This ditty is not a lesson in shouting the loudest, or designed to give you an excuse to type in capitals and no, I have not been hired by a megaphone factory to boost sales, because as much as we all want our messages to be read and noticed, the aforementioned tactics are not generally smiled upon in marketing and when it comes to making a good, lasting impression amongst your customer base.
The fact of the matter is, not only do you need to be heard or be seen, but you need to be remembered and be compelling. The perfect communication is one that gets the message across without any ambiguity and therefore should have an aim, purpose, strategy and hook.
Think of it this way;
The aim of your communication is to get the customer to do something ( For example, buy a new car )
The purpose of your communication is to educate or inform the customer as to why they would want to do the aim (Tell the customer about the product so they will want to buy it)
The strategy is what and how you will do something in order to achieve the aim and purpose (In this instance it might be to reinforce the safety USP of the product, or the time/distance warranty offer)
The hook is something catchy designed to entice the customer to carry out the aim (perhaps a slogan or limited time offer)
Got it? OK, moving on..
So when planning any new communication, or reviewing current methods, you need to consider these points;
type of channel (email, web, social media)
type of message (buy, renew, remember, sign up)
type of customer (what is their demographic? )
And the principles of this are very similar to that of the Marketing Mix, or 4Ps, where your activity is dictated by the product, its price, its place and its promotion. When communicating with an audience you will initially want to know what channel or channels they use as this will give you an insight as to which channel or channels you should use to reach them. Built in or basic online analytics packages can tell you so much like the type of device they use, when they are most active and so on and so forth. From here you can start to build a communication plan.
Now you should concentrate on your message as this will also have an impact on your channel and communication. For example, if you want your customers to review a subscription on your website, you are unlikely to write to them to ask them to log on, go to this page, follow that link and click here are you? No, you want to grab them there and then with an email complete with big ‘Renew Now, Here’ button that takes them directly to where they want to be, maybe adding a wee incentive hook in there to do it within the next 24 hours?
And of course you need to think about your customer. Are they the type who has time to peruse your site for products or do they need suggestions? Would they benefit from signing up to receive information on new products via email or newsletter, or would a text fit into their busy schedule better? The important thing to remember is that not one format of communication is going to suit everybody. And a few key things to incorporate into your communication are the elements of being interactive and informative. People don’t want their time wasted and it is becoming more and more common for customers to expect to be accommodated. If there are various ways in which they can do what you are asking of them you should let them know as each might hold a different benefit to your customers.
Next week we will look at your biggest marketing challenges, so if you want to be a part of next week’s blog then comment on this post with your biggest bug-bear!