Marketing communications is a process that aligns your brand’s marketing efforts so they are consistent and driven by one coherent strategy. It is the glue that holds all your marketing activities together by giving them a common goal and objective. An effective marketing communications strategy helps you achieve this by bringing together all of your marketing activities under one umbrella. A well-formed strategy will drive greater visibility for your business, increase brand awareness and create an impression of trust among potential clients.
To use an angling analogy, your marketing technology and platform are your fishing-rod and hook, and your marketing communications strategy is your bait. All the best systems and platforms wont help if you don't have a good marketing communications strategy to attract customers. If you need help creating a marketing communications strategy for your business read on to learn more...
What is a Marketing Communications Strategy?
A marketing communications strategy is a blueprint that outlines how your company will reach out to current and prospective customers. It encompasses all of your marketing activities – including your website, marketing campaigns, content marketing, and partnerships. A good marketing communications strategy will bring together marketing tactics that are consistent and relevant to your brand’s goals. It will enhance your business’s reputation and help you create a lasting relationship with customers.
A marketing communications strategy is also known as an integrated marketing communications plan (IMCP). This is because it brings together all of your marketing initiatives under one umbrella or ‘communications plan’.
Why is a Marketing Communications Strategy Important?
A well-executed marketing communications strategy will help you drive more brand awareness and attract more customers. It will also help you differentiate yourself from your competitors by highlighting what makes your product or service unique. A strategic marketing communications plan will help you achieve your marketing objectives and goals. This will, in turn, increase your sales, raise your brand’s profile, and increase your customer base.
This will also help you identify areas where you can improve your business. That is because it is inclusive of all your marketing efforts and will help you pinpoint problem areas or ineffective strategies. Once you have identified areas that could be improved, you can then work towards revamping your strategies to be more effective.
Step 1: Research before formulating your strategy
Before you move ahead with formulating your strategy, you will want to do some research. This will allow you to understand your target audience and know what your customers want from your brand. Getting to know your customers will help you create content that resonates with your audience and drives engagement with your brand. Research is important for determining the following:
1a. Your ideal customer - Before you create a marketing communications strategy, you need to know who your ideal customer is. This will allow you to tailor your marketing efforts towards the customers most likely to purchase from you.
1b. Your target audience - You also need to know the demographics of your target audience. Demographics are the traits or characteristics that describe a group of people. These could include age, gender, income level, and occupation. Understanding your target audience will allow you to appeal to the right people.
1c. Your competitors - It is important to know who your competitors are as well as what they are doing. This will allow you to stay ahead of the game and position yourself as the preferred brand in your niche. You should also research your target customers’ purchasing behaviours to understand why they buy from your competitors. This will allow you to create marketing strategies that are more likely to entice your audience.
Step 2: Define your marketing goal
Before you move forward with creating a marketing communications strategy, you need to define your marketing goal. A marketing goal is a statement that outlines what you want to achieve with your marketing efforts. It is essentially your marketing mission statement. When you know your marketing goal, it will be easier to create a marketing communications strategy that meets your needs.
A marketing goal is typically one of the following:
2a. Increase brand awareness - Increasing brand awareness is essential to growing your business. A marketing communications strategy that increases brand awareness will help you to reach a wider audience and increase sales as a result.
2b. Generate leads - A marketing communications strategy that generates leads will help you to generate contact information from customers who are interested in your products or services. This will allow you to nurture leads and close more sales in the long term.
2c. Increase your sales - A marketing communications strategy that increases sales will lead to more people purchasing your products and/or services.
Step 3: Identify your audience
Before you move forward with your marketing communications strategy, you will want to identify your target audience. An audience is the group of people who you are marketing your product or service to. Understanding your target audience will allow you to create content that resonates with them and drives engagement with your brand.
You can learn more about your audience using the following methods:
3a. Create personas - A persona is a fictitious person that represents your target audience. Creating personas will allow you to understand your target customers better and will help you to create more relevant content.
3b. Conduct customer research - While creating personas will help you to understand your customers, you can also conduct customer research to learn more about your target audience. This will help you to create more targeted marketing strategies and will increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
3c. Use existing data - You can also use existing data to identify your target audience. This can include information from your website, social media, and marketing campaigns.
Step 4: Decide on your communication channel(s)
Now that you know your audience, you can move forward with deciding on your communication channel(s). A communication channel is the way that you will deliver your marketing message to your customers.
There are a variety of communication channels available to businesses. Examples include:
Digital Channels: Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Social Media, Video, SEM and Mobile
Non-Digital Channels: Print, Out-Of-Home, Radio, TV, etc
Understanding which communication channels would be most effective for your business will allow you to create a more targeted marketing communications strategy (which I'll cover in more detail in my next article).
Marketing communications is a critical component of any business’s growth strategy. It allows companies to outline their marketing strategy in one cohesive document. A marketing communications strategy outlines all marketing activities, including advertising, sales, and branding. It also provides a timeline for these activities.
A successful marketing communications strategy will help your brand reach new customers and increase sales. It will also provide a way to organise all activities and track progress.