How Supply Chain Marketers Can Approach Marketing During COVID-19

Before COVID-19, there were flaws within the supply chain. Challenges revolved mostly on making processes more efficient, and in turn, improving the customer experience and business’ bottom line. 

Yet as the pandemic made its way to just about every headline on broadcast news, it quickly throttled supply chain challenges into the national spotlight as panic set in and our daily lives were quickly altered. Just take a look at the headlines on the news today:

Is the Food Supply Chain Actually Breaking?

“It’s Not Just Toilet Paper: Supply Chain Woes Trigger Grocery Shortages”

“Coronavirus Breaks the Food Supply Chain”

And while bare shelves at the grocery store and product shortages shouldn’t be taken likely, it’s all a result of a supply chain structure that, you guessed it, was already flawed. You see, for the longest time, inventory forecasting has primarily been a guessing game. Plans to tackle the holidays are finalized in spring/summer, factoring in shopping behaviors from the previous holiday season, market research, and trends in consumer products.

Think about it – when products aren’t available during the holidays, it’s not because the world ran out of an item or a supplier is incapable of manufacturing more of that product. It’s because the demand for those products was unprecedented compared to the prior year, and retailers and suppliers alike didn’t anticipate these products would fly off the shelf. 

The good news is that today there are many tech companies offering supply chain solutions that retailers and manufacturers  need in order to anticipate consumer demand better and ensure that highly-desired products are available in-store and online. And while many retailers are navigating Coronavirus challenges as best as they can, rest assured that after some normalcy returns, they will invest in supply chain solutions that will minimize the issues that they’re facing today. Bottom line, COVID-19 will force makers, sellers and logistics brands to fix the problems that plagued the supply chain in order to future-proof their business.

With that in mind, there’s an opportunity for marketing technology professionals that specialize in the supply chain vertical to take advantage of increased mindshare, keep the top of the funnel growing, and eventually, close leads. 

Here are three marketing tactics that you can implement now.

Increase Brand Awareness by Elevating Thought Leadership

When executed strategically, studies show executive visibility has a positive impact on a company’s bottom line. In fact, 39% of C-suite execs and decision-makers said thought leadership content had influenced them to ask a vendor to participate in the RFP process, and nearly half said such content had a direct impact on awarding business.

Compared to other marketing tactics, executive visibility is more authentic and engaging, providing a breath of fresh air for the intended audience. Thought leadership is crucial for supply chain brands today because it results in 1) greater trust and respect from targeted audiences; 2) established brand loyalty and awareness; 3) elevated industry authority; and 4) increased share of voice. 

Attract Qualified Leads with an Inbound Marketing Strategy

Inbound marketing is about attracting potential customers to your business and letting them make their own choices through personalized and specifically-designed content. Through the inbound marketing process, marketers strive to attract, convert, close and delight potential consumers.

Whether it’s investing in search or display ads or improving your search engine optimization, a winning inbound marketing strategy will increase B2B website visitors and compel them to take action.

Keep Qualified Leads Warm with Content Marketing

While drawing inbound leads to your website is certainly something to celebrate, the reality is that 96% of site visitors are not ready to buy, especially in supply chain marketing where sales cycles can take 1-2 years. Creating a content marketing strategy is a great way to keep leads warm. Whether it’s a whitepaper, company blog, data report or playbook, content marketing is a sound strategy to maintain mindshare of qualified leads until they’re ready to buy.

When done correctly, content marketing can boost your SEO. Increasing SEO can make numerous positive contributions to your company’s bottom line, whether it be through building credibility and trust or accelerating the buying cycle. Make sure to consistently update the content on your website to keep your site freshly crawled and indexed in search engines. 

Learn how to utilize these sound marketing tactics by visiting Alloy’s COVID-19 marketing tools resource hub.

Christina Dela Cruz
Christina is an account director across Alloy's FinTech and Cloud practice groups. With a passion for both traditional PR and digital marketing, she understands the essential ingredients of an integrated approach.
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