Marketing Communications – Tips For Effective Marketing Workplace Communications

There are so many sellers today who are struggling to connect with their target market through their marketing communications (ads, sales letters, web content, etc.). The good thing is that you don’t need to be one of them. Here are some of the best tips to make your marketing communications more effective and more impacting:

1. Know your audience. This is a must if you want your marketing communications to be focused and highly targeted. Get to know the people that you are writing for before you even tap on your key board. Know how you can push their emotional hot buttons and the elements that can affect their buying decision. By doing so, you’ll know what words and language to use and what techniques you can utilize to better connect with your prospects.

2. Make it benefit-driven. The only thing that buyers would like to know is the benefit that they can get should they decide to make a purchase. Tell them ahead of time what’s in it for them by simply communicating the biggest selling points of your products. Tell these people how your offerings can help them advance in their careers or in improving the quality of their lives.

3. Keep it short. Most people these days have limited attention span due to their demanding lifestyle. Capture their attention by simply making your marketing communications short and direct to the point. Use as few words as possible. Also, use bullet points when writing sales letters and articles to make your content easy on the eyes and readable.

Maximising the Marketing Communications Budget

Probably the hardest task that every senior marketing manager regularly faces is planning to maximise budget efficiency. Nowhere is this more challenging than when deciding on where to spend the marketing communications budget.

The exponential growth of new media covers every aspect of life from the second your (digital of course) radio alarm goes off in the morning through all the traditional offline media you’re exposed to over the course of the day. Once we go online and explore the huge demands on the budget related to email marketing, search engine optimisation, pay per click, web design and a plethora of other online marketing opportunities, the budget dilemma seems to become impossible. Various studies indicate the average person living in a developed country is exposed to anywhere between 3000 and 7000 differing advertising messages per day. If you’re targeting that person, then how do you choose the one or two messages that are going to grab their attention and generate the right response? Even for highly experienced marketers these are not easy decisions. Some will claim to take a highly scientific approach but in this article we will treat the budgeting exercise as a combination of art and science.

The answers can be found in a few key areas: The size of your brand and business, the nature of your target market, the relative size of your competitors, the level of experience you have gained from previous marketing activity and your personal predisposition to believe in a particular approach. I’ve packaged that into

Ten golden rules for planning an integrated advertising campaign:

1 Repetition builds awareness builds response

Don’t spread your budget too thin. It’s better to repeat your message three or four times to the same person in the same media than to spread your message to a wider audience that may only see it once or twice

2 Online marketing is fashionable but that doesn’t make it right for your business

If you know you can build your business by increasing your web visits then online expenditure makes sense. But if your business model is not dependent on your website be careful about throwing all your money online

3 The smaller your budget the more benefit Public Relations can provide

Public Relations takes time and effort but the results can be amazing and the monthly fee often equates to just one advertisement

4 The bigger your business the more important brand building

As a massive generalisation, small businesses need to focus on building response and every penny they spend on marketing is looking for a short-term return. In the long run it’s the budgets that invest in brand building that win but there’s no point in worrying about that when your budget is small.

5 Direct Mail and e-shots are the starting point for most small businesses

You can directly compare costs with return.

6 No more than 50% of your budget online

OK that’s not really a golden rule as some businesses can prosper never appearing outside the virtual world. But it’s rare to find a target market that is not responsive to offline communications and on average over 50% of ‘commercial’ web visits are driven by traditional media.

7 Information Is Power

Quite simply the more you understand your target market and their media consumption the better you can plan campaigns that connect with them. Also if something has worked before it will probably work again, but not in quite the same way. So learn from your successes as well as your mistakes.

8 Don’t swim with the big fish

If you’re a small fish then swim upstream or downstream of the big ones Taken from Adam Morgan’s book ‘Eating the Big Fish’ this rule simply says that challenger brands need to do things differently to the competition

9 Sponsorship is for laughs

If you have many millions of pounds or dollars to spend then sponsor a premiership football club. If your budget is smaller avoid spending too much money on simple brand awareness and make sure your brand values, unique selling points and call to action are built into your marketing communications

10 Integrated communications are impressive

Even better than repeating your message to one person in the same medium is getting that message across to that person through different marketing communications. A direct mail piece, an e-shot, a press ad combined with a PR article come together to make your budget look much bigger than it is

Finally, there’s an 11th rule too! If you can’t afford it then that rules it out. It seems obvious but a lot of highly experienced marketers make the mistake of wanting to try media they perceive to be prestigious such as National TV that soak up more than 50% of their budget and leave a lot of the more hard working, cost effective, demand driving media unaffordable.

To summarise, it’s art and science coming together, there are no definite right answers but there are a lot of obviously bad ones. If in doubt get an integrated marketing agencyto help you decide. Specialist agencies will always try to get as much of your budget as they can. An integrated agency might want almost your entire budget but it will work with you to maximise its effectiveness!

Marketing Communications – Announcing 5 Challenging Methods For Effective Marketing Communications

Marketing communications refer to messages that are being used to communicate with a target market. These are being used in direct marketing, advertising, promotion, public relations, and online marketing with the aim to influence the buying decision of potential clients.

Here’s how you can make your marketing communications more effective:

1. Make them benefit-driven. The problem with other marketers or advertisers is that they focus their marketing communications on the features of their products or services. Truth be told, buyers do not generally care about the products’ features as they are more concern with the benefits that await them. So, tell these people how your product can exactly help them out. If you are selling diet pills, tell your audience that they can lose weight from using your products that can lead to a healthier body and better quality of life instead of telling them how your pills were made.

2. Keep them short. This is especially useful if you are creating an ad and you don’t have much space to use. Choose all the words that you are going to utilize. Create a draft and see if you can eliminate words that are not really needed. Avoid using passive voice and fillers. Widen your vocabulary to determine the best words that will not take so much space but will help you to easily get your marketing messages across.

3. Make them easy to understand. When writing your marketing communications, keep in mind that this is the not best time to sound mysterious. Remember, if your audience do not understand your marketing messages, they are most likely not to buy your products and services. So, communicate in a very clear manner. Use the preferred language of your target market and use the simplest terms as much as possible.

4. Make it scannable. Make your sales letters and ezine easy on the eyes by making them scannable. Aside from using short sentences and short paragraphs, utilize bullet lists and subheadings. Remember, the audience you are serving might have limited attention span and they are most unlikely to read your messages in their entirety if you offer them a chunk of text that can be sore on the eyes.

5. It must be upbeat. You need to sound enthusiastic when talking about your products so you can easily convince people to make a purchase. Make your marketing communications sound spontaneous, upbeat, and lively.

How to Build a Compelling Marketing Communications Folder

What do you give your prospects after they’ve expressed an interest in your products or services? Most small business owners simply pass out a single sales brochure. It’s much more effective to present a complete folder of information that works to further build trust and confidence. This article discusses the inserts I recommend you include in your marketing folder.

Insert #1: The Compelling Story

Every small business owner should be able to tell a compelling story about their passions and why they started their business. After all, how can you expect to create passion in your customers if you’re not able to convey your own business passion?

The Compelling Story is just that – a short 1-page info sheet on just why you created your business. The story must be personal, engaging, and fun to read. If you can make an emotional connection with the reader, you’ll quickly build trust and confidence with your prospects.

Below are a few points to help you craft the perfect compelling story.

– Be personal – Talk about the people you’ve touched in your business

– If possible, appeal to the emotions

– Make your story fun to read

– Tell your story with passion

– Show your human side – talk about mistakes you’ve made and the lessons you’ve learned

Your Compelling Story is the perfect start to your marketing communications folder.

Insert #2: The Competition

The purpose of this insert is to summarize why people should buy from you as opposed to your competition. Summarize all the advantages of doing business with your company. Communicate your unique approach, the value customers get when they do business with you, and why your products and services are the best in your field.

Again, make this a single sided sheet and pick just three or four points to communicate.

Insert #3: The Problem Solver

How are you are able to solve the business problems of your customers? This insert should tell the whole story.

Here’s what I suggest you include in this single-page insert.

– Define the main problems of your target market

– Describe how your product or service solves those problems

– Describe the steps needed to solve the problem

Insert #4: Product and Service Summary

In this insert, summarize your various product/ services and list the benefits of each.

Make sure you discuss the benefits, not the features. This is an important distinction. Too many companies spend their time covering product features instead of focusing on the benefits to the customer.

Insert #5: The Testimonial Page

This is the page that summarizes your best customer testimonials. Here are a few ideas for collecting customer testimonials.

1. Many customers may feel they don’t have the time to write a testimonial. For customers with an established relationship, write one up on their behalf and present it to them for their approval.

2. After completing a successful transaction with a customer, ask them for a quick testimonial. Have them write a few sentences down on a piece of paper. It will only take a minute and they will rarely refuse if you have provided value.

3. To create more powerful copy, ask your customers to write the testimonial as if they were recommending you to a friend.

Insert #6: The Informational Article

Write a short article on a topic that is important to your customer base. Include a web URL where they can view or download the entire article at no charge. By providing free and useful information, you will build on the trust and confidence you have already established.

So there you have it – all the main components of a strong marketing communications folder. You can purchase a pocket folder with your logo and tag line printed on the front from your local print shop or a service such as VistaPrint. I recommend purchasing folders that have slots on one of the inside pockets for your business card.

Any time you have someone that expresses an interest in your products and services, mail or give them a copy of your folder. It’s a powerful marketing communication strategy that will build trust, interest, and repeat business.