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MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY

Marketing Communications are the tools a company uses to deliver a range of promotional messages to its target markets and customers.

As a business, you may use a range of Marketing Communications to promote your business, brand, products, events or services.

You may want to promote a new product, price, promotion, website, social media, place of distribution, or a message to a market segment.

Perhaps you are a new business, so you’ve done all the hard work, but how do you spread the word? Or are you an established business with a new product or service to promote? You need to communicate this to your audience with engaging messages through the right media. There are a huge variety of communication channels available; you can use one or a mixture to spread the word.

Streets can research and write clear concise Marketing Communication Plans for your business.

These plans could include any of the following communication tactics:

DIGITAL MARKETING TOOLS

  • Digital audio streaming advertisements – DAX – digital audio exchange
  • Mobile responsive website
  • Apps
  • Mobile advertising
  • Video
  • Email newsletter marketing campaigns
  • Social media – organic and paid-for plans
  • Digital display advertisements
  • SEO
  • Video platforms such as: YouTube – content/advertisements/video
  • Google ad words campaigns, PPC, Ad words, display ads
  • Blogs
  • Microsites
  • Rich media
  • Content marketing
  • Digital magazines/brochures
  • Affiliate marketing

TRADITIONAL MARKETING COMMUNICATION TOOLS

  • Press – including magazines.
  • Radio.
  • TV.
  • Exhibitions.
  • Outdoor – posters.
  • Ambient media.
  • Sales.
  • Direct mail.
  • PR.
  • Brochures.
  • Mailshots.
  • On-page advertisements.
  • Inserts.
  • Posters.
  • Leaflet drops.
  • Exhibition stands.

So, we’ve identified the tools but how do you write a Marketing Communications Strategy?

These guidelines are the same for a new launch or an established business launching a new product.

DECIDE THE OBJECTIVES

  • Do you want to generate brand awareness or spread a new message about your business, products or services?
  • Spread a new message to a particular segment of the market?
  • Develop your brand message to a new target market?
  • Are you launching a new product or service?
  • Are you looking to attract new customers or to encourage existing customers to buy more from you?
  • Do you want people to sample your product or service?
  • Encourage people to switch brands? Or do you want to keep your brand in the public eye to protect your market share?
  • Promote a price change?
  • Tell customers you have gone digital?

The list is endless…

A successful marketing communications campaign will use a mixture of promotional techniques to get the key messages across to customers. Once you have decided your objectives, consider the various elements of the promotional mix and decide which are the most appropriate at this time to reach your customers.

Make sure your objectives are SMART

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Relevant
  5. Time-bound

NEXT – set KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS in place:

These are quantifiable measurements, agreed beforehand, that reflect the success of the goals originally set.

Examples of KPIs

  • A specific number of leads generated or sales made in a specific time.
  • An amount of budget/money saved as a result of changes made.
  • An increase in market share.
  • A target number of unique visitors to the website during a specific time.
  • A total number of visits to a website in a month.
  • A number of repeat visits.
  • The average time spent on the website.
  • Click through rates (CTR) from your banner ad, email campaign or from a web link on another site.
  • Conversion rate.
  • Cost per sale.
  • Abandonment rate.
  • Bounce rate.
  • Churn rates.
  • Return on investment.

Sit down with the team and conduct a situational analysis and marketing audit.

Look at the “Where we are now?” What have we done in the past? What were the results? What are our competitors doing and what are the results? What is happening in the market externally and internally? Are there any new entrants to market – if so what effect is this going to have? Are there any threats in the market, changes in the law? What do our customers say?

As an established business you may have carried out various marketing communication campaigns, using various communication tools, for example, PR, digital and print advertisements, social media, website, outdoors; now look at the results (KPIs), analyse what worked, what didn’t, look at the cost per acquisition (or sale), which products sold the best, which didn’t, what are your competitors doing, what can you do differently.

To gather this information look at the customer marketing database and the KPIs (results) of previous activity you have conducted.

The customer database will tell you

Input examples

  • Enquiry data – how many enquiries you had from each campaign/activity.
  • Order data – how many enquiries converted to actual sales.
  • Demographic data.
  • Geographic data – where do these people live?
  • Survey results.
  • Customer feedback.
  • Complaints.

Application examples

  • Segmentation.
  • Targeting offers.
  • Designing offers.
  • Cross-selling.
  • New product development.
  • Relationship marketing.
  • Loyalty scheme.

Analyse which media channels/communication mix has been the most cost effective with this audience or your customers or market?

Agree your proposition message to each audience or market segment – customer offers, brand promise, the message.

AGREE ON THE BUDGET

LOOK AT COSTINGS

  • Is the overall cost of the campaign expensive?
  • Will there be much wastage?
  • How much will it cost to reach a given number of individuals?

The objective of all marketing communications activities is ultimately to achieve sales, so it is important to communicate effectively. Before engaging in any communications programme with customers, you will have to decide:

  • What do you want to say?
  • Who you want to say it to?
  • What is happening?
  • Why it’s happening?
  • When it’s happening?
  • Where it’s happening?
  • How to present your message?
  • How to send your message?
  • Where to send your message?
  • When to send your message?
  • You will also need to consider the style and tone of your message and the follow-up actions that will be required by you and your staff in order to generate that all important sale.

The purpose of any form of marketing communications is to provide information to your target audience in a way that encourages a positive, or buying, response.

For example

A music shop is moving and increasing its range of guitars and accessories.

Both existing and new customers are welcome.

The manager will make contact using social media, direct mail, email newsletters, updating the website, digital and print ads (local press) and posters.

The manager plans to contact existing local customers by mail, and potential customers from a wider geographical area using a mixture of digital and print activity, including PR.

The mailings will be sent out two weeks before the opening, press releases one week before, and a press feature is planned for the day of the opening.

In terms of style and tone of the message, his customers are invited to a ‘live music event with free drinks, with the opportunity to purchase from the new range of guitars at discount. Each guest who buys on the night will be given a goody bag. As part of his follow-up-campaign, a gig will be hosted at a major venue in the city.

Before developing this planned programme of marketing communications with his customers, the proprieter of this business is providing customers with more opportunities to buy and not just waiting for customers to walk through the door.

Test the campaign

If you are concerned about the cost of the campaign, try running a test (perhaps by sending a direct mailing to just a few recipients) before embarking on a larger initiative.

Remember AIDA

Secure your customers’ ATTENTION – make the headline compelling, tell your prospect what’s in it for them. About 90% of the effectiveness of the advert is a result of the headline.

Keep them INTERESTED – now you’ve grabbed their attention follow the headline with more detail, keep the prospect hooked.

Generate a DESIRE this is the place to list the benefits of your product or service. Give the prospect reasons for what you have to offer…

Encourage them to take ACTION – provide all contact details and encourage immediate response.

Contact Streets to discuss your Marketing Plans on  01780 591172/07855447968 email Maddie@streetsmarketing.co.uk

OR connect with Madeleine Lillywhite on LinkedIn.

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