Supply Chain: How Do You Compare to These 2017 Marketing Trends?

Supply Chain: How Do You Compare to These 2017 Marketing Trends?

A global marketing survey finds that many businesses are focusing on these initiatives and challenges.

As more supply chain and logistics companies understand the benefits of content marketing, more are turning to this type of marketing strategy to build brand awareness and grow business. One of the functions of this blog is to update you on various marketing trends to help you keep pace with the rapidly evolving digital marketing landscape. 

The State of Inbound has been tracking global marketing and sales trends for the last eight years, with a particular focus on inbound marketing. (Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing.) The 2017 survey included more than 6,300 professionals at from 141 countries — so it’s very comprehensive.

There’s a lot to look through in the full report, but I’ve pulled out a few of the most important takeaways that speak to trends we’re finding most relevant to our supply chain clients.

5 takeaways from the State of Inbound 2017

1) Inbound marketing results in higher ROI.

The vast majority of respondents (46%) agree that inbound marketing helps them achieve higher ROI, as opposed to 12% who say outbound marketing achieves a higher return. (For the record, 23% can’t or don’t calculate ROI, and 18% don’t know.)

If you’re not convinced about the benefits of an inbound strategy like content marketing, here are 5 reasons supply chain and logistics businesses need to use content marketing.

2) There is a growing chasm between leadership and employees’ perception of success.

Executives who set the strategy and vision for their companies perceive things differently than the employees executing that vision. For example, while 69% of C-suite executives believe their organization’s marketing strategy is effective, only 55% of individual contributors do.

Are executives seeing benefits of marketing they’re not sharing with the team? Or, do they have misconceptions about how things are working? Either way, there seems to be room for improvement regarding transparency and communication from the top down and bottom up.

3) Gaining customers is a top challenge.

When asked about their top marketing challenges, 63% of respondents agree generating traffic and leads was their biggest concern. (Proving ROI of marketing activities was second with 40%.)

We hear this all the time. Our first response is usually, if you want more leads, focus on brand awareness. Secondly, it’s important to make sure your content strategy closely aligns with your business goals and that you’re creating content that suits your target audience at various stages of the buyer’s journey.

4) Video marketing is the next big investment.

When asked about expansion to new content distribution channels in the next 12 months, respondents most often said they plan to add YouTube (48%) and Facebook video (46%). This reflects the growing popularity of video as a content medium — and YES, it can work for the supply chain and logistics industries.

We’ve written extensively about this topic. Here are a few posts that may interest you if you’re curious how video might fit in your content strategy.

5) Companies need to focus on sales and marketing alignment.

Only 22% of respondents say their sales and marketing relationship is tightly aligned. That’s a big problem.

Sales and marketing teams that are aligned perform better. In this survey, for example, sales teams closely aligned with their marketing counterparts ranked the quality of marketing-sourced leads much higher than those that were rarely aligned or misaligned. That shows that when marketing and sales work together, everyone gets more of what they’re looking for — namely, leads!

Looking at these 5 trends, how does your company line up? Do these challenges resonate, or are you focused on other initiatives and problems?

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