Marketing Communications – What’s the Plan?

When small business owners and managers start thinking about how they need to communicate with customers, often the most important part of the process is the one that’s given little thought – planning. Without a plan it’s possible, if not likely, a business’ marketing communications will end up being haphazard, more expensive than necessary and unsuccessful.

You should include virtually everything you can think of that will help you determine the best way forward. It’s also wise to ask other people, including, if possible, some of your customers or potential customers. Sometimes you can be too close to the business to know all the answers.

What do you want to achieve through your marketing communications?

It’s always good to have something to aim at. Be specific, be measurable, be achievable and don’t be too conservative. For example, to increase my customer base by 25% in the next financial year is specific, and easy to measure and most likely achievable with a bit of a stretch. You may find you’ll have several aims – list all of them.

Who is your target customer?

Who is your ideal customer? Who is likely to want to purchase your products or services?

Try to add as much detail as possible. For example, you might decide lawyers are one of your target customers, but add to this by listing where they are located, whether you’re targeting small, medium or large firms, and whether they specialise in any particular field. Then think about who makes the decisions in your target firms or households: owners or managers, sex, age, ethnicity, etc.

This work isn’t meant to limit who you would take on as a customer. The details will simply help later when you’re developing your plan, your messages and where and how you deploy them.

What are your products or services?

This might seem obvious, but surprisingly a lot of business owners/managers don’t necessarily know much about their products and services and can’t describe them in a way that most people can understand. If there are too many to list, just list the major categories.

Why should people buy your products or use your services rather than your competitor’s (your key selling points)?

Are you the cheapest or are your products or services premium quality? Is your service exceptional? Do you have the biggest range? Do you have free delivery? Do you make a coffee for your customers while they wait? There are too many possibilities to list here but it’s a good idea to list everything that is relevant to your business.

These points are often called your unique selling proposition but I believe you don’t have to be unique to succeed in business. You just need to do what you do well, and promote yourself just as well.

Does your business have a key message (e.g. McDonalds – I’m lovin’ it)?

Personally, I like these key messages. They succinctly tell something about your business; something that the customer can expect when they walk through your door (or your virtual door, as is often the case these days.) The key message should go hand in hand with ‘why should people use you’. For example, many businesses have a key message indicating they have the lowest prices, because that is one of their key selling points.

What image is your business trying to portray?

This is another question that goes hand in hand with your key selling points and key message. Do you want to be seen as professional, stylish, cheap, glamorous, etc.? Remember, it’s no point simply trying to portray an image in words; you have to live it. In my experience, customers don’t like businesses who can’t deliver what they say they can.

What is your budget for marketing communications?

You don’t need to spend a fortune and, if you’re like most small businesses, you may want to do thing a bit at a time. Get your business cards now, then a few months later a website. Next year, invest in a flyer and start an email marketing campaign. However, don’t be stingy; not spending enough money on marketing communications can hurt your business.

What skills do you have in your small business? Can anyone write, take photos or design a website.

Ask your staff – if you have any staff – as you may be surprised. 

Internal Marketing Communication

Internal marketing communication is an important aspect of the marketing campaign. You will want to keep this flowing at all times to get the focus on your business. There are many different ways to communicate with your customers, but we would like to focus on 3 strong ways here.

1) Emails– Direct emails are a powerful way to communicate with your customers. The information is delivered to a list of individuals who have already shown an interested in what you are marketing. They will be highly receptive to the information that you send. Update your list frequently to capture the attention of your internal clients.

2) Blogs– You have lots of room to talk about anything you like. You will have an audience who is interested in what you have to say. Communicating about your business and your products is a natural part of blogging. Offer good information in your posts and you will have the opportunity to show off what you do as well.

3) Auto Responders– Once someone is inside your sales funnel you will want to stay in constant communications with them. You can use an auto responder to make this happen. You have the opportunity to send out messages with the content you want and at the frequency you determine. This is a powerful way to communicate not only with your new leads, but your partners as well.

The trick to internal marketing communication is to target you audience and stay consistent. You will want to offer the right information to them to keep them coming back. Take the time to learn about your options for communication and you will go far. A solid marketing and mentoring program can help you figure out what works best for you and your business.

Internet Marketing Communication – How Communication Can Build You a 6 Figure Business Online Fast!

It is very simple to build a business online. With the economy in a slump more and more people are flocking into the home based business industry. It is one of the fastest growing industries in existence today. A little internet marketing communication can cement you in front of the traffic that this industry is bringing in and put you on a very fast track to financial independence.

Proper communication and building relationships are some of the greatest skills that you will need in order to have enormous amounts of success in this industry. The great thing is these skills can be learned and easily mastered.

By simply communicating valuable information and telling other people everything that you learn you brand yourself as a leader and mentor in this industry. It really is that simple. Every single time you learn something, you know more about that subject than somebody else. And to that other person you are a guru.

The great thing about this industry and about the internet is that EVERYTHING that you need to be successful, EVERYTHING that you need to learn and master can be found easily and learned quickly. Competition drives prices down, so you can literally build a large successful 6 figure business at dirt cheap prices.

For example, this article is going to stay up until the end of time. Countless people will read it, and it cost me NOTHING! Internet marketing is a truly rewarding information simply because of the principles it is based on. Your own personal development and your willingness to teach and guide others are the only things that you need to be successful. This is what makes internet marketing communication so powerful.

More and more millionaires are being made every single day in this industry. People are buying back their free time. They are spending time with family and friends, or on vacation, while people are buying their products, joining their companies, and just MAKING THEM RICH!

You show me a better way to invest my time, and I will be right there with you. The truth is, you are your greatest asset. You sell yourself first by giving valuable information to the people that need it. Once you have done this, those same people will want to work with you, and will be loyal to you until the end of time.

The key is to take immediate action. Read below and click the link for more information.

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