Over recent weeks we have been talking about Business Philosophy, a potentially esoteric subject yet, as with most things in business, philosophy only takes us so far. Clearly defining your Business Philosophy can be useful to help clarify what a business stands for and what you are trying to achieve but it stops short of setting out the practical steps of how you plan to achieve your goal.
Driving your Business Philosophy needs action. Navel-gazing isn’t enough!
Marketing communications is key to letting your prospects and markets know about your business. It is not something you do once, it is ongoing.
Getting your consistent marketing message out as widely as possible is a process, not an event,
The problem with a process is that someone needs to set it up and getting running in the first place. If you run your own business, that person is most likely you!
However, as is evident in the current pandemic situation, the default position for most people is to look for direction from others.
It is easy to sit back and pick holes in the decisions of others and explain, after the event, how they could have done it differently. Yet the simple fact is that, as a starting point, somebody has to decide to do something – and then make it happen!
If it is your business, and your marketing, you have to start the process.
There should be time for subsequent review and refinement. This is the process. But you must start somewhere!
In summary, developing any process has 5 steps:
- Know what you are trying to achieve
- Know where you are starting from
- Understand factors that can influence your process
- Plan and implement your process
- Stick at it!
Let’s take this summary and apply it to marcomms….
The Marketing Communications Process
Know what you are trying to achieve – What do you want to communicate, to whom and what outcome are you hoping for?
- Take time to clearly define and understand your business proposition – As we have discussed before, it is easy to skirt around this and launch straight into ‘doing something‘.
- Action without a plan puts focus on being busy rather than focusing on achieving results – a risky approach.
- If you truly understand your business proposition, it makes planning easier as you have a framework to apply.
- Who do you want to communicate with?
Know where you are starting from – What do you have to work with?
- What resources (typically time and/or money) do you have available to invest in your process – be realistic!
- Do you have knowledge/experience of previous marketing activity that you can learn from?
- What do you want to say?
Understand factors that can influence your process
- Your Business Philosophy is a key element here. Your philosophy will constrain the options you have available. You should only do what is right for you and your business.
- How does your target audience communicate? Knowing your market will help define the most suitable communication channels.
- Will your message engage, inform and resonate with your target audience?
- Will people be motivated to act on your message to help you achieve your goal?
Plan and implement your process
- Select your communication channels and set out a plan for relevant messages over time – Build a content calendar
- I recommend using your website as your core message platform then use 2 or 3 channels (email/social media etc.) to spread the word.
- Don’t forget offline. In this digital world, mail, telephone and face to face can all be powerful options
- Build messages that reflect your philosophy and goals that are designed to resonate with your target audience
- Do it and stick at it
Stick at it!
- Objectively review and analyse progress, and refine the process as you proceed.
- Be realistic.
- Avoid knee-jerk reactions
- Be ready to give your process time.
Finally, in a single sentence…