Once your business has its product/service offer, pricing, distribution and positioning strategy sorted, it’s time to determine the objectives that your communications activities need to deliver against to ensure that they effectively assist the achievement of your overall marketing objectives.
A. Understanding Buyer Behaviour & The Buying Process
Consumers and business buyers move through a step-by-step process as they receive marketing information and move toward a decision via what is referred to as a hierarchy of effects process.
- create awareness
- create understanding
- create changes in attitude/perception
- create change in behaviour
- reinforce previous decisions/attitudes
A good understanding of buyer behaviour and the sales process relative to your company’s products and services will help you establish good communications objectives which will address these key issues :
- the relative importance of each stage of the marketing communications process for a particular product or service
- how much weight you need to give to each stage of the buying process in your communications
B. Types of Objective
As a consequence, your objectives are likely to include a mixture of the following:
- Build awareness – tell your target audiences exactly who you are
- Raise profile – build a new, dynamic and professional brand image
- Educate & inform – tell your target audiences what you have to offer, give them useful information
- Improve access – make it very easy for our target audiences to contact you
- Motivate trial – actively encourage prospects to find out more – try you out
- Generate leads – generate mailing list subscribes, fans, followers, sales leads, order off the web page
You should also ensure that your set objectives which are measurable!
Individual elements of the marketing communications plan can be assigned SMART objectives:
- specific with numbers,
- measurable to monitor progress & confirm achievement,
- actionable: can we do it?
- reasonable ie realistically attainable &
- timely by incorporating deadlines
Here are a few examples:
- Increase awareness of your widgets from 35 to 60% 9 months post campaign among 40-65 year old ABC1 women
- Reposition the firm as the most responsive supplier of widgets to the thingamabob sector within a 1 year period
- Maintain brand X as the preferred brand of widgets among 50% of companies with 1000 employees or more
- Achieve 25% increase in leads generated from our website in 6 months
In the third article of the series we investigate “How To Develop Your Marketing Communications Strategy”