Last week I spoke to a group of marketing executives in Austin about the critical pieces to a successful marketing/communications strategy. I wanted to exhibit how important every detail is toward the overall goal. Jenga!
Jenga – it’s fun, it’s noisy. It’s a Stevens family favorite. When thinking about your marketing and communications plan, think of it like a game of Jenga. Every piece matters. One missing piece might be ignored for a while but eventually, it will be your downfall.
If you have a focused message, but no identified audience? Crash.
If you claim your brand represents quality but then your client gifts are junk? Crash
If you spend your entire client event budget on good appetizers and wine but the invitation falls flat and nobody shows up? Crash.
At JHL, we work with our clients to start at the foundation and build a communications plan that is intentional, strategic and memorable. Our clients tower above the rest (pun intended) and reach their targeted audiences in smart and effective ways.
Written communications like newsletters or social media posts should be relevant, interesting and brief. Build a loyal following by respecting the reader’s time. Utilize these formats to showcase your expertise or to brag on a client, employee or your company. Don’t’ make your friends rely on the media – if you have an accomplishment worth sharing, then share it. If you have not-so-great-news then be the first to share it. Control the message, be direct and honest. Tailor your messaging to your audience.
Gifts and branded items should represent your company values. Branded supplies in your office such as pens, pads of paper and coffee mugs will be used by your grateful customers and keep your brand top of mind. When giving holiday or client appreciation gifts it pays to think outside of the box. Expecting a wet winter? You got them covered with branded umbrellas. Do you customers love live music? Branded iPod earbuds are always a hit. Think of products that you would enjoy and find useful then put a tasteful branded spin on them.
People do business with people they know. Events are a great way to build personal relationships that will enhance your business. But, you have to get people to show up. And people are busy. And it’s hot (or cold) and the traffic is a mess (especially in Austin) and their kid has a basketball game…and…and… So, make it hard to say no. Hosting a dinner? Consider opening your own home or reserving the hot new restaurant in town. Organizing a larger event? Make it fun start to finish with a cool invitation (think concert poster size invitation to attend a party with a great band) and follow-up with event reminders and details. Make it feel like a must do and make it easy to attend – sound expensive? It’s not. Be thoughtful and don’t step over a dollar to pick up a dime. Better to invite two less guests to the hot new restaurant than to choose boring and same ole, same ole and be left eating the calamari alone.