We know that every journey begins by taking the first step. That’s the easy part. What’s more challenging is knowing where to go, how to get there and who to travel with.

BAI Communications’ infrastructure digitally enables more than 4 billion rail passenger trips and delivers approximately 59 million broadcasting hours to our customers’ audiences annually. A responsibility of this magnitude means we must live our values and culture – being courageous and doing what matters – to remain successful and innovative.

At BAI, we take pride in our customer-focused approach. We continuously consider and evaluate our customers’ journeys with us as they evolve over time. We need to deeply understand our own direction too, as they are both connected.

At the recent Forward Marketing Summit, I shared my insights about BAI’s marketing journey, which sits at the intersection of customers and business.

Glocal Communications - Forward Marketing Summit 2020

Where are we going?

Globally, BAI’s messaging framework creates a common thread that unifies our communication worldwide and supports the distinctiveness of our operations in each region. In other words, we take a ‘glocal’ approach.

Locally, our highly engaged teams are deeply embedded in their markets. They work hard to understand and meet their customers’ evolving needs over time.

By emphasising global connections, we show that each local business is part of a bigger organisation, with substantial reach and resources. By emphasising local engagements, our communication becomes highly relevant to our customers.

Our active footprint in the market reminds our customers that we’re a distinct local entity at heart, attuned to their needs, as well as a global brand.

How will we get there?

Before setting out on any journey, you should always check the car. Thus, over the past year we have evolved our website and created geo-targeted versions for every country. Customer-led messaging for each step of the customer journey extends our reach. Additionally, marketing automation and social tools help us supercharge our content.

To track those engagement journeys, we are now using the marketing automation platform Pardot. We have a sound vehicle with some great added features.

On the content side, our strategy has been based around publishing regular, well-optimised content using our target keywords, and enhanced content offerings including videos, infographics, research-led reports and white papers.

The results have been more than encouraging. In the past 12 months, our customers’ favourable response has been strong: website traffic has grown by 78% and time spent on site by 98%. Visitors exploring our research content are spending 73% more time on site and viewing 33% more pages.

On social media, we’ve focused on delivering high-quality, timely and well-targeted content, which has extended our reach and engaged our audiences. On LinkedIn, we’ve seen a 49% increase in followers and a 21% increase in engagement over the past 12 months.

We’re confident that the vehicles we’re in will take us where we want to go.

Who will we go with?

You’re going somewhere great. You’ve got a fantastic car. What else do you need? Just one thing: good company. That’s why we decided very early on to involve our people and let our subject-matter experts lead our content. Telling relevant stories to relevant audiences has proved highly effective.

The key to our storytelling has been understanding who our customers are and tailoring our content to their different needs. This ensures the right person is telling the right story to the right audience in the right way.

An active community of subject-matter experts and thought leaders presents customers (and other stakeholders) with material to read, watch or listen to that’s coming from a team of professionals with deep experience and expertise.

And it demonstrates how we partner with customers by putting the people they might or do have relationships with front-and-centre.

We’re on our way

These are challenging, exciting and complex times. Communicating a strong and consistent brand message is more important than ever before, especially for global companies like BAI Communications that have local operations across markets with widely varying needs and preferences.

By clearly focusing on our customers – where we want to take them, how we’ll get them there and who they’ll be travelling with – we’ve seen increased engagement and customer interest.

It’s a long journey, and we’re with them every step of the way.