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Supplier Diversity Blog by supplier.io

Working with Your Marketing Department to Announce Supplier Diversity Progress Externally

Working with your marketing department to communicate your supplier diversity progress externally is an important factor in the success of your program. A coordinated, branded marketing campaign can enhance your brand reputation, attract potential diverse suppliers, demonstrate accountability, and help normalize supplier diversity.

Your supplier diversity program will have different marketing objectives depending on whether it’s a new initiative or a mature, established program. Before meeting with your marketing team, take a look at these suggestions for collaboration.

New Programs

If you’re a company with a new program, you need to work with the marketing department to let diverse suppliers know that your company is prioritizing supplier diversity. Additional marketing communication will help establish your new program’s credibility.

Launching the Program

First things first, get the word out that your organization is launching a supplier diversity program. This marketing campaign is an opportunity to share the “why” behind your new program. How does supplier diversity align with your company’s values? 

Demonstrate your company’s commitment to supplier diversity with a statement from the CEO and/or CPO.  This reiterates C-suite buy-in and adds credibility to your new program.

Other information to include:

  • What does supplier diversity look like in your organization?
  • What are your goals, both short-term and long-term?
  • How can diverse suppliers register with your company?
  • How will the supplier diversity program be held accountable? 

Accountability

Announcing the launch of your supplier diversity program is a public proclamation that your company is committed to supplier diversity. Once your launch campaign is completed, it’s time to build credibility with regular communication about your supplier diversity program’s progress and activities. 

Some ideas of what to highlight include:

  • Attendance at trade shows and business conferences
  • Partnerships with diverse business advocacy groups
  • Progress toward goals

Mature Programs

If yours is an established program—five years or older—you should celebrate your organization’s supplier diversity progress through external marketing and communication. Think beyond simply publicizing diverse spend; contextualize your supplier diversity program.

Meeting Goals

Diverse spend is currently the most publicized metric for supplier diversity programs. It highlights progress toward your goals, serves as an accountability metric, and can be a benchmark for other supplier diversity programs. You definitely want to share your diverse spend when marketing your program, but go a step further and put those numbers in context. What percentage of the company’s overall spend does it represent? How many diverse suppliers are part of your supply chain?

Success Stories

Supplier diversity can feel remote and disconnected—like it’s just another corporate program. Highlight the human face of supplier diversity by showcasing supplier success stories. Share how your supplier diversity and supplier development programs help diverse business owners grow and succeed, putting the suppliers front and center in the marketing materials. 

Economic Impact

Another way to highlight the real-world benefits of supplier diversity is with an economic impact analysis. This type of reporting connects your company’s supplier diversity spend to the real impact it has on diverse businesses and the multiplier effect on their communities. It’s a way to measure the “why” behind your supplier diversity program. Including economic impact in your marketing campaigns can boost customer loyalty and attract additional diverse suppliers to your program.

Partnerships

One of your marketing objectives is to establish your supplier diversity program as a leader and collaborator in the supplier diversity space. To that end, you should announce partnerships with diverse supplier advocacy groups such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, and National LGBT Chamber of Commerce; join a board of directors; create supplier development partnerships (e.g. sponsor a minority leadership program with a business school); and so on. The message should both add credibility to your program and elevate the entity with which you partner.

Growth and Expansion

Showcase your supplier diversity progress by communicating growth and expansion. If you’re updating your goals because you’ve met previous KPIs, that’s cause for celebration. If you’re expanding into a global supplier diversity program, then your marketing team should get the message out here in the U.S. and in the new regions where you’re operating.

Whether you’re announcing the launch of your new supplier diversity program or highlighting the successes and growth of an established program, you should be working with your marketing department to highlight your supplier diversity progress. 

To learn more about supplier diversity programs, read our report, 2021 State of Supplier Diversity.

state-of-supplier-diversity-reports

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The team has a long history in driving innovative solutions in supplier diversity. We believe that companies deserve solutions that are effective and provide measurable value and results. Started more than a decade ago, supplier.io has rapidly become a prominent provider of supplier diversity solutions to leading corporations. We currently support customers in automotive, healthcare, insurance, retail, manufacturing, education, and banking. One in five Fortune 50 company relies on supplier.io.