First things first, your supply chain business needs a marketing strategy. Businesses of any industry are well used to planning and strategizing when it comes to everyday processes and financial plans (none more so than those in the field of logistics and distribution), but all too often they fail to follow the same principles when it comes to marketing. Find more clients is key to continued business growth and organizations which adopt a considered approach backed by solid processes, and ways of monitoring ROI are more likely to succeed in the long run. Here are some key marketing tips for supply chain businesses looking to build or improve their marketing strategy.
Supply Chain Businesses Marketing Tips
1. Ensure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
Assuming that you have a website (and if you don’t, you should get this sorted as soon as possible), you need to make sure that it is mobile friendly. This means that whether people visit your website on a desktop computer or mobile devices like smartphone or tablet, the website will automatically adjust so it can be easily viewed and navigated. This is referred to as mobile-optimized content. Studies have shown that more and more B2B buyers are using mobile devices to search for new service providers and products; if your website is difficult to use, you may be losing frustrated customers.
Optimizing your website for mobile may include tackling usability issues such as account login processes or inquiry forms. You can use Google Analytics to find out whether people are using mobile devices or desktop to view your website and which visitors are more valuable to your business in terms of conversions. Are there clickable links and buttons to help users find the right content with a tap? Visual content is often more successful with a mobile audience as it conveys information more quickly.
2. Consider Native Advertising and Influencer Marketing
Native advertising is paying to place an article or blog on a relevant website which appears natural and is informative but includes a link to your website. It’s like product placement in films or television; the content isn’t obviously advertising a company or product as it isn’t focused on it, but a natural mention of your service within it may encourage readers to follow the link for more information.
Influencer marketing is when a high-profile person or relevant industry authority endorses your product or company. Influencer marketing can occur naturally, but it’s also possible to pay people for their support.
3. Use Video Marketing and Visuals
One of (if not the) most popular marketing forms now is video and visual storytelling. By creating engaging, informative, entertaining and high-quality videos is a great way to increase engagement with your brand. You could create a step-by-step video guide to your distribution processes so prospective customers can understand the service you’re offering, or you could even try some lighthearted and topical content to boost awareness of your brand.
4. Embrace Social Media
If done well and via appropriate platforms, social media can be a great fit for supply chain businesses and can raise your company’s profile. While it may not seem a natural fit for B2B businesses at first glance, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are all being used successfully by B2B companies through unique content production and promotion.
5. Stick to a Content Production Process
You need to have a documented content production process which details who is responsible for planning, writing, editing, approving, distributing and tracking the performance of any content or marketing campaigns you produce. This will prevent confusion or missed opportunities and will help the process remain as efficient as possible and will ensure the quality of your marketing efforts is high. Your marketing strategy probably relies on more than one platform and is delivered through multiple channels, so a strong framework is essential to keep everything on track.
6. Use Professional Writers
If your business doesn’t have access to high-quality writers, you should consider with hiring a dedicated content writer for your marketing team or working with freelance writers. Promoting poor and ineffective content will not only be a waste of your time and effort but can also negatively impact your brand’s reputation. High-quality writing and engaging storytelling is crucial when trying to stand out in your industry.
7. Combine Marketing with Sales
Your sales and marketing activities need to work in collaboration for maximum results. The sales data and customer information you have will be vital when trying to produce content which is relevant to their needs and preferences. You may choose to invest in Sales and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to remove some of the guesswork and streamline your processes.
8. Email Marketing Automation
Automating your email marketing and other marketing activities such as social media content can be an effective way to increase the exposure of your content and improve conversion rates. It also removes a lot of administration tasks and reduces manual scheduling time which means you can concentrate on other elements of the business.
9. Measure ROI
B2B businesses can often overlook marketing in favor of more immediate business concerns, i.e., the day to day running of the business and making money. However, it’s crucial that everyone in the business, including the most senior directors and managers, understand and value marketing activities. The best way to ensure this is the case is to track the results of your activities as closely as possible and calculate the ROI for each campaign. You need hard evidence that marketing has had a tangible impact on the bottom line and boosted brand awareness. Supply chain professionals who want to progress in their careers need to consider all aspects of the business from finances to people management and marketing. If you feel you lack skills in certain areas, you might want to consider Kettering University Online’s online supply chain management degree which covers everything you need to know to maximize your career potential.
10. Content Promotion
Even the best, most valuable content is worthless if it fails to reach your target audience. This may include local, national and international channels to ensure you that content assets have the best chance of success.