How to Promote Your Company with Marina Mayer
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In this episode, Blythe speaks with Marina Mayer, the Editor-in-Chief of Food Logistics and Supply & Demand Chain Executive, about her journey in the logistics industry. Marina discusses the importance of promoting women in supply chain, the challenges of editorial planning, and her advice for independent creators. She also provides insights into her favorite tools, books, and logistics facts, and provides valuable perspectives for those passionate about supply chain, content creation, and gender diversity in the field.




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Show Transcript

See full episode transcriptTranscript is autogenerated by AI

Blythe Brumleve: 0:05

Welcome into another episode of Everything Is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in freight. We are proudly presented by SPI Logistics and I'm your host, Blythe Brumleve. I am proud to welcome in Marina Mayer. She is the editor-in-chief at Food Logistics and Supply and Demand chain executive. Co-founder of Women in Supply Chain Forum, content, IRONMARKETS so , she does it all. We are finally able to make it happen. We are live at Manifest a future supply chain in logistics. Marina, that's a hell of a resume. That's a mouthful.

Marina Mayer: 0:44

Some days I wonder how I sleep, and then I realize I don't.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:48

There's not a lot of sleeping going on at a conference like this, would you agree?

Marina Mayer: 0:53

I agree.

Blythe Brumleve: 0:54

No sleep. I want to start off with. We'll get into the conference here in just a little bit, but I want to start off with you, your background, how you got started in supply chain and logistics. I always think that's just a fascinating story and you're responsible for telling a lot of stories in supply chain and logistics. I want to hear your story first. How did you get into covering this industry?

Marina Mayer: 1:17

It was by accident A happy accident, I should say. I've always been in B2B. It was when I went to college for well internalism. My first job out of college was a B2B directory publication. I just kept moving to different companies and I landed at a company not the one I'm at now, but working for a food and beverage processing magazine.

Marina Mayer: 1:40

This job opened up at one of the supply chain publications and I was on maternity leave with my first born, my daughter. I thought, well, what's a better time to apply than when you're on maternity leave? I applied and they said oh, we want to move you. Over Two weeks after you return, you're starting this new job. I thought, well, okay, new baby, new job. It's all a fog. I don't remember any of it. It was probably the best decision I made, even though it was tiresome and emotionally strut, because I don't imagine myself ever leaving the supply chain industry, not being able to cover it, not being able to be at shows like this and talk to people about what's going on in the world. I've just always stayed in here, and now I'm on my 14th year being in the supply chain space. Yeah, pretty exciting.

Blythe Brumleve: 2:32

What was the first venture that you went out and conquered? Was it the Food Logistics magazine?

Marina Mayer: 2:41

I think my first one was something that we launched a couple of years ago our Women in Supply Chain Award and then our Women in Supply Chain Forum. That's something that I've always been at publications but I've never had the opportunity to do something that's mine the award. I went to our brand director and said I really think we need to create this award. We have all these other awards. I really feel passionate about this, something I really want to see get forward. I had this whole pitch. I was ready to explain it and he was like, yes, I didn't even get to pitch it. He said, yes, we launched the award during COVID, which was another stressful I don't know why I do things when the world is already up in arms and then we launched the Women's Supply Chain Forum, which is the in-person event, and it's just. I think for me, that's the highlight of my career Because it's being something that I feel passionate about and it coming to life and creating this community around women and logistics.

Blythe Brumleve: 3:36

That's such an incredible story because it is something that you own, that you're able. It's almost like your baby, I would imagine, and not a real baby, obviously, Right, but it is. You have real children.

Marina Mayer: 3:46

It's something that I feel really passionate about and then all in, but I still have the other facets of our brands and my job that I have to do. But this is like if I could just do this all day, I'd be great.

Blythe Brumleve: 4:00

So I imagine, with being in charge of magazines and media and awards and events, that you have some fantastic stories that you've been able to share over the years. Do you have a couple of women in supply chain that maybe you've experienced or written that story, or you talked to them and seen them come from difficult conversations or not difficult conversations, but difficult situations? Maybe Any favorites that stick out?

Marina Mayer: 4:26

I have a lot of favorites. I think a lot of the women in this industry are doing a lot of wonderful things, and it's not just in a work. I mean, we have people who we've had at our conference speak and they're off doing other things. I'm not saying that what we're doing is helping them, but it's providing a platform for them to kind of grow their own network and build their own community, and that's, to me, is also super important. We're all in this together. There's no, I don't look at everybody as competition. We gotta keep leaning on each other and building on each other. I think there's so many stories.

Marina Mayer: 5:03

Our first award winner was Bindiya from Resolink, and she's been on CNN, she's been on Bloomberg, she's been on all these national TVs talking about logistics and data analytics and like. To me, that's just. I mean, she was our first award winner, she wasn't doing that before, she's doing it now and that's just super cool. It's just super cool. So Charlie Saffrell was another women in supply chain winner. She was a panelist for us. She's not here at the show because she's currently doing a TED talk. I mean it's just amazing. She is such an incredible person. So these women, they're just doing impactful things. It's not like just an award for them. They're really doing impactful things.

Blythe Brumleve: 5:46

And I think that that's where it's key is highlighting the women that are doing these fantastic things behind the scenes, because we come to conferences like this and you've been coming to conferences for a long time and I think I used to make a joke about how, when you would show up to one of these things, the bathroom line for the women's restroom is so much shorter than the men's line, but now it's becoming a little bit longer.

Marina Mayer: 6:08

I don't know if you noticed, there's two women's bathrooms down the hall and one man, so I'm pretty jazzed about that. It's a sign.

Blythe Brumleve: 6:15

Yes, and I think Manifest, this conference in particular, is the first place where it brings like the global. At least for me, for the conferences I've been to, it's the first one that brings the global supply chain under one roof, which is so incredible to see, cause typically we only see it from, or I've seen it from, a US perspective. But to see it from an international perspective is just one step further, and I imagine, with all the women that you're covering within your publications, that it's the same for that as well.

Marina Mayer: 6:42

I love it. I mean, I've spent my whole day just hugging people, hugging winners, hugging people that I know through other people. I feel like I've not gotten any work done, but I don't know what that means, because they're all nurturing relationships and so I just have come and see people and it's like a little party. I get to see all my friends. It's cheers.

Blythe Brumleve: 7:05

Wherever I know, is your name kind of a thing. Oh true, yeah, yeah.

Marina Mayer: 7:07

Everybody comes and you're just like I know you, I know you, I love this and let's hug Congratulations on being an award winner. And it's not just our women in supply chain. We have pros to know winners here. We have winners from our Top Tech Startup Awards and our software awards. I mean people are just doing fantastic things for the industry.

Blythe Brumleve: 7:24

So it's not just food, Like you know. It's not the impression, no, we cover everything.

Marina Mayer: 7:28

Yeah, we launched the Top Tech Startup Award two years ago and a lot of our startups are here today at the show and we've been visiting them and saying hello and it's just. They're just doing things that make the world a better place.

Blythe Brumleve: 7:41

So how do you help them? You know, do media training, exposure. So exposure.

Marina Mayer: 7:46

We work with them, get them nominated, make sure that they're aware of the guidelines, make sure that they're aware of the criteria and really promote like get yourself in the running, you gotta be in it to win it, kind of a thing. I can't be the one to nominate you, it's a little bias but I would love for you to be a part of that list and just make sure you really tell your story. And so we have a lot of pop capacity as a big one here. They have a big booth, they're doing a lot of different things and they're just doing phenomenal work.

Blythe Brumleve: 8:15

So and so from, I guess, from your perspective, I'm curious as to how you attack your editorial plan with all of these different publications. How do you go about? Cause we talked earlier and I told you a little bit about how I'm. I was struggling last year with my editorial planning as far as the show is concerned, taking different strides with that this year, trying to at least, and I'm curious as to how you approach it. You know, what does your, I guess, media planning look like? I imagine you're planning this months, maybe sometimes years, in advance.

Marina Mayer: 8:47

So Q3 of every year we plan the next year's topics and we kind of try to stick to it as best as possible because that's kind of like our guideline. But as you know, in supply chain sometimes stuff happens overseas, sometimes a canal breaks, sometimes a bridge breaks, and you can't plan for that in your calendar. So you just kind of have to make room for those pivoting sessions that you can kind of collaborate with companies. But we do try to. When we plan out, we try to plan on all facets. You know we're recovering software, recovering warehousing, recovering transportation. You know we got to make those availability spots available. So there's no secret sauce.

Marina Mayer: 9:28

I've not mastered it by any means I was gonna say like what about?

Blythe Brumleve: 9:31

you know things that do come up. I don't want to say last minute, but they do.

Marina Mayer: 9:35

I mean it's and it's hard. I'm a two-person editorial staff on our supply chain and you know we have freelance and we do kind of get help in other areas. But you know, when you don't have a lot of people, you kind of unfortunately have to pick and choose, and so you know print deadlines or print deadlines. We can't go around that. But we do try to make opportunities available to contribute content. You know, hey, do you want to do a quick 10 minute interview? You know things like that. So I don't have it all figured out. I'm not gonna pretend that I do.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:07

Yeah, I think it's just one like lesson learned of the hard way Just every now, and then you just try to get a little bit better with these disruptions.

Marina Mayer: 10:16

they disrupt my plans.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:18

You know now that you say that it really it's media and covering this industry is very similar to the people actually working in the end, like trying to cover freight. Yeah, it's very much like how are you working on your sourcing, how are you working on your last mile delivery, your distribution, I mean?

Marina Mayer: 10:33

it's constant. I mean, there's so many people that I've talked to today just about stuff that's going on with the Red Sea and like shipments and how costs of goods are going up and they just can't make, they can't guarantee anything and that's a hard place to be. But you know, internally we all understand it. Externally, consumers don't always understand that, so it's challenging.

Blythe Brumleve: 10:56

So what does, I guess, your planning look like? You used to so print mag and then outside of that, because there's always gonna be the debate like print versus digital, but it seems like you really combine the two.

Marina Mayer: 11:07

Yeah, we figured out how to over some time. I'm not gonna say it's overnight, but we have a very set in stone print to digital, digital to print strategy. You know, make sure that you know both eyes are on both, because they're not the same reader sometimes and it's different to every issue, it's different to every topic. But we do try to kind of marry the two so that we have both. And then we have our newsletter, we have webinars, our awards. Those are our big part of our planning.

Blythe Brumleve: 11:42

So yeah, I'm curious as to I'm sure you do like regular analytics to try to see like what stories are popping the most. I did it for myself. You know it was very interesting to see the difference in the popularity of certain content on YouTube versus content on the podcast. It's very different. I'm sure there are two totally different users readers.

Marina Mayer: 12:04

They too are, and still today, the people who look at our website may not be the same people who get our newsletter, even though the newsletter comes from our website. So it's just how people want content delivered and what's easy for them.

Blythe Brumleve: 12:18

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Blythe Brumleve: 13:47

What do you think is an area of because marketing plays obviously a big role in what you do and getting those stories out. What would? I guess some of the bigger things or shifts that are happening in media and marketing that you haven't jumped onto yet, but you're curious about what you maybe want to experiment in the future.

Marina Mayer: 14:06

Oh, that's a good question. I think a lot of it is. Our industry, specifically, is trying to figure out now that we're all back in person, does that change their revenue and how they are spending money? Because we've had a lot of people say I want to put all my money into my booth, my trade shows, my travel, and that's totally something that has never been a thing, and so we're hearing a lot of that and it's a good thing, it's a good, we like that. But it's just funny to. That's just a different strategy that we kind of have to look at, because I mean, look at this show, it doubled. I mean it's crazy, it's remarkable. But this is kind of people love the in-person. Who would have thought, after COVID, right, I thought people would remain hermit.

Blythe Brumleve: 14:54

I mean, it was really fun being a hermit for a while.

Blythe Brumleve: 14:57

It was you know the no traffic on the roads. That was super nice, but now it's definitely. You know, before we hit record, we were both kind of talking about just trying to take a breather Because of the media, for folks who may not be aware that the media landscape and supply chain of logistics it's a small community. It is. It's growing, of course. It's grown, you know, heavily in the last few years, but it's also a very small community and you have a lot of companies here that are trying to get attention, that they're trying to, and the PR outreach is absolutely insane.

Marina Mayer: 15:28

Oh, it's insane. And God bless them, I love it In a good way, but it's just, yeah, it's, everybody is trying to get in front of others, and I appreciate that, but that's what these input person shows are doing. I mean, there's only so much of us to go around and it's only a little time, so that's where I think it could be a little challenging.

Blythe Brumleve: 15:47

Yeah, it's definitely. You learn. I think with Manifest you learn a new lesson every year about what capacity you can only take on yourself. Like you know, I've joked before we started recording that. I you know, the only time I can catch my breath is if I go into the bathroom and hide in a stall, just stand there for five minutes.

Marina Mayer: 16:04

Okay, I'm good, have a pop talk with yourself. I've learned not to schedule anything on travel days. That was my lesson learned this one. I had stuff scheduled yesterday and travel screwed everything up, and so I had to cancel everything. So lesson learned not on travel days. Now what?

Blythe Brumleve: 16:21

does your post conference sort of plan look like? Are you following up with a bunch of people getting stories Like what does that look like for you? Yeah, we are following up.

Marina Mayer: 16:30

We have my managing editors out there following up for stories. She has a whole list of content she's gonna go after and do interviews. We're trying to get speakers for our Women's Pitching Forum. We're just, you know, following up just to make sure everybody's taken care of. You know our award winners. We stop by. Hey, we'll, we'll. I'll email you when the next award opens, just in case you wanna throw your hat in the ring again. So, yeah, it's just a lot of nurturing. You know it's constant nurturing. You have to keep reminding people of things because they're so busy too.

Blythe Brumleve: 16:59

Now what does that? I guess, if I'm a PR rep or if I'm a company and I want you to cover my business, like what are some ways to get that attention? And then what are some ways that are absolutely gonna turn you off?

Marina Mayer: 17:11

That's a great question, something I can very easily answer. What I love is when PR companies email me and say I wanna set up a meeting, and we have a meeting and we just talk about who are your clients? What do they want from me? Here's our topics, here's what we are looking for. How can we meet in the middle? Is it contributed content? Is it? Do they wanna, you know, be on a webinar? Do they want to be interviewed in an article?

Marina Mayer: 17:37

And then the ones that I don't appreciate are the ones that just badger you with emails and pitches and you're like you're not understanding our business model and I don't even know who you're talking about. They sometimes don't even put the client's name in the email and they just it's constant badgering. So I would much rather form that relationship with the PR company and say let me understand who your clients are, let me understand who you are, how you operate, and then let's work together because we meet each other, so that there's a lot that are just that they badger you. I'm sure you get it too and it just it becomes a turn off. At that point I just don't have time.

Blythe Brumleve: 18:14

Yeah, it's one of those things I we were talking about. You know, sort of the manifest like PR outreach and there's, you know there's about 60 of us relative to like a CES, for example, consumer Electronics show, where you have, you know, there's probably a thousand media members and that might be on the conservative side of things going to these events. So you have all of that, you know, I guess additional help per se or additional coverage. But you know we're only, we're so cute.

Marina Mayer: 18:38

I told you. I told you there was so many people and I was like I mean, I literally was like when am I going to eat lunch?

Blythe Brumleve: 18:42

I have to eat lunch. You're not going to want to meet with me at two o'clock if I'm not at lunch. Now you know, getting back to the manifest show Now, when people will be listening to this, it'll be a few weeks after the fact, so I'm sure they'll be looking forward to. You know some of these stories that maybe you've seen out on the expo floor. We've had those conversations with. What kind of stories are you looking forward to telling in the future?

Marina Mayer: 19:03

What I love at this show is is is is not only meeting the people, but I love seeing what they're bringing and introducing. There's been a lot of new product introductions or news announcements that have happened in the past 24 hours, acquisitions or seed funding rounds. That shows growth, it shows progress, it shows these companies are coming here, they want to do big things for the year and I think this manifest is at the beginning of the year. It sets the stage for the rest of the year and so I mean I think just this morning there were like 60 press releases on the manifest website and I mean I looked at it and was like, oh my god.

Marina Mayer: 19:37

I can't handle this now, but that just shows a lot of the growth and the progress that's going on in this industry and I don't think that that's ever been like that at this show or at any other show. It's a lot.

Blythe Brumleve: 19:52

That's one thing that I'm here for, and that's what a manifest team does is well, they don't do any paid marketing, which I think is fantastic, but then, on the flip side, they have all of this organic marketing and they encourage the companies that are coming to drop their news releases here at the show and I love it. Yeah, it's one of those things where you're going to have to you're email inboxing a bit more.

Marina Mayer: 20:11

I know I need some time next week.

Blythe Brumleve: 20:15

So I think that's a hit to any company that's trying to reach out to you After a conference like this. Wait a few weeks, email inbox is a little bit less cluttered and you can kind of get your bearings a little straight. What about from, I guess, the independent creator side of things, where we're seeing kind of a growth in sort of the solo, independent podcasters? I'm a beneficiary of that, that growth in that medium. What kind of advice would you give to other people who may be covering content within their own organization, maybe looking for a little bit of help with exposure to that content from your organizations? What kind of advice would you give to them to make better marketing internally so that they can drive up more business and be able to afford the paid opportunities?

Marina Mayer: 20:56

That's a good question, I think, kind of what you touched on earlier, like creating that agenda, creating that schedule and figuring out what you want to be and who you want to talk to and what kind of topics you want to cover. You can't probably cover everything, but you also don't want to be too niche. So it's trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up, kind of with that podcast and, I think, forming relationships with other media outlets who can kind of help you, because we don't really we have a podcast, we don't use it. So I appreciate being on others for that reason, because we have that in common and we can lean on each other and support each other in ways where you're more skilled in some areas than us and vice versa. So I think it just, you know, collaborate, collaboration is key.

Blythe Brumleve: 21:43

I love that and for most of the guests, if I remember. I remember this time I have a set of questions that I like to ask each guest, so I would love to be able to ask you a few of these and marketing related questions. So how do you think about marketing when it comes to you and your company?

Marina Mayer: 21:58

Well, we have an internal marketing department and I love having an internal marketing department. I love having a group of people where I'm like here, take care of this for me, but they do. They handle all of our booths stop for shows. They handle all of our collateral that we pass out at shows. They handle all the behind the scenes. I know, not every company is as blessed to have that we do. We probably have a six person marketing team, which is almost unheard of, oh, awesome, but they are fantastic, and so anybody out there who does not, please try to get that.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:30

OK, what about your favorite social media platform, and why?

Marina Mayer: 22:34

LinkedIn. I have met and connected with so many people on LinkedIn and that platform has provided outreach for me to grow a forum to grow awards, to connect with people like you who I had never met in person. And then you see them walking on the hallway and they're like I think I know that person, but I don't remember how.

Blythe Brumleve: 22:53

Yeah, you have to match their LinkedIn profile.

Marina Mayer: 22:54

Yeah, and then you're kind of like wait, you don't look anything like your LinkedIn profile, but I think LinkedIn is just a phenomenal platform, do you?

Blythe Brumleve: 23:01

have a second favorite.

Marina Mayer: 23:05

I mean I like Facebook, but more for personal reasons. But yeah, linkedin all the way.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:10

OK, what is your favorite SaaS tool that you can't live without? Do Google Docs count? Yes, that's actually. I have a Google Doc open right now.

Marina Mayer: 23:20

I cannot live without Google Docs. I even have Google Docs I share with my family. First off because I just love it that much and that's how we plan for events. It's how we coordinate our schedules and who's doing what and who's going where, and just everything goes in there. It's all hands on deck.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:36

OK, favorite freight business that isn't your own.

Marina Mayer: 23:40

Well, anybody who's delivering my packages every other day. I'm all for.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:45

Shout out to Amazon Delivery.

Marina Mayer: 23:47

Shout out to those guys who my dogs cannot handle.

Blythe Brumleve: 23:53

All right. What is a book or podcast that has changed your perspective on something?

Marina Mayer: 23:58

Ooh Well, I'm an avid reader. I read a lot of books, but I read mysteries, murder mysteries, books that have nothing to do with supply chain, and I probably don't want to say a lot of them because people are going to be like, wow, that's really bad.

Blythe Brumleve: 24:13

Well, it is a true crime. It's like the number one podcast that I buy a mile for women.

Marina Mayer: 24:17

I mean, I just am here for all of that, because I just you know who doesn't love a good who done it, you know Right.

Blythe Brumleve: 24:24

All right, and last one. Now you've covered a lot of stories, so I'm sure maybe it might take a minute to think of one, but what is your favorite supply chain or logistics fact? What was that again, what's your favorite supply chain or logistics fact?

Marina Mayer: 24:42

Ah, oh Well, I think the fact that women's play chain is growing is a very good fact. Heck yeah. We're not there yet, but studies have shown where it's. I think Gartner said it was like 23% up from like 15%. Wow, and even the number of executives women executives is growing. Maybe that was the number. It is Heck. Yeah, I'd like to double check my website to see what.

Blythe Brumleve: 25:14

I wrote no, I mean that's almost double digit growth in a short amount of time.

Marina Mayer: 25:18

Yeah, and that's a good fact because it's just showing that we're all doing our part. Every company that's here is doing their part. I know there's a women's lunch tomorrow that we partner with with Manifest on and our sponsor of, and it's just I think that's so important.

Blythe Brumleve: 25:36

And so you know, as we kind of round out the conversation, working folks you know maybe submit themselves, women submit themselves to your awards, to your publications, if any businesses are listening and they maybe want to pitch you in the right way. A few weeks after conferences, you know where can folks follow?

Marina Mayer: 25:51

you follow more of your work so they can follow me on LinkedIn. You can go to our website. We have foodlegisticscom and then secexcom, or you can just email me. You can find my email online, yeah. We'll put this all on the show notes too, if they can use it for people and just reach out and just let's form that relationship, let's start having that conversation.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:12

Marina, glad we finally made this happen. Thank you, I'm so glad. Thank you, thank you for coming on, thank you, and I'm sure the audience will appreciate it and all the work that you're doing within the industry promoting women and logistics. So thank you very much. Thank you. I hope people and well, we're going to, we're going to respond to all of you when we get back home and our e-belly inboxes are not overloaded. So Exactly.

Blythe Brumleve: 26:36

I hope you enjoyed this episode of Everything Is Logistics, a podcast for the thinkers in it freight, telling the stories behind how your favorite stuff and people get from point A to B. Subscribe to the show, sign up for our newsletter and follow our socials over at everythingislogisticscom. And in addition to the podcast, I also wanted to let y'all know about another company I operate, and that's Digital Dispatch, where we help you build a better website. Now, a lot of the times, we hand this task of building a new website or refreshing a current one off to a co-worker's child, a neighbor down the street or a stranger around the world, where you probably spend more time explaining the freight industry than it takes to actually build the dang website.

Blythe Brumleve: 27:17

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About the Author

Blythe Brumleve
Blythe Brumleve
Creative entrepreneur in freight. Founder of Digital Dispatch and host of Everything is Logistics. Co-Founder at Jax Podcasters Unite. Board member of Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. Freightwaves on-air personality. Annoying Jaguars fan. test

To read more about Blythe, check out her full bio here.