Communicate but step by step
No matter the size of your company, the right communication to the external world is absolutely vital. Often due to limited resources or this position being outsourced, communication is often an issue for companies. From marketing, website communication to social media there is no one size fits all methodology. Being able to adapt your communication to the audience is key.
One component of communication to the outside world that is often dismissed is the analytical part. Who are we? What are the strengths of our company, product and services? How do we differentiate ourselves from the competition? Understanding your position on the market, your USP and being able to emphasize on your added values is essential.
Another element will be to set the goals. We cannot communicate on everything at the same time. What do we want to achieve? Do we want to attract new customers, generate new leads for the company, andincrease our sales or to develop our brand recognition? Do we have quantitativeor qualitative goals? Do we want to maybe improve the relationship with ourcustomers, connect with them or build a community?
The audience of your communication should never be forgotten. In Marketing we talk a lot about identifying your business persona and audience. Is it enough today to only focus on needs and expectations? What are the questions your customer is asking about your services? How your services are integrating in the daily routine of your customer? What is basic is never lose the sight of the need your service coversas this will still remain the structure of your communication.
Once you have covered those stagesis time to create your content. What key messages do you want to communicate? Which style correspond to your values, and services? Pictures, colors and images are importantly relevant. The content should reflect your company values and represent perfectly the services you are delivering.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. What is the frequency of your messages? Is there seasonality in the year that you will need to focus on? Is there a best time to communicate in the day or week? You will still want to keep some spontaneity in your communication plan.
But who will do it internally? Do you have the internal or external resources to allocate for this communication?If we talk about social media, your team will need to play the game andparticipate actively to the mission. This could mean 24/7, sometimes!
正如Jerry Maguire所说：“我需要看到财务回报……”这将我们带到了沟通的财务维度。您将为此次沟通方案分配的预算是多少？您的沟通方案必须考虑到材料选择、印刷制作、内容创作、格式排版、购买广告空间、推广渠道成本、外包工资等一切成本因素。（注: Jerry Maguire （中文电影名：甜心先生），一部由汤姆克鲁斯在1996年主演的喜剧，”Show me the money”为剧中经典台词之一。）
Once you know what you are going to say, to whom and for how much, you can then select your distribution channels. Would you communicate in a retail magazine, on radio, on TV, in your social media? A balance has to be found between investment involved and number of audiences that will be reached by this investment in communication. Today an advertisement to a person that does not know your brand will need to be seen orheard at least 7 times before they actually decide to take action.
Measuring the impact of your communication is crucial for the long term. On the web or social media there are ways to measure, number of clicks, how long people have been visiting yourpage, number of views etc. etc. This is certainly an improvement compared to the traditional channels.
Finally, you need to arrive at the measurement of your return on investment. What was the impact versus the investment you have done? With the impact measurement you will be able todefine or re-define your next communication campaign. ROI from social media ordigital media tends to be seen after 1 to 3 months while for traditional marketing this could be from 6 to 12 months before you actually see results.
To start honing your communicationplan for the next launch, keep in mind these 3 tips:
Everyone on-boardmust have a solid understanding of the company values and uniqueness and the message that you are trying to communicate.
Pick your battle ground and make sure to focus on one audience at a time, consistently. If you communicate only every now and then, chances are you will not get the impact you wish to have.
Be able to show your numbers & the return on investing in communication to get a buy in from the different stakeholders.