A marketing communications campaign has a lot in common with a fishing trip. Before you set out you really need to make sure you have a few essentials.
First of all, you need to know what sort of fish you want to catch. This means knowing not just as much as possible about them, but also where to find them. You need a keep net. Because when you catch fish you need somewhere to safely put them where you can then turn them into dinner. You need to have the right bait for the fish that you want to catch and you need to have the right rod to cast the bait out and catch them with.
Your audiences are your fish. These are your potential customers. Before we start we need to know as much as possible about them. What sectors are we prioritising, what level of seniority makes the buying decision, who are they currently buying from, why have they chosen their existing supplier. What do they read? What trade events do they go to and what professional bodies do they belong to?
If possible it would be great if we knew their names, addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers, so that we can communicate with them directly.
Your bait is your message. We communicate for you and communication is essentially a simple process. You need someone to communicate with (audience), something to communicate (message) and to understand the best way of delivering the message to the audience in a way that ensures they receive it, understand it and are motivated to be positively influenced by it.
We need to come up with defined messages that we will consistently reinforce to your audiences. These messages will encapsulate the benefit of your business, products and services in a way that will resonate with your audiences and influence them to behave as we want them to.
Your fishing rod
Your channels are your fishing rod. Once we know who we need to communicate with and what we need to communicate to them, we have to work out what methods are best for getting the message to your audience. This is very much dependent on your budget and with a restricted budget it is vital that we choose the most effective channel.
Social media and content marketing
We set up and run social media accounts for you. Chiefly focusing on Twitter and LinkedIn, which we have found to be the most effective social media for building business audiences. We build those audiences, write regular new content on your website and put links on your social media account. Audiences click on the links and get taken to your website, where you can capture their information so that you can communicate directly with them and where they will find all the information they need to influence them to buy from you.
Content can include case studies, endorsements, details of new contracts, new products and new services, as well as authoritative commentary on issues and trends affecting your professional sector.
Getting editorial coverage in trade media and websites read by your audiences. The editorial coverage would be consistent with the content marketing, so would include the same case studies, endorsements, details of new contracts, new products and new services, as well as commentary on relevant issues.
The purest form of communication. Delivering your messages straight to the audience who you know for certain is responsible for making purchasing decisions puts you in full control of the process, without any danger of the messages being distilled or lost altogether by a medium.
Advertising demands a bigger outlay than PR and is less effective in terms of credibility because it comes directly from you rather than appearing as an endorsement from a journalist, but can be delivered in a wide range of ways, including as a banner on specialist websites, in trade and technical publications, in a programme for an event, such as a trade exhibition or even on a billboard, taxi or the back of a bus!
Exhibitions, conferences and seminars
We can help you to find exhibitions, conferences and seminars held by professional bodies or attended by significant numbers of potential customers and can then raise your profile by helping you to create an exhibition stand, arranging a promotion at the event, arranging a speech or presentation for you, inviting journalists onto your stand to interview you about your business, products and services, creating literature, gifts or giveaways on your stand, getting you advertising space or editorial in the event programme or emailing visitors with information after the event.
Your inbound marketing is your keep net and chiefly consists of your website. Every bit of outgoing communication we make with our rod and bait is designed to drive traffic to your website, which is where your audiences will find a comprehensive source of information, giving them everything they need to understand about your business, products and services, so that they can buy from you.
It is vital that your website reinforces all the same strategic messages that we use in all the outbound activities. It must be designed and engineered so that it is simple to navigate, easy to understand and compelling in terms of what it communicates. It should be structured to appeal as directly as possible to the person who is visiting. It should capture their information, so that you can add them to your database and communicate directly to them, it should attempt to put them in direct contact with a member of your sales team and smooth the path to making a sale as much as possible.
The website should be supported with sales collateral – brochures and offers, which should be available on the website, so they can be downloaded, in email format so that you can send them out on request and printed so that you can hand them to people in the traditional way at meetings or events. The collateral should all be written with the same consistent strategic messages reinforced.
Turning fish into dinner
It is important that you understand that sales and marketing are not the same thing. Marketing raises awareness and positive perceptions, so that either your audiences are inspired to come to you or, when your sales team makes contact with them, they find the wheels greased because the audiences know that you exist and have a positive perception of your business, products and services.
Sales and marketing should always work together and neither is properly effective without the other. We can help to bring you fish, but your sales team still need to turn them into dinner!
So, if you are going to bed hungry or are fed up with the same old battered cod and want something different, drop us a line and lets talk about planning a new fishing expedition!