No matter the size of your company,  the right communication to the external world is absolutely vital.  Often due to limited resources or this position being outsourced, communication is often an issue for companies. From marketing, website communication to social media there is no one size fits all methodology. Being able to adapt your communication to the audience is key.

One component of communication to the outside world that is often dismissed is the analytical part. Who are we? What are the strengths of our company, product and services? How do we differentiate ourselves from the competition? Understanding your position on the market, your USP and being able to emphasize on your added values is essential.

Another element will be to set the goals. We cannot communicate on everything at the same time. What do we want to achieve. Do we want to attract new customers, generate new leads for the company, and increase our sales or to develop our brand recognition? Do we have quantitative or qualitative goals? Do we want to maybe improve the relationship with our customers, connect with them or build a community?

The audience of your communication should never be forgotten. In Marketing we talk a lot about identifying your business persona and audience. Is it enough today to only focus on needs and expectations? What are the questions your customer is asking about your services? How your services are integrating in the daily routine of your customer? What is basic is never lose the sight of the need your service covers as this will still remain the structure of your communication.

Once you have covered those stages is time to create your content. What key messages do you want to communicate? Which style correspond to your values, and services? Pictures, colors and images are importantly relevant. The content should reflect your company values and represent perfectly the services you are delivering.

Failing to plan is planning to fail. What is the frequency of your messages? Is there seasonality in the year that you will need to focus on? Is there a best time to communicate in the day or week? You will still want to keep some spontaneity in your communication plan.

But who will do it internally? Do you have the internal or external resources to allocate for this communication? If we talk about social media, your team will need to play the game and participate actively to the mission. This could mean 24/7, sometimes!

As Jerry Maguire would say “Show me the money…” This brings us to the financial aspect of communication. What is the budget you will allocate to this communication? Your communication plan will have to consider everything from conceptualization of the material, creating collaterals, content writing, formatting, purchasing advertisement space, the eventual agency costs, salaries involve and social charges.

Once you know what you are going to say, to whom and for how much, you can then select your distribution channels. Would you communicate in a retail magazine, on radio, on TV, in your social media? A balance has to be found between investment involved and number of audience that will be reached by this investment in communication. Today an advertisement to a person that does not know your brand will need to be seen or heard at least 7 times before they actually decide to take action.

Even if this stage is not the easiest one, measuring the impact of your communication is crucial for the long term. Measuring your customer satisfaction or how your brand awareness is improving is not an easy. On the web or social media there are ways to measure, number of clicks, how long people have been visiting your page, number of views etc. etc.  This is certainly an improvement compared to the traditional channels.

Finally, you need to arrive at the measurement of your return on investment. What was the impact versus the investment you have done? With the impact measurement you will be able to define or re-define your next communication campaign. ROI from social media or digital media tends to be seen after 1 to 3 months while for traditional marketing this could be from 6 to 12 months before you actually see results.

To start honing your communication plan for the next launch, keep in mind these 3 tips:

  1. Everyone on-board must have a solid understanding of the company values and uniqueness and the message that you are trying to communicate.
  2. Pick your battleground and make sure to focus on one audience at a time, consistently. If you communicate only every now and then, chances are you will not get the impact you wish to have.
  3. Be able to show your numbers & the return on investing in communication to get a buy in from the different stakeholders.

Author

CREY

Catherine Rey-Torres Sales & Marketing Manager

Catherine joined LHC as Sales & Marketing Manager in December 2015. Her role involves developing and implementing the LHC’s Sales & Marketing plan and promote the Executive Education career development programmes around the globe.

Prior to LHC, she worked in the International Education industry for over 5 years both in Mexico and Switzerland, where she moved with her family in 2013. She represented in Latin America prestigious wine and spirit brands within the Hospitality industry for over 10 years. She worked closely with International Hotels, government institutions and corporate executives and multinationals and had to support them in the international implementation of their educational projects.

She is a graduate in International Business from the University of Blaise-Pascal in Clermont-Ferrand France and spent her last year of study in the University of Oklahoma Price College of Business USA. She followed several wine and spirit training both in France and Mexico. She lived in 5 different countries and enjoy multicultural environments where relationships, new ideas, innovation and original concepts are valued. She appreciates being challenged and strongly believe in enhancing the customer experience to growing the business.

While not at work, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband and go for long walks by the lake. She is passionate about wine and like to organize tastings of wines from different regions and countries for her family and friends.