Corporality Strikers IV: MARCOM Strength to Achieve Strategic Strength

Marketing Communications is often overlooked by business leaders yet it is also a crucial component of any business strategy. How do you communicate with media outlets and other businesses that can partner with you or give you mutual benefits? Gaining good Marcom strength is a key to establishing one’s position in their category.

With a strong Marcom, an organisation can even achieve Strategic Strength – managing its objectives, capabilities, and directing its teams with utmost efficiency. This Striker will show you how even something as simple as effective communication can help make your business more successful.

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Goal 1

Identify where the investments are which ones bring more ROI

The first step to improving your MARCOM is again by assessing the situation first. Do you know where are the big guns investing? Why is this so? The answer is simple: in those areas are the biggest gains as of the moment.

If you’re not quick in deciding, the profitability from those investment points will go down and your ROI will not be as maximised. As John Wanamaker said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

You don’t want to be saying the same lines – full of doubt and uncertainty on your investments.

Here are some factors to know when and how to lay down your investment money.

  • Scan for trendsBe updated on the latest trends opening in the market. Use various tools and follow notable futurists in marketing and your specific industry. You can also scan the environment with social media such as Twitter and Linkedin.These sources can be your gold mine in seeing ahead key points you can prioritise allocating your marketing budget for.
  • Read up on research and statisticsTo back up the trends you’re seeing, you can search further and buy data from research agencies. Reputable research from firms such as the Big Four (which include Deloitte and PWC) can give you a better idea on the movement of investments.With solid data as basis, you can figure out for yourself which direction you might want your marketing communications to focus on.
  • Look at the movements of prime competitorsAn alternative to the two above is to eye your competitors’ movements – most especially those who are ahead of your company in terms of development. Chances are they have the means to look ahead with more tools, so use that leverage if you can monitor their investment moves.Next, set your objectives with a marketing communication program and push ahead in that direction.
Goal 2

Create a MARCOM program and collect feedback

Your MARCOM program must consist of strategic improvements to key areas, namely:

  • Message – Your messaging needs to be unified and consistent. This needs to be disseminated not just to sales and marketing teams but throughout all relevant departments.
  • Medium – The medium or media need to be defined, as this will outline the spending you will do later. Know which channels will work best for your efforts.
  • Target – Similar to applying Content Strategy, you must define your target audience and create a hierarchy of importance on which segments must be targeted. This will save you resources and time if you know which channel will likely serve your interests best.

The target channel is an important aspect because not all carriers will work as efficiently as others. E.g. for customers that are more tech-savvy, social media and blogs may be a batter avenue to invest in compared to traditional media such as TV and print.

Once you have finished the three key areas, it’s time to collect feedback from previous projects or if you can source observations or data from competitors’ past projects, do so.

This will allow you to gauge which press outlets or digital channels are best to invest in, and can be used in the next step, which is planning where your story will be heard from.

Here are three steps you can take to effectively deliver your communications to customers:

Create a story that aligns with your brand image and the target channel’s. This will serve as a two-prong attack that captures the interests of your model customers
Select channels or press outlets that are interested or might mutually benefit from your messaging or product. You can also select those who have the same target audience.
Pitch your concepts to the outlets you have selected. It will be best if you can build a relationship with them to make future releases easier and smoother.

After planning out these lead concepts, you can proceed to making a high-impact MARCOM Mix.

Goal 3

Determine your Marketing Communications Mix

From here on, it’s all about impact and results. Marketing communications mix is the combination of channels you use to reach out to potential customers. It’s sometimes called the 4Ps (Product, Place, Price, and Promotion – but sometimes extended into 7, to include People, Partners, and Physical evidence).

Your marketing mix could include:

Online advertising on AdWords, Facebook, blogs, and feature sites,
Traditional print such as outdoor ads, magazines, and newspapers,
Mass media such as radio and TV,
Direct marketing and personal selling
Events and Sponsorships,
Public Relations (PR) and Promotions

You don’t have to utilise all of these. What’s important is to select the ones that will work for you best. Just as it is important to know the right channels to host your ads and communications on, it is equally important what you’re going to give them.

This will be your external MARCOM list. Next you should define your internal mix, which can also be defined as branding.

Branding elements are a MARCOM channel that you host yourself. These are your website, social media accounts or networks, apps, generated media (such as videos, podcasts, etc. hosted on your own outlets), and print collaterals.

Your internal mix should be consistent with your external mix, in a way that you may share some content or that the external mix is expounded on by your internal one. Doing this builds audience trust for your brand or organisation as they are drawn to you and become more likely to become customers.

A good example of an excellent mix and branding is California Milk Processor Board’s “Got Milk” campaign. It started with one TV commercial, and went on to conquer print and other media, effectively boosting milk product sales. It lasted for several years and was only discontinued in 2014.

Another great example is Coca-Cola and its numerous campaigns. The beverage behemoth and its Christmas campaigns have dominated channels for decades, effectively maximising its reach thanks to a great combination of timely messaging, trend setting, and celebrity leverage.

Once you’re set with your preferred mix, you can now launch your new MARCOM program.

Goal 4

Delegate to respective departments and allocate budget as needed

Here is where you achieve Strategic Strength through MARCOM strength.

Through a proper handling of your MARCOM plans and execution parameters, you can achieve Strategic Strength.

Your respective departments should receive the messaging with in-depth comprehension to be able to carry out their specific tasks without hesitation, and deliver the material to achieve the desired results.

Of course, the desired results can only happen if you appropriate the needed budget for them. Seeing as you’ve already solved that with Goal 1, it should be easy to know how and where to pump your cash into

This will surely net you unmatched results – or at least, results like you’ve never seen before.

Goal 5

Analyze data and evaluate for incorporation into next projects

So you’ve done it. Your content is out there bringing you customers and sales. Does the process end there? Definitely not.

In order to ensure your ladder goes on to higher levels of success you should define your Success Metrics.

There are a number of ways you can define your metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs), but one of the best indicators is of course, generated sales or revenue.

Other metrics you can use that can be considered vital are:

  • The number of mentions on different outlets and blogs
  • Number of website visits (organic or paid)
  • Total backlinks acquired
  • Social media shares and website visits from link clicks
  • Leads acquired from posts

These are only some performance indicators which you could use as a template.

However, you should be also careful to use true performance metrics only. The new “digital commodity” these days – data such as “likes” or “retweets” – don’t really correlate much to sales or conversions. While they are a good needle for gauging visibility, that’s only as far as it goes.

Now when you have set forth your metrics, you must diligently measure your own results without bias. You can then use the data you collected for planning future projects or campaigns, or following up to your current communications.

Achieving Strategic Strength by improving your marketing communications is not a walk in the park, but it is a great alternative way. You no longer need to be stuck with ideas in the past because you are attuned to keeping up and improving for the future.

This leads us to the next Striker, which is Exante Striker V: Embrace the Past, Evolve with the Future.

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