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Why bother with a marketing communication strategy?
You have a business, a service, and a product to sell. The strategy defines whether you stay in the black or the red. And your marketing communication strategy is a key component in this success or lack thereof.
An effective marketing communication strategy will do a few things — depending on your goals…
1. Communicate benefits and services to your customers
Ever have a product you just know will be a hit? You’ve seen people looking for answers. You’ve collected data from real people trying to solve this problem. You’ve gotten the OK from several people who promise if your business existed, they’d use it.
And then…nothing. No customers. No sales.
Plenty of reasons could have hindered the launch of the business. But we’ve got to go back to the basics: did you communicate the benefits thoroughly? Or better yet, do your prospects feel like they understand the benefits?
That’s part of your marketing communication strategy: explaining benefits of a product, business or service to future prospects.
It’s got to be clear — the more concise the better. And if not, positive results are stagnated.
And you need to know your customers. Inside, outside. What’s their favorite drink to unwind with? Or the type of friends they keep? And what’s their biggest pain point in life? A couple of those questions seem…well, not relevant. Who cares what their favorite drink is? Or who their friends are?
You do. Because it’s a step into knowing who your customer really is. Their favorite drink shows their personality — someone into Appletinis likes cute, small drinks they can sip while keeping an eye on everyone else. That means they enjoy the fun but reserved fun.
Their friends? They’re the type of people who you can call no matter the occasion. They will drop everything in a second. Which means your customer is used to having reliable, trustworthy people in their lives. It’s not a far leap to see they’d appreciate that in the brands they invest in.
There’s plenty of research available about your target market. Once you can confidently explain who your customer is, what they want, and why they want you — then you’re on your way towards an effective communication strategy.
But there’s more. You’ve also got to keep those customers happy.
2. Keeping up with the customers
Repeat customers are the best. These are people who understand the value of your business. They’ve bought your product, and continue to buy your product. They don’t need convincing. They’ve been through your sales funnel. They trust your brand, your opinions, and believe in your product.
And you want to keep these people. It takes much more effort to acquire new customers than keeping existing customers. Why? Because you have to peak the interest of prospects to turn them into customers. Right now, they’re just regular people — not customers. Not yet.
You have to create outreach marketing programs to get their attention. Then convince them to buy your product through various methods — ads, promotions, surveys, contests. It takes money. It takes time. More than you spend on existing customers.
But to keep customers, you must effectively communicate to them. That means keeping them up to date on relevant information. Offering incentives — discounts are big ones — and providing more value each time you reach out to them.
These guys want to stick with you. But with competitors vying for their attention (and wallets), you need to keep working. This involves tapping into their needs, continuing to develop products or upgrading existing products to fulfill needs. And maybe doing some competitor analysis to see why repeat customers move to the competition.
But it’s not just customers…
3. Create new relationships throughout all processes
I’ve mentioned customers plenty of times already. Yes, you want to build and maintain the bridge of relationships with them. It’s easier to see them as a friend than an obstacle, don’t you think?
But you also need to create relationships with suppliers. And for them, you have to communicate effectively. The last thing you need is a shipment coming late or worse — not at all — when you’ve got customers hungry for your business.
These are the “behind the scenes” things in every business — the stuff customers don’t see or think about. Truthfully, customers don’t care if their order isn’t ready because the distributor fudged the date. It falls on you and your communication strategy.
You need to keep everyone in the loop. This is the public relations aspect of the marketing communication strategy. Everyone needs to be informed of the processes of your business — both you and supplier. Keep everything consistent — and insist on communication from the supplier’s end. No surprises, from either side.
These 3 reasons are why you absolutely need an effective marketing communication strategy: so customers understand your benefits; to keep repeat customers; and to build relationships with suppliers.
They’re all key components to a successful business. And it starts with the communications strategy.
Image: Gustavo Frazao/Shutterstock.com