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  • Should You Be Marketing During a Supply Chain Crisis?

This blog shares 3 key insights into effectively marketing your business during a supply chain crisis, including building brand awareness, communicating to customers, and implementing strategic initiatives.

We’re in a global supply chain crisis. And it’s not going away any time soon. Many of our clients and prospects we are talking to are dealing with significant supply chain challenges that began early in the pandemic and are predicted to continue for months. In particular, our manufacturing clients tell us that they simply cannot get raw materials and are struggling with unforeseen shipping issues — all causing extending production lead times by weeks or even months. Add to that labor shortages, and even fulfilling orders in the short-term is a challenge.

Given the current state, it’s not surprising many businesses are wondering, “Should you be marketing during a supply chain crisis?” It’s a question we get asked a lot.

Our answer? A resounding yes. Here are 3 reasons you should be marketing during this supply chain crisis.

1. Focus on Long-Term Brand Building

Put your short-term product promotions on the back burner and shift your marketing efforts to brand awareness campaigns. Now is the time to remind customers and prospects of your brand’s benefits and overall solutions. Highlight your broad portfolio, publish case studies and success stories, and promote aspects of your business that define who you are in the market, like company culture and values. Take the spotlight off specific items and services that the supply chain may impact, but don’t give your customers a reason to forget about your brand.

Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
- Will Rogers

2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

It’s Crisis Management 101: Now is not the time to be silent about how the supply chain crisis is affecting your business and the service your customers are used to receiving. Instead, be proactive and direct with your messaging. Tell your customers what is going on, provide them with tools and tips to help navigate through this time, and let them know you’re working hard to resolve issues. Whether it’s an email campaign, a social media post, or a straightforward video from your CEO on your homepage, transparency and timeliness will go a long way in keeping your business top of mind and encouraging brand loyalty.

3. Look Under the Hood

You’ve probably got a laundry list of marketing initiatives that get thrown to the side when you’re pushing products out the door. Take advantage of this time to explore integrating tools that create efficiencies, evaluate your web security and speed, or review your site’s infrastructure. It's also an ideal opportunity to focus on your site’s SEO (search engine optimization). Remember, improving your Google ranking doesn’t happen overnight — it’s a long-term strategy. Take the time now to improve your SEO so that you can be found faster than your competition once the supply chain crisis subsides. All of this "behind the curtain" marketing will pay off in streamlined workflows and improved user experience, helping to make marketing those products more impactful and efficient in the future.

Demand Isn’t Going Away

At some point, supply issues will subside. But demand won’t. And, if you haven’t maintained relevancy in the marketplace, you can bet your competition has. So, make the most of this time, implement smart shifts in your marketing efforts, and you’ll set your business up for success once we emerge from the supply chain crisis.

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WRITTEN BY

Lori lives by the mantra, “It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.” As Director of Content and Client Strategy, Lori is the wordsmithing wind beneath many of our clients’ wings. Known for capturing our clients’ brand voices with compelling clarity and consistency, she also is a frequent Tuna blog contributor. Her work includes The 4 Realities of Post-COVID Marketing (And What Your Business Needs To Do About It), and 9 Tuna Traffic Truisms. When not perusing a thesaurus, Lori can be found adding more zing to her arrabbiata sauce or searching for an easier way to pill a cat.