Marketing and logistics may feel like two very different business areas. What does your warehouse data have to do with your marketing data? Actually, quite a lot!
Too often, data ends up siloed within different teams, greatly reducing the ultimate value that companies can leverage from it. The benefits of breaking these silos, particularly when it comes to bridging the gap between marketing and logistics, are enormous. Linking operations and marketing through data can influence brand performance, brand image, sales, and customer experience.
The Value of Linking Data
Risk exists in any business venture, but optimizing marketing based on information from operations can help eliminate a level of risk. When companies share data between their warehouse and marketing teams, there is a higher level of optimization on both sides. Marketing teams can avoid putting spend behind marketing products that the operations side isn’t able to fulfill, whether due to lack of inventory or supply chain hold-ups.
On the logistics side, preparation is everything. Having the right amount of inventory and getting ahead of potential delays—especially in this day and age when “supply chain issues” is now a common phrase for businesses and consumers alike—are necessary efforts for the health of the business. When the silos are broken down between marketing and operations, operations professionals can forecast against potential marketing spend and increase inventory to the necessary levels.
Protecting the Bottom Line and Customer Experience
Optimizing the marketing and logistics relationship can be a protector of the bottom line by ensuring ad spend isn’t wasted on products that have no inventory available. On the flip side, it also protects businesses from loss of opportunity. There may be products sitting in a warehouse that could perform well in a marketing and sales environment, and sharing data ensures the marketing team can capitalize on those.
To paint a picture of the two-way benefits of this relationship, it’s helpful to think about fast-moving markets such as home grocery, where perishability may be a factor. Not only can marketing help those products move quicker but customer experience improves. The products can be properly marketed to customers as either having a long shelf life remaining or as near-expired. Giving customers this information helps them make informed decisions and builds a relationship of trust with the retailer.
Building from the Ground Up
Whether a business is running its own fulfillment operations or works with a warehouse partner, the logistics (wink) of joining them are complex. Warehouse management systems are designed to be as efficient as possible from sourcing to delivery and tracking all the necessary data in between. Because of the seemingly endless amount of moving parts, it's imperative for executives from each part of the business to buy into the process of breaking down silos and making the proper tech investments.
For businesses getting off the ground, it’s typical, and understandable, to place the focus on building the brand, developing products, marketing, and getting products out the door–basically, survival. However, a company’s naissance is the opportune time to stop the silos from being built at all. Investing and future-proofing a tech stack from the beginning with a solution that will grow a pool of data that’s usable and viewable across the entire business.
Data is yours, mine, and ours
While technology is a significant part of the equation, it will only go so far without creating a culture of openness between teams. Asking “what can marketing get out of the warehouse management system?” and “what can operations glean from marketing data?” will help both teams prepare better to deliver upon promises made to customers.
Whether it’s a course correction deep in a brand’s journey or part of a company’s first step, fostering interoperability and conversations between marketing and operations is a key step toward sales and customer experience success.