Like any part of a successful business, marketing and communications work best when you have a detailed plan that encompasses strategy, target audience, objectives, messages, channels and measurement.
And the end of a calendar year is the perfect time to settle on your detailed plan for the coming 12 months, breaking down each broad business objective, fitting a marketing goal within it, determining a timeline and deciding what success looks like.
So firms will break up their over-arching messages into micro-messages over the year, perhaps focusing on one a quarter. A single message may be delivered across multiple channels, including webcasts, newsletters, client events, articles, and social media.
It's vitally important that you have buy-in from everyone across the business about the plan and a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve.
If your goal is build a broader public awareness of your brand, you may want to design a social media campaign around a popular hashtag – as an advisory firm, for example, you could use popular events in the news to illustrate the fact that clients should stick with their investment plan through thick and thin.
Be sure to set measurable targets for the marketing and communications campaign, whether it is website visits, click-throughs from your newsletter, downloads of key documents, LinkedIn engagement, or media mentions.
Campaigns tend to work better if you have previously surveyed the competitive landscape and determined your unique selling proposition. That in turn will shape your messaging and your choice of delivery channels.
While marketing and communications these days is a science, don't neglect the art. Investing in the creation of lively and engaging content that helps to start conversations is a key component of all successful strategies.
Finally, review as you go. Not every aspect of the campaign will succeed. Monitor digital and other engagement and do more of what works.
Design your internal communications plan alongside your external one so that all stakeholders have buy-in and understand what the strategy is.
For very small firms without an in-house marketing and communications professional, much of this can be achieved through downloadable templates that show you step-by-step how to formulate a plan.
If you're interested in developing your firm's marketing strategy for 2020 and would like to know how Regis Media can help you to attract, retain, and educate your clients; find out more about our services on our website.