Blythe Brumleve on Digital Marketing and the Supply Chain

Women leaders are pressing forward through the disruption into a new year and a new age for supply chain. They’re making bold moves and shaking up the supply chain to build it back—smarter and stronger.  And at Let’s Talk Supply Chain, we know anything is possible when women empower women. That’s why every month we’re proud to feature the fearless female leaders who are fueling new approaches and changing the way the industry looks—forever.

Our Women In Supply Chain™ series highlights the female thought leaders you want to know about now. We dive into their challenges and achievements, and what brought them to where they are now, deep in the supply chain. They share want you to know about obliterating glass ceilings in their careers and across the supply chain.

Keep reading for best practices and career advice to keep you inspired and on point.

This month, we’re proud to highlight Blythe Brumleve, a journalist, entrepreneur, and supply chain and marketing professional with over a decade of experience in media—including sports broadcasting.

How did your supply chain journey start?

As an avid sports and gaming fan, born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, I started the blog back in 2007 as a side-hustle dream. I wanted to turn it into a full-time reality. Around the same time that I launched the blog, I launched my first website. I was tired of the service industry and ready for a fresh start.  My cousin worked at a 3PL where they were looking for an executive assistant. So, I figured, why not? I applied, got the job, and shortly thereafter, my immediate manager discovered my side hustle and asked, “Why don’t you start handling our website and digital marketing?”  Now, more a decade later, I own Digital Dispatch, a logistics marketing agency.

What kept you coming back to Logistics?

My grandparents—part of the crew from Louisville, Kentucky who relocated to Jax, Florida— worked for CSX Railroads. So, growing up, I had a general idea of supply chain. But it wasn’t until I was looking for a fresh start as an executive assistant to the C-suite at a 3PL that I had a breakthrough. That role sparked a major interest in the process of how stuff gets from point A to point B. I loved that role, also, I always knew I wanted more.

Unfortunately, the 3PL closed after five years. I decided to use my marketing skills in another direction and applied for a copy editor position at Void Magazine, a local media company. Within two months Void promoted me to Editor in Chief position—bringing more local exposure. With all that local visibility, I became a local sports radio personality and broadcaster.

These broadcasts happened regularly, a few times a week. So, I went to work with my previous manager who started up HTS Logistics, another freight company. I joined HTS Logistics as their marketing director and worked with them for two years before my manager (and mentor) said, “It’s time for me to push you out of the nest.”

And that’s when I founded my organization. Three years later, it’s still the best decision I ever had to make. I can use my marketing and broadcast skills to help other companies reach their digital goals—daily.

Why did you start Freight School Playbook this year?

To save logistics companies time, shorten their sales cycles, and help differentiate them from their competition with on-demand digital marketing training. When COVID hit, the demand for IT and web solutions exploded overnight. Digital Dispatch was slammed for months.

While I was able to support organizations with an ample digital budget, there were many I couldn’t help because the timing wasn’t right with current contracts already in place. But my 2020 plan including creating an educational component to my service offerings. This summer when those bigger jobs concluded and my time freed up a bit, it was time.

Time to finally create the modern educational piece that’s A) been missing in this industry for a while and B) make it affordable for the small, growing businesses that need it the most. Most companies know their website and marketing are important aspects to attract customers, but many don’t have the resources to hire a marketing department or they simply don’t know where to start. Freight School Playbook helps them make smart, deliberate moves with modern digital strategies to help organizations across the chain capitalize on what makes them unique: their story.

And we teach them how to tell that story through courses covering podcasting, content marketing, website auditing, content distribution, and more—all built with the logistics professional in mind.

Why is digital content marketing so important?

Your digital marketing is your initial handshake with a potential customer. Play it right, and your digital strategy can empower a continued connection to your customer base. That way you can not enhance and expand on your customer relationships.

Who is your career crush and why?

Sara Blakely, the SPANX founder is my professional idol. Sara worked full-time in door-to-door fax machine sales and had a breakthrough when her employer required her to wear pantyhose. Sara was upset. She hated that the seam showed while wearing open-toed shoes.

She decided to ditch the awkward hosiery feet—cut them right off. That’s how SPANX was eventually born. Blakely attempted to sell the product to hosiery manufacturers all over the country but discovered all those companies were led by men who didn’t know the product they were selling to women. She used her life savings ($5k) to start the business, wrote the patent herself, and found a manufacturer who backed the idea because his three daughters were excited about it. Since founding SPANX, Sara is a billionaire recognized as one of the most powerful women in the world. And she’s launched a foundation to help women through education and entrepreneurial training. What’s not to love?

What hurdles have you overcome in your career?

My greatest challenge was the closing of the first logistics company I worked at—it was unexpected and hit right before the holidays.  At that point in my career, I was making great money, enjoyed a nice work-life balance, and was still able to expand my side-hustle dreams.

I didn’t want to stop working for my managers or my goals. I didn’t want to rework my entire professional life. It was depressing. But a few months later, I scored that copywriter job at a magazine, became their Editor in Chief. That led to a career in broadcasting—all these skills were learned and earned because a company I worked at closed.

What trends have you seen for digital marketing in supply chain?

Digital media trends have been moving content in-house for a while, especially in other industries, but COVID has since fast-tracked that movement. Now the excuses of “I don’t have the equipment” or “I’m nervous to be on camera” are out the window. Everyone knows how to meet virtually, and probably has a decent microphone and webcam.

There are zero excuses to avoid creating in-house content to reach your business goals. If time is a priority for your business like it is for mine, Digital Dispatch can help with this entire process. Or you can learn how to do it yourself via our Freight School Playbook training.

If you aren’t already creating content to help potential customers solve their problems, it’s time to start, like, yesterday. Because if you don’t, your competition will.

Meet Our Sponsor

This Women In Supply Chain™ feature was made possible by our sponsor, Apex Logistics. Apex Logistics International Inc is deeply rooted in diversity and culture, led by our own “Woman in Supply Chain” CEO, Elsie Qian; these values are why we partnered with Let’s Talk Supply Chain for the Women In Supply Chain™ series. Apex is recognized as one of the fastest-growing Top 25 airfreight forwarders in the world, with a network of over 2500 global employees in more than 70 countries.

About The Author:

Naomi Garnice is the Director of Marketing for MicroAge where she leads the marketing team and creative strategy. Naomi has been a content marketer for 14 years and is passionate about creating engaging content that matters. Throughout her career in marketing for technology, healthcare and supply chain organizations, Naomi has advocated to highlight female thought leaders in male-dominated industries.

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