Advertising and mar-comm programs are expensive, it’s difficult to even measure their effectiveness, and they sometimes drain time and resources away from ‘more important’ activities of your business. Businesses often spend huge amounts of time and resources that seem to have no discernible effect on the bottom line.
So, why bother? Because, of course, when they’re done well, advertising and marketing communications bring real benefit to your business and to your bottom line.
Experts say that the purpose of marketing communications and advertising is to influence the behaviors of key people in ways that benefit your organization – by educating and informing, or by motivating and persuading.
So … Let’s get started earning the most ‘bang’ for your advertising and mar-comm ‘buck’.
The first step is to think through the strategic questions of WHY? and WHAT?
1. WHY do you want to communicate? What is the business objective you want your ad or mar-comm piece to accomplish?
Are you introducing your new company or product? Do you wish to educate the “influencers” whose opinions (about the competitive merits of your product, for example, or about an important safety or regulatory issue) determine your success? Are you trying to motivate potential customers to try your product or buy more of it?
Make sure that you can clearly articulate a business objective which is important enough to justify the time, money, and effort you’ll invest in the communications program.
2. WHAT actions do you want your audience to take in response to your message?
Do you want to create awareness and a favorable image for your new company or product? Do you want influencers and “thought leaders” to voice more favorable opinions of your business? Do you want to persuade and motivate customers to click the “buy” button or open their checkbooks right now?
The actions that your target audience takes will determine how richly your mar-comm investment pays off. Make sure that your communication plan clearly identifies – and clearly focuses on – the specific actions that you wish your audience to take.
The WHY and the WHAT of your proposed advertising or mar-comm program will lead naturally to the key tactical answers you’ll need to build a winning communications campaign:
WHO is the most critical audience for you to reach?
HOW can I most effectively present my message - the content and form which will be most appealing to my target audience?
WHERE are key members of my target audience most likely to see and absorb my message? What are the optimum communications vehicles?
I’ll address the nuts and bolts of planning an effective mar-comm program in my next MARKETING INTELLIGENCE BLOG post.
For more information about the role of communications in building your brand and creating brand equity, see … “Your Brand is Your Business …”
For help in creating a mar-comm plan tailored to your business, please contact Bob Brothers.