Thursday, 6 October 2011

Targeted Communications Will Make You Money

I met the most amazing Company President the other day.  She is driven and resolute in her business development objectives.  She also knows exactly how her business makes money and focuses her spend on those channels in order to get the biggest bang for her buck.  So simple. So strategic. So smart.

Every company is trying to save money these days, so it's more important than ever to be strategic about your marketing communications initiatives. Here is a step by step plan to make sure you're doing just that.

1. Define your audience - Figure out who makes you the most money or who you absolutely need buy-in from. (Not to be crass.)  This is your main target audience.
2. Know your audience - Once you determine who your target audience is, reach out to them via blogs, emails, surveys or one-on-one meetings.  How do they spend their time?  How do they learn?  What publications do they read?  What networking groups do they attend?  What do they need to know to run their business?  Not only is this a necessary exercise but it helps key stakeholders to feel important - and they are!
3. Brainstorm - Meet with colleagues or team members to brainstorm how to best reach out to these audiences, knowing what you now know.  Capture all ideas in writing and watch your team get excited about being involved.
4. Determine a budget - A marketing-communications plan cannot be properly executed without a pre-determined budget.  Don't waste your time or anyone else's by developing a plan that you don't have the money for.
5. Make a Plan. - From this point, make a plan that outlines:
a. The Objective - What do you want to achieve with your marketing communications?
b. The Strategy - How are you going to achieve your objective?
c. Tactics - What communications/social marketing/sales/public relations vehicles will you use to achieve those objectives?
d. Timelines - First determine all of your deadlines (i.e., networking opportunities or sales events, national or regional events or days of celebration that you can send out press releases or matte stories on).  Map all of the work that needs to be completed in project management software or in a good old excel spreadsheet.  Work backwards building in time for research and revisions to figure out timelines for developing each communications piece.

There is your plan.  Sounds simple right?

But sometimes you need an outside perspective or you mightn't have the people power to make a plan on your own.

Looking forward to hearing from you so that we can make that plan together.

Rachel Pardy
Cahoots Communications Inc.

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