We all feel the burden of clutter, yet research consistently shows that all marketers intend to increase their investment in content generation for 2017. Clarity of vision is key in this saturated market and with so much new information to digest, customers will seek out brands that offer a seamless experience at every touch point.

Overwhelmed by Choice, We Make None

Every day we watch new innovative communication tools emerge that are designed to make our lives easier. If we’re honest, they often just confuse us more and we end up staying with what we know. It’s the age of insight overload, with thousands of ways to create, automate, distribute and measure content. One day we’re extolling the virtues of influencer marketing. The next, we’re anticipating the launch of Snapchat augmented reality glasses. Just as you think you have your head wrapped around this, you discover that machine-learning algorithms for SEO and social media marketing are just around the corner …

Impulsive Communication Strategies Dilute Brand Values

Organisations that have remained faithful to their traditional marketing models now face many choices. They may decide it is time to abandon their stale strategy in the hope that fresh promotional tools will increase leads and sales growth. In doing this, they embark on an impulsive “rebound strategy”. They leap headlong into a frenzy of activity, excited at the many available options in the virgin landscape of digital media. Such a haphazard approach causes confusion amongst customers and prospects. It is a waste of resources, results in fewer lead conversions and ultimately, a diluted brand value.

Factors to Consider for Your Communications Plan

Integrated marketing communications

This means developing a unified brand experience across traditional and non-traditional marketing channels – PR, outdoor, web, mobile, broadcast, social, print. The goal is to deliver a clear and compelling message to the defined target market.

The customer is central to this strategy. When a buyer goes online with a problem or visits your booth at a trade show, they don’t care who was responsible for the landing page or building the display. But they do expect a seamless experience at every touch point.

Enterprise-wide buy-in

In every B2B buying situation, there are multiple people involved on both sides of the transaction. Each has his/her own level of influence, perspectives, and goals. To present a consistent brand message to your buyers requires a high level of cohesiveness and coordinated efforts.
Successful companies are able to take this one step further. They strive to break down organisational silos and nurture a sense of brand engagement across the organisation, customers, suppliers and partners. If everyone can get in on sharing your story, internal brand advocacy is a natural by-product.
Agile, responsive tactics

To execute on a strategy a company needs to be responsive to shifts in buying patterns and prospect behaviour. Moreover, the ability to react quickly on social channels is a great way to initiate more engagement with your brand. For our social media service click here.

Talk about agile marketing, and everyone refers back to the famous 2013 tweet by Oreo during the Super Bowl blackout. This example of agile marketing shows us the huge benefits of being prepared to change course at a moment’s notice. Being adaptable and data-driven allows a firm to quickly react to evolving opportunities and gain significant credibility with customers.

Incorporate key emotional motivators

Research by the Harvard Business Review (“The New Science of Customer Emotions”, November 2015) shows that while a brand may be liked or trusted, “most fail to align themselves with the emotions that drive their customers’ most profitable behaviours”. In other words, customers may not even know themselves why they like a particular product or service. A buyer may think he likes the design of a particular mobile device, but in actual fact it is a deeper emotional pull – how it makes him feel that he stands out from the crowd and his friends – that drives the purchase.

Once we can tap into the deeper emotional needs of customers at each stage of the buyer journey, we can start to realise far more brand value and higher returns.

Adhering to a defined, integrated communications strategy becomes crucial when faced with distraction and excessive choice. The companies who will excel will be those who embody a unified brand image and can adapt quickly and seamlessly as interactions with customers reveal changing needs.

In the forthcoming weeks deVilliers Communications will go into more detail about different aspects of an integrated marketing communication strategy. In the meantime, if you would like us to help you kick-start your 2017 plans and make the most of your communications, we’d love to hear from you.