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Digital Strategy for a Railcar Operator

The SLON team developed a holistic digital marketing strategy for a progressive railcar operator to help their business go digital. The strategy included development of the Customer Avatars, FBIT Attributes, Full Offer Stacks, SEO strategy. The next station is strategy implementation!

The Background

Our client was a railcar operator that specializes in freight intermediation. They wanted to digitalize the business by developing a platform through which their customers will be able to choose routes, track transportation, ask questions and many more. Therefore, the development of marketing strategy was closely connected with product development: it was necessary to form the product and demand for it first.

Tasks and Goals

The client asked us to develop a holistic digital marketing strategy for them. The main objective of the digital marketing strategy was to identify the target audience (TA) for their new digital platform, check the presence of this audience in the digital environment and their demand for the services.

The second goal was to prepare specific offers based on the advantages and strengths of the client’s business, which would allow the client to further launch the promotion process, meeting the expectations and needs of the TA. 


1. Client business study and competitor analysis

We began our work with the client by getting to know their business and industry. We analyzed the client’s competitors making the focus on their digital presence. The analysis considered the strengths and weaknesses of competitors fundamentally important for successful SEO marketing, such as: volume of texts, videos, photos, links and other.The client provided basic information about the offline target audience, and we studied this audience, segmented it and refined the data with research in the digital environment. We looked at all the segments, analyzed them to form an understanding of who they are and what their needs are.

2. Customer avatars for each of 4 target audience segments

On this stage 3 customer avatars were formed, each with detailed characteristics and descriptions of what needs they have, how they feel and what status they are characterized by. For each avatar we developed a list of practical steps for influencing the audience and meeting its needs.

3. FBIT attributes – 3 for each category

The next step was to create FBIT attributes reflecting the client’s strengths and what the company already has to offer its target audience. We identified attributes for each customer avatar in terms of the next categorization: Functional, Brand, Influential, Transactional.

4. Hooks and Offers

Based on the identified FBIT attributes and TA conclusions, we have worked out the main hooks and offerers that suit both sides and take into account our client's capabilities and at the same time the needs and expectations of the TA. The resulting system should be used for the further creation of promotional materials and direct practical application.

5. Overall strategy, CVT and further marketing plan

We gathered together all the acquired information, highlighted the key points, spelled out how it could be used in advertising and on the website to increase conversion.Then we made a plan of further actions according to the CVT methodology that represented a customer value perception. We established that many product quality attributes were not at their highest potential, thus revealing opportunities for product development and growth. As part of developing the CVT model, we comprehensively assessed the client's business performance, like proof of concept (represented by good reviews), product market fit, website experience, predictable acquisition channels, and detailed customer value journey. We identified many points of growth and development of the product so that it could better meet the needs and expectations of TA. Thus, our marketing analysis helped us determine not only the ways of promotion, but also the vector of the product development.

6. SEO Strategy Development

During the analysis we revealed a great potential of search engine promotion and that's why we decided to delve into this marketing tool. We analyzed keywords and found low competition for many medium and high-frequency queries. So we proposed this tool as a starting point in the marketing strategy.

Our team conducted keyword research and made traffic estimation. The initial SEO strategy we proposed consisted of two steps:

The SLON team also created the additional document with answers to the client’s questions, marketing channels and tools suggestions, as well as promotional texts.


Upon project finalization, the client received a comprehensive marketing strategy, including a detailed competitive analysis, target audience research, creation of customer avatars and FBIT attributes for all segments of the target audience, customer offers, CVT analysis, SEO strategy and a plan of practical marketing steps. The next step is the practical implementation of the developed strategy and the client is already well underway to its business growth and digitalization.