The connection between supply chain management (SCM) and digital marketing may not be obvious, but it is an important one all the same. To identify the connection, we need to recognize the difference between marketing and sales first. Marketing is more about communications, while sales mostly concern transactions. As one of the key channels of communication in a business structure, there is an active correlation between quality marketing and good SCM. To explain it better, let’s break the connection down.
Collaboration between Marketing and Supply Chain
Marketing teams gather, organize, and analyze data from all relevant, external sources to plan, build, implement, and optimize marketing campaigns. Some of the gathered information and the marketing team’s own analytical estimations can considerably optimize inventory management as well, provided that the two departments are collaborating.
If you are looking to introduce lean into your supply chain system, the collaboration between supply chain and marketing can have a powerfully positive impact in relation to that effort. Marketing teams have more market insight about potential product demands than any other department, so the supply chain only stands to gain from the collaboration. If the two departments were to collaborate in perfect synchronization, the chances of overstocking and understocking could be drastically reduced.
The Supply Chain is an Excellent Source of Internal Data for Marketing
The information sharing is not supposed to be a one-sided exchange because marketing departments can also benefit from the arrangement. Marketing does have access to the most relevant information about present and potential market conditions, but that is in relation to external factors for the most part. In general, supply chain stats are a critical source of internal information for marketing analytics.
However, if a collaborative environment between supply chain and marketing can be established, then processes can be sped up and optimized considerably. Procurement can become the most valuable internal source of quantified information for marketing in real-time.
Creating a Collaborative Environment for Improved Lean Process Management
Ideally, all departments in a company should cooperate. Since that is now how it always happens in the real world, establishing a collaborative environment between any two departments is difficult work. That is even when the two departments are intricately connected. Given that marketing and the supply chain are not directly connected, it only adds to the difficulty.
On the other hand, establishing a conducive environment for smooth market information flow from marketing to procurement is critical for boosting supply chain performance. A consultation from an agency like Supply Velocity on how to plan and implement effective strategies for lean process improvement and better interdepartmental information flow management could be helpful.
Marketing through Vendors
The potential to use vendors as your marketing channels is huge, but it would only be possible if the two departments are on the same page. Marketing can use the supply chain to reach out and create brand awareness among the vendors, and then promote through them.
This is not B2B marketing and should not be confused as such. To vendors, you are the B2B customer, which means that the strategy is more about reversing the roles temporarily and finding channels of marketing in your vendors. As long as marketing and procurement are working together, it should be easy.
Every vendor may not cooperate with marketing efforts, but even creating awareness about the brand’s requirements is a win here. It will help vendors understand what your company expects in clear terms, helping them stay in better alignment with the brand’s requirements. As the company grows, more vendors will willingly promote the brand.