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Ten Marketing Communications Strategy Considerations

Marketing Communications Strategy

Value Chain for Marketing

by Kenneth Rudich

A communications strategy provides the overall direction and goals for the communications component of the value chain.  All other communications that follow, whether internal or external, either should spring from the strategy or help to support it.

As is true of most any strategy, it’s comprised of three basic stages: formulation, implementation and evaluation.  Be mindful that this is really an ongoing process, usually cyclical in nature, rather than a one-off task.

Marketing Communications Strategy

Several factors require consideration for fashioning a sound communications strategy.  Though not all of them may be relevant to your particular enterprise, those that are should get the utmost attention.

The factors to consider include, but are not limited to: 

  • Identify all the potential target audiences that reside across the value chain.  Make sure to include the internal possibilities along with the external possibilities.
  • What is the composition of the customer target audience (consider demographics, psychographics, sociographics, firmographics)?  Do different sub-groups exist within it?  If so, then try to learn the motives, wants and needs of each, including (where possible) how they prioritize their preferences.  Isolate how the sub-groups differ and how they’re similar.  Identify which motives, wants and needs your enterprise can entertain.  Remember, you’re searching for clues that will help you to create an intriguing customer value proposition.
  • What communications channels should be used to reach the customer audiences or, as is becoming more frequent these days, for them to find you?  Said another way, what physical means should you employ or test in order to facilitate a connection with them?  What will be the ratio of outbound marketing to inbound marketing?
  • Who are your key competitors?  What can you observe about their communications strategy, and what core brand message do they try to convey?  How is each competitor perceived by their customers and prospects?  How does your enterprise/brand differ from them and how is it the same?
  • Identify the training and/or information needs of your non-customer target audiences (those that keep the enterprise running across the value chain).
  • Craft a single core message to uniquely position/differentiate your enterprise in the eyes of every target audience.  Consider how you might answer these questions: when they think about your brand, what should immediately pop into mind?  What would a successful brand look like?
  • What types of tools or mechanisms can help to communicate the strategy internally; and what can you do to help each participant see how his/her activities contribute to achieving it?  How might you construct an atmosphere that draws the internal audience together into an operating mode of teamwork/collaboration, and makes it rewarding?  What type of organizational structure and management style will lend itself to having this happen?
  • How might you frame your actions, words and images so as to: (1) translate your offering into concepts the audience can readily understand and appreciate; (2) reflect an alignment with customer motives, wants and needs; (3) reinforce a positive perception of the brand; (4) show your brand in comparison to how the competition’s brand is perceived.  How might you speak directly to audience motives, wants and needs in either emotional (soft ideas, attitudes, feelings, perceptions) or rational terms?
  • What types of feedback processes and performance data collection should be implemented across the value chain?  How will you connect these to the tactical level?  How will you ensure it remains both ongoing and frequent enough to stay abreast of the dynamics that affect the performance of your enterprise?  In other words, how can you keep your enterprise nimble for adapting the strategy to emerging conditions and other key issues?
  • Will you cultivate a team problem-solving process that analyzes and learns from the performance data?  If so, how will it be organized and implemented?  What levels of the organization will be involved, and what will be the responsibilities at each level?


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