Upon reflection of your company’s marketing communication needs, it’s essential to solidify three key components of your business plan before you dive into the creative process. This gut check will help you crystalize “the why” behind all efforts and ensure you’re laying the foundation for effective strategic campaigns.
- Establish goals at the start. This overarching principle will guide the decision making process as you establish breakthrough campaigns. Goals refer to longer-term, broad, more global, future statement of “being.” They may include how your organization is uniquely distinguished in the minds of target audiences.
- Become the recognized leader in community banking of Southwest Florida.
- Foster continued public support through regular donor campaigns.
- Offer the best undergraduate education available in Florida.
- Become more inclusive and diverse.
- Outline a list of target audiences and try to be as specific as possible. Be mindful of the following types of individuals and groups:
- Geographic — nations, states, regions, countries, cities, neighborhoods, or postal codes.
- Demographic — age, gender, generation, religion, occupation and education level.
- Psychographic – sometimes called lifestyle – groups based on the activities, interests, and opinions (AIOs) of customers.
- Behavioral — knowledge of, attitude towards, usage rate, response.
- Identify SMART objectives for the marketing communication plan. Objectives are meant to be realistic targets for the program or project. They’re written in an active tense and use strong verbs like plan, write, conduct, produce, etc. rather than learn, understand, feel. Objectives can help you focus your program on what matters most. They’ll always answer the following question: WHO is going to do WHAT, WHEN, WHY (what does it demonstrate) and TO WHAT STANDARD?
“SMART” objectives refer to an acronym built around the five leading measures of a strong program. This acronym can be very helpful in writing objects that can be employed to evaluate the quality of programs proposed and carried out.
- Specific – What exactly are we going to do, with or for whom? The program states a specific outcome, or a precise objective to be accomplished. The outcome is stated in numbers, percentages, frequency, reach, scientific outcome, etc. The objective is clearly defined.
- Measurable – Is it measurable & can WE measure it? This means that the objective can be measured and the measurement source is identified. If the objective cannot be measured, the question of funding non-measurable activities is discussed and considered relative to the size of the investment. All activities should be measurable at some level.
- Achievable – Can we get it done in the proposed timeframe/in this political climate/for this amount of money? The objective or expectation of what will be accomplished must be realistic given the market conditions, time period, resources allocated, etc.
- Relevant – Will this objective lead to the desired results? This means that the outcome or results of the program directly supports the outcomes of the agency or funder’s long range plan or goal, e.g., the selected MOD priority area.
- Time-framed – When will be accomplish this objective? This means stating clearly when the objective will be achieved.
Once you’ve identified goals, audiences and objectives, then you can move into the exciting part and begin to brainstorm strategies like advertising, media outreach, employee engagement, promotions, events, public affairs, social media and much more.
To learn more about marketing communication strategy and how to breakthrough the clutter, contact CONRIC PR & Marketing, the award-winning, full-service PR agency that provides strategic brand awareness campaigns, integrated public relations programs, marketing development and consulting services, advertising concept and campaigns, media buys, custom and niche publishing, creative writing and design, digital marketing strategies, website development and crisis communications strategy and implementation.
Original article, written by CONRIC’s Chief Marketing Strategist Ryan Sheehy, appeared on the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce.