Why Your Supply Chain Is Your Most Effective (And Most Authentic) Marketing Tool

We don’t typically think about marketing and supply chain functions working in lockstep. But through our experience implementing our supply chain platform Suuchi GRID, we see exponential sales growth can come from collaboration. Marketing and supply chain strategies need to be joined at the hip. A supply chain is the operational identity and backbone of the company, while the marketing strategy is the soul and voice of the company. Marketing is most effective when it’s authentic, and messaging on who you are most naturally flows from the place of why your supply chain works in the way that it does.

“Marketing is most effective when it’s authentic, and messaging on who you are most naturally flows from the place of why your supply chain works in the way it does.”

Here are some specific guidelines on how to take that goal and translate to actionable campaigns.

Your consumers know your vendors and external partners have a seat at the digital table

There are many operational and analytics benefits from digitally connecting your factories, vendors and 3PLs. From a consumer perspective, your customer confidence will grow through knowing your company:

  1. Has a digital trace to when items are designed, made, and getting shipped
  2. Has a digital track of your suppliers’ certifications and compliance scores
  3. Values their suppliers and partners enough to give them a seat on the digital table

Your values on social responsibility and sustainability can be quantified and explained through your supply chain

Various surveys quantify this differently, but the results are clear – over 80% of consumers (or put another way consumers are 5 times more likely) buy from brands whose values align with their own1. Most brands though find it difficult to explain their vision statements and put it into practice. Worse, they tend to overstate their sustainability goals. Once supply chain data and supply chain participant data are both tracked, publicizing sustainability data in marketing campaigns will show consumers that your company has a clear sustainability strategy and further prove your company can back vision statements with clearly quantified metrics. Some examples of supply chain metrics that can drive marketing strategy:

  • Average factory ESG or Environmental, Social, and Governance scores
  • Measurable and reliable lead times – from a marketing perspective, this shows the ability to keep carbon emissions and inventory costs in check2.

You nearshore, make things closer to where you sell, and can optimize for customer service levels

What is worse than a mismatch between your brand’s values and your consumers? An out-of-stock event. Even if you were in sync on values, a customer would still turn to another brand if they cannot find the product3.  Many brands and retailers have invested in establishing and growing their nearshore supply chains. Marketing teams should publicize this investment loudly and proudly because it means a superior ability to service customer needs in quicker time.

“Marketing teams should publicize near shore supply chain investments loudly and proudly because it means a superior ability to service customer needs in quicker time.”

Driving action off data across your supply chain lets your customer know that you understand them and can better respond in turn

By connecting the end-to-end of your supply chain, you can drive personalized marketing campaigns to let your customers feel attended to, thereby increasing sales. For example,

  • Knowing how long it took to launch new products historically can help provide customers accurate release timelines for similar new product releases.
  • Driving effective omnichannel strategies is of continued importance to large and small companies alike4. Real time and accurate reconciliation of data across purchase orders, shipments and warehouses can ensure each customer can get what they want when they want it.

To summarize and reiterate, Marketing and Supply Chain Strategy need to be joined at the hip. We hope to see more executives across both these organizations merge forces to drive highest value for the end consumer.

  1. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211115005207/en/Razorfish-Study-Finds-82-of-Consumers-Make-Purchase-Decisions-with-Purpose-in-Mind-Yet-Brands-Struggle-to-Put-Purpose-into-Practice
    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/12/people-prefer-brands-with-aligned-corporate-purpose-and-values/#:~:text=Consumer%20brand%20preferences%20are%20driven,in%20the%20last%208%20years.
  2. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/11/22/6457/htm
  3. https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/topics/consumer-trends/harris-poll-82-of-consumers-want-a-brands-values-to-align-with-their-own
  4. https://time.com/6195340/macys-ceo-jeff-gennette-interview/

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