How to get more strategic about your marketing communications

Fail to plan

Plan your success

As you contemplate your latest business results:

  • Are looking to increase profitability?
  • Or are you comfortably exceeding every target?

As you know, sales success begins with an excellent marketing communications plan.

It describes where you want to be in 12 months’ time. And shows you how to get there.

Sometimes, it can be tempting to rush into a short-lived, one-tactic marketing campaign to achieve a quick win. But if you fail to plan how you’ll achieve your goals, you run the risk of costly mistakes.

Unplanned and inconsistent marketing run the risk of being irrelevant to our business – and to our customers.

A marketing communications plan encourages us to question our objectives. Are the foundations in place for the campaign in hand?

When we take our marketing steps in sequence, and when we measure every action, we increase our likelihood of success. And we avoid wasting money on activities which may hold the business back.

Let us take our plan step by step:

  1. Audit our marketing activities for the last 12 months, and
  2. Create a practical and effective marketing plan.

Audit your marketing activities

Firstly, set aside some thinking time to review where you are now. What is the story so far?

  • How have you promoted your business in the last 12 months?
  • Return on investment:
    • What has been spent?
    • How much business has been gained?
  • What were your expected results for each activity?
  • Where did the biggest results come from?
  • How many planned marketing campaigns did you develop?
  • Did you carry out any isolated marketing activities (when you found some time to spare)?
  • How closely did your marketing activities match the needs of your target audience?

Now take a step back and review objectively what you offer. Think about your services and products in the way they benefit your customers.

Business objectives

Now look ahead. Start your marketing plan with the business objectives.  Then list the marketing activities which will help you achieve those goals.

  1. What are your business goals for the next 12 months?
  2. What improvements are you planning to make to your products and services?
  3. Who are your target audiences and how do you plan to reach them?
  4. What are the reasons why customers buy from you?
  5. Are your marketing communications up to date and relevant?

Do your customers know all about all your services and products?

Communicate with the right customers

It is advisable to carry out a thorough review of your prospective customers every 3 months. The greater your understanding of your customers, the higher your conversion rates will be.

  • Who are the people you are targeting?
  • Where will you find them?
  • When should you speak to them?
  • What do you want them to do?

Your marketing communications plan will work when it focuses on your customers’ perspective.

We can’t predict changes in the economy. But we can plan our own route to success in the most efficient way possible.

Your plan will help you stay strong in a competitive market.

It is not something to be filed away. It is a working document best used to track your marketing activities every month to check what’s working.

More survival tips for marketing success

Would you like to discuss a marketing communications plan for your business?

Come and talk through your ideas. Take advantage of my advice in a free, no-commitment phone call or meeting.

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