Like any business, a supply chain company needs to form its business story and build intelligent campaigns. A few key preparations link directly to a successful outcome.
Management needs to invest a chunk of time initially to get the company's story nailed and incorporated into the communications effort. The thread needs to be integrated across the entire organization and in all media. The first step is to consider some key questions and create a positioning statement and key messages. This results in a communications strategy on which all tactics are based. (Think strategy first, then tactics.)
Be brutally honest about how you stack up against your electronic supply chain competitors with an eye toward understanding their established market positions. The competitive comparison may vary across geographies. Understanding this is part of effective planning. Often, a single strategy won't be globally effective.
Capture information from technical and management team members in order to create content specifically of interest to supply chain pros at various levels. Outside sources may also prove valuable. Consider offering information targeted at those working in specialties that make the buying decisions that effect your organization.
Re-using existing relevant content may be a more rapid means of getting started. Whether content is newly developed or repurposed, always focus on areas of interest to people in the supply chain industry, whether it is politics, economics, technology, or human resources.
Have a business or marketing plan
Every organization has a PowerPoint presentation that outlines the basics of their organization. However, this file isn't the same as having a business or marketing plan and strategy statement. It may work with explanation but PPT files are meant to have a speaker. A simple, clear document is needed. Richard Rumelt's recent book, Good Strategy/Bad Strategy, one of the best business books I've read in a decade, offers invaluable advice:
A business strategy is not, as is so often portrayed in the corporate world, an Objective or end point or a bunch of fluff and high-sounding language without meaning. A strategy includes the following:
- A diagnosis defining or explaining the nature of the challenge. An effective diagnosis simplifies the often overwhelming complexity of the business environment by identifying certain aspects of the situation as critical. (An example might be a missing piece needed by customers that competitors have ignored. It can also be lots of other things.)
- A guiding policy for dealing with the challenge. This is the overall approach chosen to cope with or overcome the obstacles identified in the diagnosis.
- A set of coherent actions that are designed to carry out he guiding policy. These are steps that are coordinated with one another to work together in the accomplishing the guiding policy.
I offer these thoughts as a starting point for your team to begin thinking strategically about creating and disseminating a corporate brand identity. The best vehicle is a clear, simple plan that can be widely shared across your business. A good strategy has the potential to drive business. Bad strategy or none at all, meanwhile, offers a superb means of wasting time and money.