The term ‘supply chain’ has been in the news a lot since COVID-19 started. Many people had never even heard of the term prior to it being talked about in the context of the pandemic.
In business, ‘supply chain’ is often associated with manufacturing, materials, construction, and retail sales – In other words, tangible items.
These are obvious and can be easily identified. However, in a broader sense, even those businesses that provide services do have a supply chain they are a part of and rely on. A law firm sending referrals to a financial advisor is part of that advisor’s supply chain; and a contractor implementing a plan written by a consultant is part of the consultant’s supply chain, just to mention a few examples.
For the purpose of this conversation, I consider any entity that helps your business acquire new customers and/or is involved in delivering what you create to the ultimate customer to be part of your ‘supply chain’.
Now that you know that you do indeed have a supply chain, please ask yourself if you are providing sufficient marketing support to its members. Supporting your vertical channel – those engaged in activities that lead to you, and those engaged in moving what you create closer to the end-user – is extremely important.
To further demonstrate my point, I would like to share with you two examples of Fractional CMO & Marketing clients who do this very well:
One of our manufacturing clients does not sell directly to end users. They rely on independent Master Manufacturer Representatives (MMRs). Our client does very well in growing their business, and by all accounts, it is largely due to the marketing support they provide their MMRs. Our client (with our help, of course) supplies those MMRs with training, manuals, videos, on-site support, media exposure, listing, referrals, and even MMR-branded sales sheets.
A very successful boutique law firm client of ours gets practically all their clients referred to them by other law firms who do not specialize in their particular field of expertise. To support and nurture those relationships, we constantly communicate with those referring supply chain members. We remind them of what the boutique law firm does, how successful it has been winning cases, keep them updated on new rulings and court decisions, and we even share with them profound insights related to the lives of busy attorneys in and out of the office. We are told time and time again how that type of support keeps our client’s law firm top of mind with those referring ‘partners’ and how much they appreciate the information that is being shared with them.
Providing useful marketing support to those along your supply chain isn’t always easy or intuitive, but it is very beneficial when it is done correctly. We take the time with our clients to identify all those who should be considered part of the vertical structure that leads to our clients and then to the ultimate customer… And only then do we consider what type of marketing efforts might be necessary to support the supply chain members and help them in order to be even more valuable for our clients.
If you wish to find out what you can do to help those in your supply chain system to help your business grow and flourish, we will be happy to chat with you – just call us at 888-412-2236.
Duke Merhavy, MBA, Ph.D.
President & Chief Marketing Officer
The Latest Marketing Stats You Need to Know for Your Business
SalesForce.com recently published numerous statistics that you should be aware of, as they will help enable you to steer your business toward greater success. Let’s take a look at some of what their research has uncovered.
Over 6,000 marketing professionals and other sources from around the world were consulted to bring these insights together.
For B2B and B2B2C companies, the top 3 marketing priorities are trying new methods and tactics, and for the tech and tools they use, making both more modern and refining how they are used for better experiences and results. Their top 3 marketing challenges include not using tech and tools effectively, difficulties with measuring the department’s efforts ROI and credit for success in the business, and opposition to new strategies and ways to market their products/services.
B2C companies have the same top 3 marketing priorities, however, they are not in the same order. First, they want to improve how they use tech and tools, followed by testing some new tactics/strategies, and making their tech and tools more modern is the third most important. The top marketing challenge is the same as it is for B2B and B2B2C organizations (ineffectively using tech and tools), but the other 2 are vastly different! The 2nd top challenge is crafting a customer journey that is cohesive and the 3rd issue is keeping in compliance with regulations regarding privacy.
Customized marketing that is built around your target market needs data to work, but privacy regulations are becoming more stringent, which is expected to make it more difficult to collect that data. For example, information gleaned from third-party cookies is going to be phased out in the future. Like in years past, the number of sources for data that brands look to is estimated to increase to 23 in 2023. No cookies means marketing teams will have to find other ways to learn about their prospects and customers.
B2B, B2B2C, and B2C businesses are all considering basically the same data-finding strategies and at very close percentages to each other. Between 52% and 57% of these companies are planning to provide incentives to customers who share their information, and coming up with both a tactic to gather first-party data, as well as creating agreements to share second-party data.
When it comes to customers having the best experience possible at all times (especially when interacting with a brand), marketers sometimes find it a challenge to get everyone in the organization on the same page. Marketing departments are increasingly evaluating the level of customer service being provided in real time. As with the upcoming plans for gathering data, the plans for B2B, B2B2C, and B2C companies are very similar, and as such, the following percentages are averaged between those types of businesses. 80% of marketers say their organization leads customer experience initiatives across the business. 68% of marketers say they can analyze marketing performance in real time. 32% of marketers say unifying customer data sources is a challenge for their organization.
- Here are some other statistics you may find interesting:
- Sales reps spend only 28% of their week selling (down from 34% in 2018).
- 78% of service agents say it’s difficult to balance speed and quality (up from 63% since 2020).
- 88% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services (up from 80% in 2020).
- Organizations use an average of 1,061 applications (up from 976 a year ago).
- 54% of revenue is expected to come from digital channels by 2024 (up from 42% in 2022).
There’s no denying it – the way marketers do their jobs is changing. Keep reading our newsletters for the latest information on how you can keep up and have continued success in your industry!
What Is Fractional CMO & Marketing?
Fractional CMO & Marketing is ‘Your Outsourced Marketing Department’ when you need expert marketing leadership and marketing services to accelerate growth and improve profitability, but you’re not quite ready to hire a full-time Chief Marketing Officer or your own marketing department.
Our unique arrangement is the most efficient, innovative, and cost-effective formula for you. Click on the image to the left to watch a short video.
We Help When You Need To:
- Generate more of the right kind of leads
- Close more sales faster
- Get repeat sales
- Formulate a more effective message
- Produce powerful sales tools
- Establish brand awareness, recognition, and preference
- Differentiate your brand from the competition
- Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Develop lasting relationships with customers
- Introduce new products
Marketing Lingo: Digital Marketing
Marketing that utilizes electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and computers is known as digital marketing. Promotional messages may be display advertisements, emails, social media posts and/or ads on those social networks, online videos, and marketing using search engines. The impact of digital marketing, in some ways, is easier to measure than traditional marketing, as companies like Google and YouTube provide robust metrics regarding the performance of online advertisements. These tools can provide insight into the journey from prospect to customer, and may help inform future marketing efforts.
Brands often use many online platforms, but some focus on only one. The strategy that’s right for your business depends on several factors – budget and where your target customers can be found just two of them. How many ever digital marketing channels are used, a goal should be set for each so efforts can be more easily evaluated.
Digital marketing has several specialties including:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click, Affiliate, and Influencer Marketing
- Native Advertising (which blends into other content)
- Marketing Automation
- Email Marketing
Both B2C and B2B organizations can benefit from digital marketing. There are some differences in strategies though. Because B2B clients usually have a longer process when making a decision, that also means a longer sales funnel. Building relationships brings more fruitful results in this scenario, whereas B2C companies find more customers by making a sales offer immediately. Reasoning and proof very often drive B2B deals, but B2C is more based on feelings and emotions. More than one person’s opinion or department’s input is usually needed for B2B decisions, which is quite different than how consumers decide to buy.
* ‘Marketing Lingo’ is a regular column in which we define, or otherwise explain, terms often used in marketing but not necessarily correctly or properly by some. You may see a glossary of marketing terms’ definitions here.
What Company Has Had the Same Commercial Concept Since the Mid-1980s?
If you watch or stream anything this time of year, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve seen the commercial we’re talking about. It’s considered iconic, and hasn’t changed much at all in almost 40 years. The basics of the ad are exactly the same as when it debuted nearly 4 decades ago. Have you guessed it yet? Here’s a few more hints: bunny, Easter, clucking, and very few people are on the fence about this product – you either love them or can’t stand them. We’re talking about Cadbury Creme Eggs!
Originally from the United Kingdom, the product is licensed for production in the USA by The Hershey Company.
It was first made in 1971, though Cadbury Brothers had been making filled eggs since 1923. Hershey’s released the iconic commercial in the mid-1980s, and came up with some interesting ways over the years to vary it just enough to catch our attention every year, but not move away from the original concept.
Mason Adams does the voiceover, announcing “Nobunny Knows Easter Better than Cadbury”. A clucking bunny sitting on a chicken’s nest was certainly unexpected, and that very first ad made a splash. In 1989, Cadbury Creme Eggs started “Bunny Tryouts”, and you may remember one bunny trumpeted like an elephant. Several different animals had their “tryout” in 1991, including a lion with a roar that sounded somewhat like a chicken, and a turtle, both attempting to look the part with large bunny ears. Real-life pets were invited to audition starting in the 2010s. In 2020, Lieutenant Dan (a cleverly named dog with 2 legs) won, and the following year he hosted the “bunny tryouts”; the winner was a tree frog.
For 2023, the brand decided to feature a pet in a rescue awaiting its forever home, and the winner received not only a starring role in the commercial, but also $5,000, with an additional $5,000 to their favorite animal shelter. Crash won and is the first cat to ever win the contest. He lives in Idaho, and got his moniker from surviving an unfortunate meeting with a car. He sustained a few serious injuries (one which claimed an eye), but he knows how to give you a high five and do other tricks too! We aren’t sure what he’ll do with $5K, but he can keep it under his mattress, because he’s got a bright future as a sought-after new member of a lucky family!