Effortless marketing needs proper strategy and good planning. To have a good business, effective communication is the key. Did you ever face a backlash in business or company meetings because of improper interpretation of the message or failure to give key points to the stakeholders?
Communication is the key when you want to have a seamless work process and a better business. For this to happen, you need to have a well-thought communications plan! While impromptu plans can work wonders for some time, it is always better to have a well-designed strategy.
What are the Communications Plan?
Whether your business is just a year old or a recognized brand in a particular industry, you always need to have a pre-defined plan. A communications plan is the key which helps to deliver your vital messages on time to your stakeholders. It will play the role of a bridge and help you understand the timeline to deliver concerned messages to your audience.
With this plan, you can ensure full scope planning to deliver important business outcomes and ensure business growth. It makes sure that you deliver the information as per the plan. With this, you can also identify and segregate which messages to promote and thus target only those for maximum reach. It also aids to decide the channels and medium to promote your products and also understanding the audience response to marketing.
This strategy can be used regularly as well as in times of crisis. It can also be a marketing gimmick for the launch of new products and even to kickstart new initiatives for the promotion of old yet famous products.
Why Communications Plan is necessary?
Before we delve deep into what this plan includes, it is important to know why it is necessary. Its major role is to make a business understand the purpose of why a particular product or a new initiative has been launched, and even assist to determine the official messages you want to deliver to your intended audience.
If you have questions regarding the need for this as there are many other options to attract the audience, a communications plan can play the role of an intelligent planner and assist to build your business again if it has been on the downside due to some wrong decisions.
It will also play a meticulous role to bring your business atop and get high popularity to post the phase where advertising affected the business reputation. Improvised strategic planning will maintain nice and healthy relations with your internal stakeholders and even the customers.
Now, if you look at the other side of the coin, if there is no such plan, the business owners would be left devastated in case of union strikes from the lower class of employees or other times like wrong information being conveyed/ misuse of your products in social media by young teenagers just to get a high number of comments and likes. It is for these unprecedented situations, having a dedicated team in sync with the planner for marketing for promotional activities is a must.
The following points shall explain its importance in very precise words -
- Set realistic goals and manage customer expectations
- Transparency in managing client relations
- Proper and systematic planning of projects
- Delivers clear and concise marketing information to know the delivery of cold emails, newsletters, social media and direct phone to potential and long-term customers
When to develop a Communications Plan
This strategy is a basic idea of how to share information. Effective communication is the key. What is effective communication? It means there are transparently clear and good connections between different levels of employees in your organization. Communication is a two-way key. It shows that both sides have an equal chance to communicate their opinion whether face-to-face or through team communication tools. With this technique, the goal is to reach your immediate head, team colleagues, business partner and even the customers becomes easier.
A communications plan is what a firm wants to achieve in business. If you have a clear idea of where you want to take your business, it will not take it. To achieve this, proper planning is important. When to develop this? Check the following steps to understand the whole process when and how you need to design this communications plan strategy -
Perform a detailed analysis of where you stand in business
What do customers value in your business/ products?
Develop an attractive and eye-catchy tagline
A concise message that promotes your product/ brand.
Choose your intended target audience
Know which prospects can turn into long-term buyers
Select and prioritise your communication channels
Do a cost-benefit analysis before deciding on the communication channels where you want to market your brand
Set defined and measurable objectives
These numeric values can assist to decide how many members you need in the communications plan team, forecasting predictable buyers, calling 10% prospects, selling “X” % by the end of a quarter or getting’XX’ revenue by the end of the year
Appoint an in-charge person who shall execute your plan
By fixing a team leader or Communications Plan head, you can give the whole responsibility of execution of the steps to meet the company objectives.
Steps to build a Communications Plan
When you have understood when and how to develop this strategy, it is essential to know the steps in the same -
This helps to assess the current capabilities and health of the firm, whether they can researching successfully carry out the project.
To carry out this analysis, you should make use of these methods -
Using this, you can examine all types of environments that are present as external factors
One more analysis technique is the PERCEPTUAL MAP where you understand how your customers look at your competitor’s brands and products, compared to yours before making a purchase.
Identify and define S.M.A.R.T goals
Once you have understood where you stand, recognize your SMART goals
Sensible - The goals are clear and concise
Measurable - It must be quantifiable and not vague
Attainable - Can it be achieved?
Relative - Does the goal align with your business plan?
Timely - Make sure you gave a deadline to it
Understand and check your key profile audience
Know your audience profile by -
- Personalties/ values
- Interests/ activities
- Attitude/ opinion
- Age/ location
- Fix your Media channels to finalize the strategy
When you start doing research on your target audience, you are in a better position to perform a thorough analysis and even understand the diverse preferences.
Social media and authorized optimized content becoming a vital part of your marketing strategy, it is necessary to develop different marketing techniques as you cannot suffice with just one channel. Selecting the ideal channel with proper media with the audience you intend to target must be your prime focus when it comes to traditional and/or digital marketing.
With this, you need to manage multiple points like -
Media relations, Influencers, Responses to various people, co-branding and community service, social media channels like FB, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and more etc. This also as quality content for different channels, brand ambassadors, paid advertising and optimized engaging content in short.
- Have a fixed calendar schedule to track your communications plan working and implementation. This will give you a better idea of how your planning is working.
- Constantly monitor and evaluate the results to know your performance level
- Revise your plan if needed to meet larger goals
How to develop a Communications Plan?
If you want to develop a robust communications plan, you need to follow a proper method as given below -
- Perform an audit of your current communications strategy
- Revise and set S.M.AR.T goals (Sensible, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) on basis of your audit
- Know your audience to identify where you want to deliver the plan
- Write a well-outlined plan by keeping your audience in mind (here you need to think from the audience perspective)
- Determine the communication channels and budget you are willing to spend for promotion to reach the target
- Decide which member of your team will deliver what responsibility
- Fix and estimate a timeline so all steps happen according to the schedule
- Measure the success rate on basis of the results of your plans once you have presented them to the stakeholders and audience
- Determine success percentage and identify areas for improvement for the next step so that you can incorporate them in the next communications plan
Marketing Communications Plan Example
To better understand how it works, and what is needed in the plan, you need to first draft a table to define who is working on what and what role e/se will be playing for the project to meet the business targets. Check the following -
The Communications Plan is a very important strategy in business if you want to achieve target goals and keep your stakeholders happy. It not only keeps your business on track but also helps you understand what more corrected improvisations are required to widen your audience and for product marketing. Deskera is a well-known name in the marketing industry and has several blogs that can guide you about marketing plans. So just read our other blogs and know what more you need to be cautious about while preparing your communications and marketing plan,
- A communications plan is a strategy that helps in delivering vital and timely messages about your business to the stakeholders and keeps them well-informed about the company’s position in the market.
- To make this plan, first, you need to a detailed analysis - SWOT, PEST and consider internal, as well as external factors along with the competitors & even audience behaviour that might affect your business.
- Perform a good audit of your existing plans and then devise the SMART goals.
- Develop a calendar schedule to keep your communications plan on track and ensure you have better insights into your competitors’ performance.
- Keep a track of your audience likes and performance of your marketing plans to learn lessons and decide if you have to revise your plan