'Tis the season to be planning. Most business people are familiar with strategic planning. But what about your marketing communications program? Do you have a plan for that?
For those of you with marketing communications anxiety, here's a step-by-step guide to follow to create a plan.
1. Begin with the basics. Marketing communications involves what you say about your business (message) and who you say it to (audience). Start your plan with this information.
2. Solidify your identity. Define your logo and colors and use them consistently. Make sure they're on your signage, business cards, web site - anywhere you're seen by your audience. Invest in a professionally-produced logo. It will reflect positively on your entire operation.
3. Provide basic information. Every business needs a brochure and web site -- professionally-done materials that cover the basics, like products, services, people, facilities, etc.
4. Be visible. Most businesses need to attract new customers. Advertising, direct mail, publicity, trade shows, even the right promotional items are ways to stay visible.
5. Strengthen your ties with current customers. Keeping the customers you've got is often as important as attracting new ones. A regular newsletter, a client-specific section of your web site, and relevant information sheets can strengthen customer relationships.
6. Keep your sales force informed. Be sure sales reps and distributors know how you're promoting your products. A newsletter or IntraNet work well.
7. Set a budget. Establish a timetable. These will keep you on track throughout the year.
Copyright 2005 Clairvoyant Communications, Inc.
About the author
Claire Cunningham, president of Clairvoyant Communications, Inc., has 20+ years' experience developing and implementing successful marketing and communications programs. Sign up for Claire's monthly newsletter, Communiqué, at http://www.clairvoyantcommunications.com Claire can be reached at 763-479-3499 (Fax: 763-479-2809, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Author: Claire Cunningham