What is a marketing communication strategy and how to do it right?
Simply put, a marketing communication strategy either used by an individual or an organization is a strategy used to convey the communication effectively. It includes a message (what you want to convey), a medium (the channel you use) and the target (to whom you want to convey).
P.S. – It can include press coverage, guest post, backlinks…
Let’s get started with your strategy!
The Why, What, How & Where & Of An Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy.
An insider tip – this is why, why works.
WHY a killer marketing message is crucial to your integrated marketing communication strategy.
Your message should be defined by 2 things –
- What you want to say
- How you say it
Let’s take an example, if you sell LEDs, you can promote them in 3 different ways
“LEDs are the unsung heroes in the electronic world. It lasts 2-4 times more than your average CFL saving you on the maintenance and replacement cost.”
“LEDs are the unsung heroes in the electronic world. They operate well in both cold and hot temperatures.”
“LEDs are the unsung heroes in the electronic world. They are environmentally safe, unlike other traditional lightings.”
The core content of the message is the same, “LEDs are the unsung heroes in the electronic world.”, however the spin on the different target audience.
The first message would attract an audience who are looking to cut costs on the maintenance and energy bills. The second would attract an audience who live in extreme or fluctuating temperatures and the third one would hit a mark with people who live the eco-friendly life.
Creating a compelling message requires a deep understanding of
- Your product
- Brand values
- Target audience
Now that you understand the importance of the content you share, let’s focus on creating a successful strategy.
WHAT basic principles are an integrated marketing communication strategy guided by –
The marketing channel you use should have the same brand perception as yours.
Be where your customer is – pick channels where they are active.
Choose a channel that fits your budget.
HOW to create an integrated marketing communication strategy?
I. Identify Your Target Audience
Before you even begin to create a strategy, you need to understand your audience. Any plan you formulate has to be for a certain audience and to find your target group.
To create highly targeted marketing message you need customer insights and the easiest way to do this is study your existing customers.
- What needs do most of your customers are looking to fulfil?
- Why are they buying your products or services?
Invest time to stay in touch with shifting customer needs as a marketing communication mix based on insufficient research is bound to be flawed.
II. Define Your USP
The foundation of your marketing strategy is your unique selling point and it should reflect in all the messages you send out; PR, content, sales.
To help you frame your USP analyze your company from the viewpoint of your target audience.
- Why will a consumer choose you over others?
- Where do you fall short of your competition?
A clear USP will ensure the message you send out is clear and consistent.
III. Marketing Communication Mix
The combination of channels you use to reach out to your TG, your marketing communication mix could include
- Online advertising
- Offline advertising
- Content marketing
- Direct marketing
- Events, sponsorships, promotions…
If you are a larger organization, chances are your marketing plan will have campaigns across multiple channels to reach a wider audience. For a smaller organization, sticking to limited marketing channels makes sense otherwise you’d risk diluting both, your budget and your focus.
IV. Branding Identity
A vital part of your integrated marketing, branding can be done on two levels.
Basic branding – it is about having a consistent look and feel across all your marketing platform.
- Social platforms
- Sales collateral
- Direct marketing campaigns
- Advertising campaigns
- Business cards
Deeper branding – It is more about the core identity of your company and it should be a part of each and every communication.
V. Define Your Success
Your integrated communication marketing strategy is only complete when you know what results you are expecting from it. For that, you need to define success metrics for all your communication channels and they will define how well your strategy is working.
After creating a hands-on strategy and a hitting message, let’s see WHERE you can find your target audience.
In today’s market and time anyone in the whole wide world can be your potential customer. To narrow your search, begin with
Segmenting your prospect
Segment your audience into 3 categories
It’ll help you align your efforts and your focus. Creating a marketing plan for a high-priority audience would be different than a plan for a low-priority audience.
People who like similar content
Search for audiences who have previously liked similar content. Look for keywords that define your product, services or content.
Lead generation tools
There are many tools available with a massive amount of data that can help you narrow your audience.
Social media is where all the millennial are and your potential customer will be on it too.
Personalize your outreach
Personalization is the name of today’s marketing game. It is much more than addressing a person with their first name. it is about building a conversation to start a long-term customer relationship.
Sharing useful content
Customers today are looking for information that can help them grow and when they see companies sharing useful insights they get attracted.
Answer their questions
Everyone is looking out for solutions and if you give them a solution to their problem before your competitor does, they are yours.
Integrated communication marketing is a mix of the best communication practices, the right medium and a smartly crafted marketing strategy.
Engaging an audience is easy only if you know where your audience is, what they are looking for and how to give it to them. And, for this, you need to know your product and services well. The rest will all fall into place.
For a startup to run a successful marketing communication strategy, it should be cost-effective, scalable and help build a long-term relationship.
What kind of marketing communication strategy do you use?