With the current supply chain crisis, some companies may wonder if they should pull back on their marketing. Should you drive demand when retail distribution can be inconsistent? What about access to paper for direct mail and other marketing projects? Specific grades can be challenging to find. Should you just pull back?

The answer is no! Change your strategy instead.

Supply chain shortages are real, but if anything, it’s time to press on. Change your messaging. Incorporate brand building. Build goodwill with good news stories. Deepen customer relationships with product tips and availability. Keep those communications positive and uplifting. This way, when the supply chain starts moving consistently again, you’ve built up a considerable goodwill reserve that will pay off.

Here’s a quick road map for navigating these waters:

1. Communicate regularly with your customers. Stay in front of them. Let them know you care and are actively working on their behalf.

2. Be proactive. If something is out of stock, let them know. Promise to keep them informed about stock availability, and when stock replenishes, let them know right away. Customers understand supply chain issues, and proactive communication can make all the difference.

3. Build your brand. Even if you aren’t promoting products, you can engage customers. Help them learn more about your company’s mission, your plans, and how your products fit into their lives. Deepen your brand identity.

4. Communicate contingency plans. When things go awry, have a contingency plan and communicate it. You can be the hero, even when things aren’t ideal.

5. Create engagement. Use this opportunity to develop customer relationships that will pay off later. Ask questions. Solicit feedback. Even be fun and playful. Add a QR Code to your marketing pieces that lead to your employees doing a Tik-Tok video. Be creative and have fun! Just keep people engaged.

When it comes to paper supply issues, take the same approach. Be creative. Plan your marketing campaigns early. Be willing to use a different stock if your favorite isn’t available. Flexibility will be the key to getting through these crazy times. It just takes creativity and planning.

Let’s do this together!