Marketing and growing your business is your prime objective. To accomplish this, you need a robust and dedicated sales team focused on promoting your business at all angles to generate those leads that eventually turn into sales. During your promotions, you may advertise your great prices and dependable customer service. Yet often you forget how much your supply chain can help your marketing efforts.
Going Beyond Quality
When a new business owner thinks about using their supply chain in their marketing efforts, they usually only focus on the quality of their products from trusted suppliers. While this tactic is often a sure path to gain more customers, David Kiger is quick to point out that there is so much more to focus on. Yes, quality products are the lifeblood of your business. Yet you are doing a disservice to yourself if you ignore the other important benefits that customers would love to know about in regards to your supply chain.
For example: the green movement has taken hold on how businesses are reducing their operational impact on the environment and our natural resources. With more businesses choosing green initiatives for increased sustainability, it gives them a unique marketing advantage toward customers who are environmentally conscious and want to lower their carbon footprints. From lessening the amount of shipping package waste to adopting greener production processes and shipping methods, these aspects can further market your business toward both clients and customers.
Determining Your Unique Value Proposition
To get your supply chain to market your business, you have to figure out what type of value it is generating that cannot be found with your competition. Are you offering faster delivery times, higher quality products, greener supply chain initiatives, or efficient order fulfillment?
Analyzing your supply chain operations can allow you to discover the unique value proposition that can set you apart from your competitors while helping you to further brand your business. Marketing this competitive edge to the fullest in your promotional campaign can have a significant positive impact on your sales.
Creating a Robust Sales and Operations Planning Tactic
Often aligning your supply chain and your marketing efforts relies on getting your sales and marketing team to meet the same objectives created by your supply chain management. To achieve this tactic, you have to take a good hard look at your sales and operations planning (S&OP) processes. The S&OP processes helps to combine and synchronize all the functions of your business operations into one fluid and effective management plan.
Many businesses will have more than one S&OP in their operations, David Kiger notes. Yet the thing to keep in mind is that all metrics and incentives throughout the operations, including your sales department and your supply chain management, must align for effective marketing. If there are any issues that are creating conflicts in the process — such as the sales team not taking into account present inventory levels as they forecast increased customer demand, leading to excess inventory in warehouses — it will leave the supply chain bereft with issues that will not improve your marketing efforts.
Before Marketing Your Business, Ensure Your Supply Chain is Ready
A common mistake in using your supply chain to market your business is that your supply chain isn’t ready for this next step. Getting your supply chain management fully up to speed will require you to evaluate your maturation level to determine its capabilities and how these capabilities align with your marketing strategies.
Successful entrepreneur David Kiger recommends creating a marketing strategy that outlines your objectives and then gathering the analytical and logistical data concerning your supply chain to see if it can handle what you plan to promote toward your customers. Sometimes you will have to take small steps to achieve marketing goals until you finally have your supply chain management up to speed. Once incentives and metrics are on the same page throughout your operations, you will have an easier time using your supply chain to further promote and grow your business.
It may take a while to achieve these goals, yet it is a worthy investment of your resources and your time once you get everyone on board with your efforts. Full buy in from your supply chain management team, sales and marketing departments, and corporate management is required for you to make headway and show that your business is a worthy competitor in your chosen industry and market segment. So don’t overlook the capabilities of your supply chain to help you market your business.
Drawing in customers and making them loyal to your products and services is essential for your business to stay competitive and grow operations. You can use your supply chain to further market your business objectives while appealing to the customers’ needs.