When it comes to marketing communications, or marcom, it’s important to have a thorough methodology in order to have the greatest chance of achieving your marketing objectives. The most important steps in establishing a successful marcom strategy start with understanding key elements of your business and marketing needs.
- Know your audience– A thorough understanding of your target audience is fundamental to a successful marketing communications Use market research, surveys and all accessible industry data to understand their demographics, habits and purchasing patterns. If you are an existing company rather than a start-up, conduct regular customer surveys to gain insights into your target audience, including any patterns or shifts in behavior over time.
- Identify your unique selling proposition– Your business’s unique selling proposition, or USP, is what differentiates your products or brand from others in the marketplace. Having a compelling USP is, of course, a fundamental factor in business success, but it’s just as important to be able to communicate that USP effectively. Good marcom strategies hinge on convincing potential customers why yours is the brand they should choose over any other.
- Develop a strong and consistent brand image– Consistency is the key here. From your marketing material to business cards, from your website to social media posts, everything that your brand puts before potential customers should be consistent. And this goes beyond just visual identity and branding – it’s also important that your messaging is distinctive and consistent. Whether you’re taking out a radio ad, issuing a press release or posting a Tweet, always strive to ensure your “brand voice” remains the same.
- Choose your marketing mix– The variety of channels open to marketing communications in the 21stcentury is mind-boggling. In addition to traditional interruption marketing techniques such as TV, radio and print ads, telemarketing and direct mail, there exists an endless assortment of online marketing options: paid ads, email marketing, and of course social media marketing across a variety of platforms. If you have been thorough in step one – knowing your audience – then you should have an idea of your target customers’ habits: what television they watch, what social media platforms they use, and so on. Use this information to more carefully target particular marketing channels, rather than adopting a more costly scattered approach.
- Analyze and refine– Marketing communications is an ongoing process, and part of that process is to carefully analyze the relevant metrics so you can understand what marketing approaches are successful, and identify those that are not. This data is a vital element of marcom planning, as it allows you to tweak – or even radically change – your approaches in order to become more effective over time and, ultimately, achieve the best possible return on investment.
With a thorough understanding of your target audience, knowledge of how to communicate your unique selling proposition, a distinctive brand and the right marketing channels you will be well on your way to establishing a successful and lasting marcom strategy for your business.