The number one thing you can do to set yourself up for success is to invest time and effort into your communication and marketing strategy. It should be your go-to document for every decision and will become the backbone of how, why, when and who you communicate with.
Here at Think Communications, we help clients align their strategies to the overarching business objectives and help identify the best approach to effectively communicate with their audiences.
Whether you decide to go it alone for strategy development or enlist professional help, these are the key things you need to think about and why.
Objectives Versus Tactics
It’s easy to become distracted with all your brilliant and creative ideas and mistake them for objectives when they’re really tactics.
Activities that you can actually execute are tactics and they are the practical way that you achieve your objectives. As an example, if your objective is to ‘raise 25% more funds in 2020’ one of many tactics may be to host a fundraiser.
It’s absolutely vital to make sure you keep these separate in your thinking (and on the page) to avoid confusion and a tactic-heavy approach. Developing solid objectives that align with your overarching business goals are as, if not more, important than coming up with creative marketing activities.
This brings us nicely to our next golden rule – everything in your strategy must be measurable, otherwise it’s impossible to prove its worth. The easiest way to make sure your objectives meet the criteria is to include a numerical measure, e.g. to gain 100 more Instagram followers this quarter, to increase reach by 25%, to sign 10 new clients in 2020.
All of your objectives should have some kind of metric attached so you can continue to review progress and adjust where necessary.
There’s nothing wrong with reaching for the stars, but remember that your marketing strategy isn’t a dream – it’s something you’re going to implement and measure. As such, be mindful of what’s possible and practical within the timeframe of the strategy. If your marketing strategy is for the current calendar year, then use last year’s results as a benchmark to see what you want to improve, and if you want to add some new focus areas. If you’re starting fresh, that’s okay too. A professional or some research can help you determine average performance markers for your industry.
Keep it Visible
Once you’ve done the research, brainstormed with your team and have a beautifully crafted strategy – congratulations! Cross it off your list as a success and refer to it moving forward. Everything you do can be guided and informed by your strategy, which will continue to evolve where needed as you move through each element.
Having a solid communications and marketing strategy to work from, particularly one that reflects the bigger picture, keeps your efforts on track which enhances return on investment and efficiency.
If your strategy needs a refresh for 2020, we’d welcome the opportunity to bring your marketing dreams to life. Get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat.