As the world reels from the pandemic and supply chains continue to untangle themselves, businesses everywhere have worked hard to survive some tough times.
It might feel like marketers can do little to help with supply chain issues. After all, if there’s no product to sell, how can we do our jobs?
While this may be true of actively fixing port congestion and material shortages, marketing still remains key to keeping businesses afloat.
As a white label digital marketing agency, Agency Stack has honed its craft in advising other agencies on how to handle the difficult situation that faces a majority of industries.
The role of marketers in supporting supply chain issues is a strong mix of damage control and preventing such issues in the future.
So, if you want to make a difference for your clients in this global downturn, consider this blog and make good from a bad situation.
Manage Customer Expectations
The main issues to come from a broken supply chain are shipping delays, product shortages, and potential price hikes.
Without explanation, these issues are sure to inconvenience and upset any customer, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
It may feel useless to publicly admit a brand’s faults and let customers know that you can’t maintain a high standard of customer service.
However, what’s worse than a declining standard of customer service is not addressing it at all.
Sprout Social found that 86% of Americans consider transparency to be more important than ever before and that 81% think social media has increased accountability for businesses.
So, with these findings in mind, there’s no excuse for brands not to take to social media with a formal explanation of any current challenges they’re facing.
Simply by addressing your supply chain issues and detailing any expected delays, you remove future disappointment for customers and manage their delivery expectations.
Sprout Social also found that 85% of people will stick with a company through a crisis if it has a history of being transparent.
Not only is transparent reporting important in managing the current crisis, it’s important for the next one.
Leverage Data for Future Crises
If your company plans on being around for decades to come, there is almost sure to be “a next crisis.”
Whether it’s another global financial crisis, another pandemic, or another issue altogether, it pays to be prepared.
That’s why it’s important to collate as much data as you can from the current crisis and use this to improve your supply chain resilience.
Supply chain management (SCM) tools and technologies are evolving all the time and marketers can find use in keeping up with trends.
These tools could be used for parcel tracking, demand forecasting, supplier management, and order processing, all of which can streamline the fulfilment process.
“The businesses that adopt these technologies will experience increased visibility and transparency into the entire operations process – an invaluable tool when managing such an unpredictable supply chain,” Edgett said.
With this data and supply chain visibility, marketers can go public with more concrete messaging, or work behind-the-scenes on designing effective future strategies.
Keep All Stakeholders Up to Date
Some marketers may not realise it, but they play an important role in connecting a company internally as well as externally.
Supply chain disruptions cause inconvenience for not only consumers, but those working as part of the chain too.
Warehouse staff, delivery drivers, port labourers, shop assistants, and customer service representatives are all links in that chain and deserve to know what the big holdup is.
Without this knowledge, staff can become frustrated, disengaged and unproductive, only exacerbating the issues facing the wider company.
This can all be helped, however, with a few simple internal communications. Simply sending a regular company-wide email, or by passing information down the chain and holding regular meetings, staff can align and learn how their job has wider impacts.
Externally, the same can be done to keep suppliers, carriers, investors, and wholesalers in the loop.
Instead of damaging business partnerships with a lack of communication, marketing teams should develop a strategy to appease partners and buy some time until supplies arrive.
In most cases, these parties will understand that everyone is dealing with supply chain issues, but not all companies may be as forgiving. Once again, it pays to be prepared.
Contact Agency Stack
If you need any support nailing your messaging in times of crisis; drafting that bad news email; or maintaining consistent customer engagement, Agency Stack can help.
We’re a white label digital marketing agency with the experience to outlast any trouble that comes your way. No supply chain issues will deter us or our clients from delivering results. Get in touch to learn more today.