Caterpillar's Digital Initiative
Julien Roux, Marketing Manager, Industry, EMEA at Caterpillar is part of a global team leading an exciting initiative at Caterpillar. The business is a traditional B2B company which has been in business for nearly a century, and through that time has focused largely on events and printed brochures for marketing. Digital is now however a massive priority, and the company has moved quickly to leverage what their dealers around the world are doing digitally, as well as push to create a lead generation programme to share with their dealers in various markets.
The unique challenge, is that Caterpillar's dealers are independent, so it is difficult to impose a consistent digital and CRM approach. Some dealers have a very sophisticated digital and CRM platform, others much less so. Events continue to feature prominently (with up to 50% of of global marketing budget devoted to) as business needs to 'show' the product in market to support sales. However the split in spend of print vs digital is now around 30% print and 70% digital, a clear recognition of the need to invest in growing assets and a strong base for the digital initiative.
Up to 80% of the leads generated by the new push into digital are new customers who highly value the brand, however are more likely to purchase at a different price point than larger, more traditional customers. Caterpillar is therefore developing brand positioning and product price points to leverage these new customers, so not only opening up a new customer base but also opportunities to develop new product ranges to suit. In the same way that customers can buy Audi, Volkswagon, and Skoda, the potential lies for in time for customers to buy Caterpillar at a price point to match a corresponding level of features required for the duty, putting digital at the heart of not only marketing and communications, but also brand positioning and product development.