There is a stack of Wired magazines in our office, some dating back four years. Looking back at those things it’s amazing what the editors and writers of that publication thought were going to be the next big thing in 2020. Haha. Gotcha!
Beyond the information about gadgets and science and that spooky thing called the internet, what stands out in these articles is the care the writers took to explain tricky to understand concepts, ideas, and technologies.
There’s an art to pulling off the transfer of information from the studied to the curious.
That art is called communications.
What is Marketing Communication?
Let’s be clear about this — the goal of all marketing is to get a consumer to push the buy button. Whether it’s a Bluetooth speaker or software subscription or (gasp!) extended auto warranty, the goal is to get you from considering a purchase to plunking down your credit card.
The science of marketing has changed a lot over the years. Once upon a time, planners (the folks that place advertisements) had a broad idea of what type of people would watch a t.v. show or read a magazine. Using that knowledge let them be strategic in where they would buy space.
These days, planners have so much more information and they can hyper-target ads on almost any medium. Of course, that got a little wacky and now our digital marketing friends are going back to the drawing board to find and place advertisements. Let’s see how that plays out.
Communication is the tool that we marketers use to bring your attention to that thing that you must have right now.
What keeps agencies like ours busy is the incredibly broad swath of available communication channels to move a consumer into awareness, consideration, convincing, and purchasing.
Newsletters, brochures, blog posts, placed articles (where a marketer pays a publication to run an article), social media, video, sales collateral, and so much more. Note, we’re excluding pure advertising from this list because communications like these are designed to inform much like newspapers and magazines. Call it soft advertising if you will, because transmitting information about why this product is better than that product.
The keys are connection, trust-building, and informing. The way you do that depends on the audience.
What’s the best way to communicate with my audience?
We’re going to spend the next month going in-depth around the different types of communication devices, but here’s a quick primer on what’s what:
Newsletters — One of the best ways to engage, inform, and entertain an audience. We’ve produced print and email newsletters for external and internal readers across a number of different industries.
Blog Posts — Company news, project stories, personnel profiles, industry perspectives are just some of the things you can include on your website. It’s great for visitors to learn more about your company and great for the search engine crawlers to show your value to the internet.
Brochures — A classic in the communications business, brochures are great ways to “go home” with people that are interested in your product or service. The key is to be carefully focused in the content so that you don’t confuse the reader when they’re away from you.
Sales Collateral — We’ve worked with a multitude of sales people who use sales collateral one sheets as leave behinds. Sales collateral should clearly spell out expertise while telling a strong story about the company and its history. Good photography and clean designs are also musts.
Placed Articles — Our PR friends use placed media to ensure that their client’s message is not diluted by some pesky journalist. Utilizing articles in print publications or on websites is a great way to own your narrative and push important information.
What goes into a communications strategy?
Okay, let’s make this a list.
- Define the message
- Define the audience
- Define the best way to get that message to your audience (newsletters, sales collateral, blog posts, etc.)
- Brainstorm, interview, research, write, edit, write, edit.
- Imagine, design, flow copy, design, have the writer cut copy, design.
- Publish when and where you know your audience will see the material.
How do I get started?
Contact us! We’ll walk you through every step, work hand in hand with you, and produce materials that will raise awareness, express expertise, convince, and connect.