Easily accessible websites from the suppliers’ end, backed up with top-notch content, promise a better client reach. 
  3. Personalization – B2B clients find mass marketing frustrating. Personalization is the key to impressing modern clients. With digital technologies, companies can make personalized marketing a reality.
  4. Customer Churn – Digital marketing through automated, algorithm-driven processes helps check the rate of attrition for B2B companies. 
  5. Product Knowledge – Strategically placed ‘contact us’ forms on company websites, e-newsletters, etc. provide adequate product information to prospective buyers.
  6. Supply Chain Management – According to McKinsey, digital marketing technologies optimize prices and enable effective supply chain management for oil & gas companies. 
  7. Multichannel Access – SEO, e-mail marketing, PPC, work simultaneously to attract prospective clients to the website, and boost revenue generation.

RELATED POST: 10 Best Lead Generation Tactics To Boost Sales in 2021

Digital Marketing Strategies to Use in the Oil & Gas Sector

As mentioned earlier, e-mail marketing, social media marketing, etc. are some of the popular digital marketing strategies that are taken up by B2B industries for better market penetration. 

Marketing Strategies for Oil & Gas Companies

Discussed here are some of the methods oil & gas companies can practice escalating their growth process.

  1. SEO – SEO makes for the most popular and successful among all digital marketing strategies. Creating targeted keyword-rich content and backlinks are important aspects companies should take note of.
  2. E-mail marketing – E-newsletters are sent out to current and potential customers to keep them updated about the latest happenings of the company or the industry at large.
  3. PPC – This one-of-a-kind mode of advertising helps companies channelize marketing budgets on a specific audience, who wish to learn more about them. PPC advertisements can be run on social media channels targeting leads based on common interests, demography, or region.
  4. Gated Content – HIgh-value content (case studies, white papers, or sector-specific technological innovations) can be guarded through a gateway (subscription/contact details). To access the content, clients will need to share email IDs and other company details. This will act as a future data bank of the organization. 
  5. Social Media – The International Data Corporation states that over 75 percent of B2B buyers rely on social media platforms for making purchase decisions. Oil & gas companies need to choose the right platforms – Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, depending on the professionals they need to target.

Increased Efficiency Levels and Revenue Generation in Oil & Gas 

“By investing in a targeted set of digital capabilities and approaches, B2B companies can improve their financial performance, and not just by a percentage point or two. Rather, the B2B companies that master these areas are generating 8% more shareholder returns and a revenue compound annual growth rate (CAGR) that is 5 times greater than the rest of the field” — McKinsey & Company

Revenue Impact –  A McKinsey & Company case study indicates that the oil & gas companies, with proper use of digital technology, can increase revenue by 1.2 percent. 

Overall Impact – This sector, by enabling automated marketing and distribution strategies can actually optimize pricing models and handle the supply chain more effectively. These efforts will cut down total cost by 10 percent and increase revenue levels by 3 percent approximately for the oil and gas sector.

The Way Forward

The oil & gas sector can no longer overlook the importance of digital marketing technologies in boosting ROI and the overall growth of the sector. 

Process automation generates a huge pool of data through the Internet of Things (IoT). you must consider expert services from an experienced B2B sales and marketing consulting firm to know How oil and gas companies translate this data to digital marketing, which in turn would decide their success or failure in the long run.

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