Connecting with a specific market through media and targeted messages is what marketing communications are all about. Communicating through marketing to reach a target audience is the glue that ties together advertising, branding, PR, and digital marketing techniques, especially when it is based upon organic services for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) principles supported by thorough Keyword research.
Communicating with prospective clients is driven by content delivered throughout many forms of media such as a web site, social media, video, direct marketing, email marketing, or any other form of advertising. An Offline and Online marketing communications strategy designed to sell a product or service begins with an understanding of the foundation of where a company or product is positioned in the marketplace. From an analysis of marketplace positioning a plan for communication can be developed to touch on benefits, effects, and motivations for purchase. The sales cycle is built based on these marketplace positioning parameters and is targeted toward particular individuals or a more targeted subset of a market.
A successful model for a marketing communications strategy revolves around five key principles for establishing credibility in a marketplace.
Marketing communications and a well-developed, clearly defined sales cycle work together to create value and demand for a company’s offerings while sharpening the sales cycle for greater efficiency and increased reward. Refining the sales cycle is a continual process with the long-term goal of shortening the cycle. Reducing the time and interaction between the company and a prospect for a quicker sale is often a direct result of a meticulously designed marketing communications strategy.
Marketing communications looks at reaching potential customers in a highly targeted fashion with the goal of increasing the relevancy of each marketing message. Switching from a mass media, blanket coverage, marketing approach to one of a highly specialized and personalized interaction, a company can increase their ROI, reach a specific subset of a marketplace and stand out from the barrage of annoying mass marketing.
The opportunities to connect with new customers and generate sales with targeted marketing messages are vast. Yet many marketing communication initiatives not only fall far short of achieving the expected results for acquiring new customers but also fail to meet the company’s desired online profitability goals. For a large company, even a 1% improvement in the effectiveness of their marketing communications strategy can potentially result in sales increases of $100,000, or more. For smaller or medium-sized companies, a 1% improvement can result in 10’s of $1,000’s of revenue. Oftentimes, incremental changes to communications are low cost, both in terms of monetary investment and employee resources, yet these strategic changes can generate a significant Return on Investment.
Three easy to implement suggestions include:
Understanding how well your company’s existing marketing strategy is performing is an important first step. Which communication strategies are working best largely depends upon the demographics of your current customer base and how well your brand is being communicated through the company’s marketing messages.
What has proven successful in the past might need more improvement as the demographics within the current marketplace may be changing. Researching the demographics and needs of your ideal customer as well as the costs of customer acquisition will result in more efficient and effective communications. Fully understanding these demographics is critical before you can effectively continue the current communications focus. Importantly, a new market analysis will be required if the company is trying to enter new marketplaces.
A comprehensive assessment of the company’s online footprint will determine if a consistent marketing message is being presented across all web platforms and social media sites. This review will help you understand how and where your marketing messages have visibility. Evaluating quantitative data such as web traffic reports will help determine if the company’s marketing messages are attracting targeted website visitors and returning the desired results. A periodic review of this data after a series of marketing messages will determine the effectiveness and present opportunities for growth.
Supplementing this with in-depth Keyword research will serve as the foundation for creating engaging content and messaging that will attract the types of customers the company desires and who are best suited for your products and services. This results in higher customer satisfaction and according to Harvard Business Review, this will ultimately result in happier customers that buy more.
To be successful, each company must demonstrate a uniqueness that has value for a customer. Some see a better market opportunity and capitalize on it, some bring a new and innovative product to the marketplace, and other companies introduce a more efficient process that helps their clients achieve a higher ROI. Whatever the uniqueness, the senior management team has a vision for their organization. Behind every vision, there is a story about the reasons why a company currently exists and why it serves its customers. Telling that story is an influential marketing communications strategy that helps to differentiate your company, its products, and its brand with a message that is emotionally engaging. Authentically balancing emotion with information helps to reinforce your brand in a way that differentiates your company from the others and makes your company memorable.
Many businesses are offering the same or very similar products and services as your company and are competing for the same clients. The marketplace is crowded with similar noisy messages and marketing campaigns. However, every consumer has their own unique requirements and needs for how a product or service will help them. Describing benefits without first understanding market needs will make it appear as though you are the same as every other company. Keyword research and market research are essential for identifying what your target clients really want and need. Some may need an innovative technology, a more efficient process, or a new marketing campaign strategy. When the need is identified, it is essential to communicate HOW your product features and functions provide the unique benefits that solve the client’s problems.
The adage of “Don’t market to your customers, but educate them instead” is a marketing strategy that will help your company more effectively communicate and connect with your customers. Printed marketing materials, a static web page, Blog posts, and articles that focus on data and describing product features alone will not be a successful communication initiative. Customers need a much deeper level of understanding before they will make a commitment to your company and its products and services. To connect with a customer at this level, your company will need to demonstrate that you understand their problem and how you can help them systematically solve it. Combined with Case Studies and customer testimonials, how-to articles, videos and Blog posts about others who have used the product, and customer success stories provide a meaningful context for how your product or service will perform in their environment. Connecting with the customer is an ongoing process, not only in the sales cycle but throughout the customer service process as well. This means sending the right message at the right time through the right marketing channel.
In summary, improving the marketing communications strategy for your company has several benefits that include affirming the demographics of your target market, and a consistent message to the company’s niche markets. Thorough market and competitive analysis combined with search engine optimization principles, higher customer engagement and satisfaction is achieved.
An important question for an online marketing campaign is how effectively can Search Engine Optimization (SEO) be integrated into the communications process. To create a consistent marketing message for each of your targeted prospects, SEO is a vital element for establishing a unified, beneficial, and productive online experience that resonates with customers across all your company’s marketing channels. All the techniques, tactics, and digital processes within a marketing channel must be focused and optimized to attract that highly qualified prospect that wants and needs your product or service. Web page content, press releases, Blog postings, articles, and social media messages must be thoughtfully crafted, organized, and presented to your targeted audience in a compelling and intriguing message that inspires a click-thru to your product page or a call to your sales department.
Regardless of the strategy used for how you communicate your marketing message to your target audience, SEO is the adhesive that holds the marketing communication process together. With diligent Keyword research, highly focused marketing tactics can be targeted to specific customers based upon their unique needs and desires. Our Agency’s SEO Consulting Services can develop a Search Engine Optimization plan that focuses your company’s communication strategy on your targeted audience, improves your marketing campaign effectiveness, and shortens the sales cycle.