Can One Kind of Marketing Communications Survive on Its Own?

Marketing Communications is a very important aspect in every brand’s marketing strategy. For any kind of strategy can’t survive without it being communicated to the target market. As you plan for which strategy you are going to use, bear in mind that one strategy can’t survive without the other. There is a mix that you need to consider so that you can get the full benefits of your marketing communications strategy.

Take for example your company’s website. You need to have it optimized so that you can get the kind of traffic that you want in your site. You may opt to have a blog that could serve as a place for you and your market to stay and talk. You should always remember that you have to be able to talk to the people who matter to you – your consumers. It is a very important that you be able to give them the kind of information that they want and the kind of information that they see as relevant for their needs. Create a strategy that would be able to influence their thinking and make them realize about some issues that matter to them. Your strategy should be able to answer the “What’s in it for me?” question.

Your consumers are like normal people who would always want to know how they could benefit from your product. By making them aware of your existence and letting them know that choosing your product over the other would be beneficial for them then you have better chances of capturing your target market. If you are not able to communicate this information to your market, how then can you convince him to try your product out.

Getting to know your market cannot be emphasized enough. Know who they are and what makes them tick and you are well on your way to improving your brand standing.

Optimizing your site should make you link with others. The internet is a vast expanse wherewith you can meet your market and your potential market as well. So don’t be content with just having a website, but make sure that your site is being linked to sites with the same market in mind. Visit blogs and forums and drop relevant comments. Make the people see that your brand is intelligent and worthy of their patronage.

Remember that marketing communications isn’t only about having an online campaign. There are a lot of other aspects that goes with it. You branding strategy is a part of it, your product design, packaging and promotion among others. So as you can see, it is a really big task that you need to focus on each strategy little by little. It is a proven fact that using only one way of communicating will not work. You need everything to work together and be united. Whatever element of your marketing communications you would use, think about it as a part of a greater whole.

Midsized Company Marketing and Marketing Communications – Four Keys To Success in Today’s Market

“It’s a buyer’s market!” We seem to be hearing that everywhere these days, whether it’s for a consumer or business to business (B2B) product or service purchase, this economy has taught our customers a new way to purchase. And, with the plethora of new technology providing information sources to evaluate and compare a brand’s attributes and reputation before purchase, how we now market to our customers – both new and existing – represents a series of challenges.

As a B2B or consumer marketer in this new marketing environment, how marketing and marketing communications plans and tactics should be developed and employed is a dilemma for everyone. But it’s possible to overcome these challenges – here are four critical keys to success.

Know Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience is a major priority. Like the management of many midsized companies, you probably think you know what your existing and potential customers want and believe about your brand. But do you really?

Before you spend your limited marketing dollars, isn’t it a better idea to use market research to determine – beyond price – what is most important to your target audience? And how they rate your product and its attributes compared to your competition?

Also, don’t forget to conduct research with your own employees and channel partners to find out how their opinions match up with your customer’s wants and needs. Employees and channel partners can be your best brand advocates, but they’ve got to be in sync with the priorities of your customers and prospects.

Investing marketing communications dollars to uncover and then promote what your customers actually want is key to improving your marketing ROI. The old adage, “Look Before You Leap”, has never been more true.

Value Both New and Traditional Media
Traditional media, such as print and broadcast advertising, events, direct mail and public relations, still remain very important marketing tools. But, becoming equally important, are blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, webinars, online videos, and a whole host of new media alternatives. All have value, and learning how to use them in concert is vital. But you must take the time to understand their relative effectiveness, not just their efficiency.

The question to address is which media mix of these marketing communications tactics to employ to keep existing customers, much less gain leads for new customers. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of these tactics with your target audience presents some interesting challenges, and you have to be able to separate the myths from the facts. For example, did you know that:

  • 47 percent of Americans, between 50 and 64 years of age, are now actively using social media, up from 22 percent in April, 2009 (Pew Research);
  • Magazine readership has actually increased over the past five years, even in the 18 to 34 year old segment (MPS);
  • While U.S. advertising spending declined by 9 percent in 2009 to $117 billion, cable television advertising increased by 17 percent, and Spanish language television advertising increased by 32 percent (Media Reports);
  • Nearly two-thirds of consumers “value their direct mail”, but only 36 percent of marketers believe this – clearly a disconnect (USPS):
  • Retailers who post messages online have found that shorter posts (with fewer than 80 characters) receive 66 percent higher engagement that longer posts. And specific “dollars off” messages receive higher redemption than more general “percentage off”, “deal” or “bargain” phrases (Buddy Media).

Clearly, understanding the benefits of both traditional new media, especially for a midsized company with limited resources, is very important. Both are impactful, and finding the right mix for your business is another key to your success.

Participate in Content Marketing
Recently, there has been an explosion of content marketing to meet the demand for information by inquisitive buyers. Whether in the B2B or consumer marketing communities, existing and prospective customers have started looking to blogs, videos, articles, white papers and case studies to provide them with ongoing and fresh sources of information.

The depth of information now available to customers, and the speed at which it is available to them, when they want it, can raise brand awareness, improve reputation, develop qualified leads and achieve profitable sales engagement. It cannot be ignored. But there are issues. In a recent B2B Marketing Trends Survey Report from HiveFire, among nearly 400 marketing professionals:

  • Nearly 70 percent of content “curators” say lack of time hinders their efforts;
  • Two-thirds say a lack of original and quality content is a major disadvantage;
  • 37 percent say lack of expertise to do the work is a major problem, while a like number have difficulty in measuring ROI.

But, recognizing the importance of content marketing and addressing these problems could be another key to your success.

Don’t Go It Alone
Truly understanding your audience, learning about new as well as traditional media opportunities, and developing an impactful content marketing program represent major keys to improving your marketing and marketing communications ROI. But there’s more.

Probably a lot of smart thinking has already gone into creating your business strategy, plans and tactics. But, like most midsized companies, you may be understaffed and underfunded to make the changes to take advantage of these marketing tools in today’s environment. The solution – don’t go it alone.

Consider partnering with established senior level consultants to help you and your team develop, refine and implement your programs. Above all, look for consulting groups who are “media neutral”, and aren’t selling one particular marketing discipline. And be sure they have extensive experience across industries and brands, as well as a willingness to “tell it like it is”, so candor will flourish. And, happily, finding the right consulting partner to work with you could turn out to be the fourth key to your marketing success.

Here’s How You Can Create Your Marketing Communications Effectively

When we talk about delivering your message to your prospective customers and convincing them to buy from you we are talking about marketing communications. To communicate effectively you need to know to whom you are speaking and understand what motivates your prospective customers. A great way to begin developing your marketing communications is by answering a series of questions. So let’s get started.

The main question you are answering is: who is your target market? The answer to this question forms the basis of all the “market communications” you will produce. You need to think through who you want to reach with your product or service. In order to fully identify your target market you need to think about your customer on several different levels.

First start by identifying the demographic information of your ideal customer. What is their:

  • age,
  • marital status,
  • gender, and
  • geographic information?

Once this is defined you then need to develop the psychological profile of your ideal customer. Ask questions such as:

  • What motivates your customer to act? Is it security, peace of mind, status, recognition, etc.
  • What makes your ideal customer happy?
  • What does the average day in the life of your customer look like?
  • What does your ideal customer do in their free time? Are they interested in sports, movies, exercise, reading, etc.
  • What struggles does your customer face on a daily basis?
  • Where will you find your customer spending their time online?

By creating the picture of your ideal customer you will understand their wants, needs and problems. You will also understand what they expect or need from the products and services they purchase. With this knowledge you are able to craft your marketing communications materials. Your messaging will be targeted to the people you are serving. Your messaging will identify why your product or service is important to them by indicating the need it fills or the problem it solves. Targeting your message in this manner enables you to connect with your customer on an emotional level that will solidify your relationship with them.

Throughout your marketing communications it is extremely important to maintain consistency in your materials. This applies to the look, feel and tone of your marketing communications. You need to think of your marketing communications moving on a continual timeline. By maintaining consistency in your presentation your customers will become familiar with your marketing material. This allows them to concentrate on the value messages you are delivering rather than looking at a new marketing format.

By focusing on your target market, maintaining consistency in your marketing presentation and packaging information that is valuable to your customers you will have a formula for continually growing your customer base.