Supply Chain Marketing

Mark Derks, Chief Marketing Officer at BlueGrace Logistics

August 2, 2022


Boats stuck in ports, microchips in short supply, production backlogs. Welcome to The Marketing Accelerator Podcast…featuring three insights in about three minutes. I'm Drew Dinkelacker. Today, I am speaking with Mark Derks. He's the CMO of BlueGrace Logistics, one of the largest logistics providers in the USA. Mark, supply chain issues seem to get the blame every time a product is out of supply. How has that changed marketing?

Mark Derks: Yeah, supply chains as a category, are top of mind and in mainstream media more today than ever before, and if you go back and think about the pandemic time, supply chain was the hero. Fast forward 18 months, and now we have this high demand in the economy, we have these boats stuck in the ports, there are shortages of microchips and baby formulas…and, all of a sudden, supply chain is the villain. And what that really means from a marketing perspective is that our messaging around our products, around our services, has to evolve and change to tackle this topic of supply chain, because our customers and our consumers are interested in, are they going to be able to get that couch in a week or two or 16 months from now? And it all is dependent on the supply chain, so as marketers we should be looking at our messaging, and we should be including supply chain as a main core topic of our messaging.

Drew: Now, you have a large sales team at BlueGrace Logistics. What's your secret for getting sales to jump on MQLs, the Marketing Qualified Leads?

Mark: Yeah, and that's always been a main topic, right? Do sales people like marketing leads, and what do sales people do with marketing leads? And we spend a lot of time, effort, a lot of advertising dollars in generating these inbound leads, so how can we keep sales people interested in them to return on our investment? And, a few things that we do is we focus a lot on our ideal customer profile; we agree what targets we're going for - we do a lot of lead scoring - so our sales people know how qualified and how hot these leads are. And, then we use gamification to keep our sales people interested in selling and going after marketing qualified leads.

Drew: Okay, now I'm curious. Give me an example of how you gamify sales.

Mark: Yeah, you know, if you think there's a lot of steps in the sales process, right? And we always want to run to the end, and be like, "Hey, I converted the sale into real business." But through all these processes, you know, it starts with a call, and then it might lead to a demo, then it might lead to a full proposal…so we set up gamification to incent our sales teams to continue to work on these marketing leads, and it's little things such as, if you contact 10 marketing leads, we use our platform to allow the sales rep to select their favorite song, and we play that song on the floor for the entire company to hear. So if you're a salesperson, and your song comes on the stereo on the speakers, you know that you made your 10th touch of a marketing qualified leads. Little things that add up to be a big deal, but it keeps sales folks interested in pursuing those marketing qualified leads.

Drew: Work can be a lot of fun when it's mostly a game. Thanks, Mark! The Marketing Accelerator Podcast is a production of and just one of the resources we provide to accelerate marketers and business. I'm Drew Dinkelacker.