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How to Market Your Supply Chain Business

Posted: 7th August 2019 11:17
Unfortunately, supply chain businesses are notorious for neglecting their marketing strategy. In fact, many do not even have a marketing strategy in writing, which is a huge error. While supply chain businesses involved in logistics and distribution are often adept at strategizing and planning in, marketing is typically treated as an afterthought. Finding new clients is absolutely crucial to the continued growth of an organization, and doing so requires a considered approach backed by efficient and cost-effective processes with tangible ROI. If your supply chain business is lacking a marketing strategy, or it needs improving, here’s a guide to marketing a supply chain business to help you. 

You need a mobile-friendly website

Every ambitious modern business needs a website, so the first order of business is to get a website if you don’t already have one. The next step is to ensure that it is mobile-friendly which means that when a user visits your site on a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone, the website’s interface, and usability will automatically adjust so that it can be navigated more easily. This is also referred to as mobile optimization. If your website is not mobile-friendly, it will be difficult for mobile users to view and use. It leads to frustration and often means the user will leave the site to look for an alternative. More and more people are using mobile devices to search for services and providers, so you need to ensure you’re giving them no reason to use a competitor.

You may need to solve usability problems on your website, such as inquiry forms or login procedures. Website tools like Google Analytics can help you to identify whether people are using a desktop computer or mobile devices to use your website and which are offering more value to your business, i.e., do users convert to customers when using mobile screens? If so, you may want to introduce more visual and clickable content rather than lengthy articles so that information can be conveyed quickly.

Combine Sales and Marketing

For the best results, your marketing and sales activities need to work side by side and in collaboration. For example, your sales information and customer data will be invaluable when you’re creating marketing as it will tell you how to make it relevant for the customer’s preferences and interests. To do this efficiently, consider investing in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software which will remove a lot of the guesswork, and make your processes more efficient.

The value of marketing can sometimes be overlooked by those in senior management who prefer to focus on the day to day operations, which result in quick money. It’s crucial that marketing is viewed as a priority in B2B businesses from the directors to the staff on the ground. The most effective way to make a case for a marketing strategy is to track and analyze marketing activities and to calculate the ROI for every campaign and platform. Supply chain businesses need to incorporate all aspects of a business to succeed from people management to finances and marketing. Studying for a supply chain management online degree is a great way to expand your knowledge and skills to ensure you are maximizing your business’ potential.

Influencer Marketing and Native Advertising

Influencer marketing is the practice of finding someone who is perceived as an authority in your industry (and is well-known) and getting them to endorse your company, service, or product. While it’s best if these endorsements occur organically, it is possible to pay influencers to do so. 

Native advertising is the placement of a blog or article on a relevant 3rd party website, which seems to be natural or ‘native’ to that website. The content should mention your product or company while not being too promotional or a blatant advert. It should look as if it belongs on the site but include a link which takes users through to your website should they wish to find out more.

Video Marketing and Visual Content

Visual storytelling through video is one of the most popular forms of marketing today. It enables brands to create informative but entertaining and engaging videos which increase the audience’s engagement. The videos can be distributed on various channels from YouTube to social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or even Twitter. A supply chain business could create a behind-the-scenes video which follows the distribution process from beginning to end or provides useful tips for companies which are struggling with their supply chain. You can explain the service and benefits you offer and can even use more topical content related to current issues or something comical to increase brand awareness.

In general, social media is a great way to raise a company’s profile, if it’s done well on the appropriate platform and for the right audience. There are plenty of B2B businesses using social media with great results, and you can read more in ’12 Social Media Tips for B2B Marketers’.

Develop a content production plan

Informative and engaging content is what gets liked, shared, and promoted in the modern marketing world, so you should be working on a documented content production plan. This plan sets out who in your company (this may be a third party if you’re outsourcing) is responsible for researching, planning, creating, editing, publishing and analyzing the results of the content you’re producing. Keeping to this plan will ensure efficiency and quality standards are maintained and that you’re less likely to miss opportunities.

Promoting dull or poor quality content will not only be a waste of resources and time but could also damage your brand’s reputation. If you don’t have experienced or able writers in your team, you may want to consider hiring a dedicated content writer/producer to work in your marketing team. You can also choose to outsource this to an agency or even work with freelance writers. 

Content Promotion Strategy

When you have your content, you need to plan how you will be promoting it and sharing it with your audience. You could have the best content in the world, but if you don’t distribute it in the right way it is worthless. Consider local, regional, national, and even international channels as well as the timing of your campaigns. Automated email marketing and social media can be scheduled by intuitive tools which will release your content at the optimum time for maximum exposure and conversion. This can also remove a lot of the manual administration so you can focus on the day to day running of the business.

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