Right now, marketing and communication executives across Australia are scoping the year ahead. Government leaders are finely crafting their approaches to Treasury. Yes, it’s strategic planning and budgeting season!
We’ve been facilitating quite a few planning sessions with clients who are putting together budgets for the new financial year. In this article we share some of the process and some considerations specific to FY2013 .
1. Match marketing and communication to strategic planning.
We all know marketing activities should support achievement of business goals. Take each business goal and define the communication activities required. There is almost no business activity that doesn’t have a communication dimension to it. Prioritise by which business activities represent key success factors. Most urgent with highest impact comes first. From your list of activities you’ll be able to plan resources, timing and budget. On budget, don’t let anyone give you a ‘rule of thumb’ percentage of revenue or profit to spend on marketing. Every business and its relationship with the market is different.
2. Assign metrics.
You’ll never get the budget you want if you can’t demonstrate how you’ll measure return on investment (ROI). Consider how you will track customer activity, conversion and engagement. Drive as much activity online. And make this the year you…
3. Leverage social media for insight.
Get closer to your stakeholders, customers and employees by setting up Facebook groups and incentivising activity. Use social media, website and enewsletter analytics to understand buyer behaviour. Which of your activities, services and products excites your customers most and why. Enjoy the confidence of quickly making tactical decisions with confidence.
4. Know your customer.
When was the last time you really did some deep thinking about your customer, member, stakeholder. Whether you call it target audience profiling, buyer personae mapping or psycho-demo-technographic profiling (no, not joking!), smartphones, social media and ecommerce are combining in ways that have completely changed the way people source advice and make purchases. The rate of behavioural change is such that you cannot afford to revisit your customer profiles once every few years. Just consider, companies and governments now need to reach a consumer on the way to work to make a sale, to get their message across. Less and less do people ‘get on the net’, instead they make a purchase on a site via a social media platform on their smartphone. Truly impulse buying, to match the hectic lifestyle.
5. Integrate marketing.
There’s the corporate brand and positioning, and then there’s the products and services. Building awareness and reaching customers requires a range of functions: advertising, public relations, online communications, media relations/publicity, direct marketing, sponsorship and events, and more. Communication at the start of the 21st Century is at a transitional point where traditional methods need to be matched with new channels. It’s challenging to strategise, plan and execute. To ensure no duplication of content or activities and a rewarding customer experience, project management systems are evolving quickly. No matter where your team are located, they can be directed via one platform, reporting back in realtime via mobile devices. We use Teamwork.