By Aída Ulloa
Founder and Consultant
The benefits of Communication and Marketing for your brand
The Communication and Marketing Plan is one of the cornerstones of any company, however, numerous managers and owners complain of the following things:
- Time pressure
- Limited budget
- Allocation of resources to core areas
- Can’t afford traditional advertising to reach and engage with their target audiences. (Television, magazines, newspapers, radio, etc.)
- Don’t understand the consumption patterns of the new generations (e.g. millennials).
- Lack of information and knowledge about the digital media options and the behaviour of the audiences in these platforms.
- Don’t have time to go all the way through the learning curve. If they don’t know what they are doing, they can end up spending a lot of money on strategies that prove to be ineffective.
- Lack of staff with the right skills.
In recent decades we have seen dramatic changes in the way businesses and consumers coexist, due to the development and fast adoption of new communication technologies, such as the internet and portable devices (tablets, laptops, smartphones, etc).
Before, the communication process was in one way only (the brands offered their products and services in mass media channels, without much interaction with the potential clients). Nowadays consumers are proactively looking for information before buying. They research on the internet about the products and services, costs, features, etc.; they look at the companies’ websites and ask for recommendations with friends and family in the social media platforms.
Moreover, clients communicate directly with brands through the different corporate communication channels; expecting to be heard, address their particular needs and provide them with more than simple goods: buying experiences (Starbucks, Apple, etc.), value-added information, offers and exclusive discounts, among others. They want to be treated as individuals and not as part of a collective.
Therefore, companies must have an organized and well executed corporate Communications and Marketing Plan which will allow them to stay in business for longer and grow; reach and raise the number of customers and sales; maintain a positive image and increase brand awareness, granting them an advantage over their competitors. Since it is a blueprint, it does not have to be extensive but should outline the key strategies and key activities in which the company wants to focus during the year. A consultant can help to define it and most activities may be outsourced.
Presently greater emphasis should be placed on the digital marketing strategies. As customers spend less time on traditional media (television, radio, printed magazines) and more on online services, this has become an important advantage for entrepreneurs and small businesses owners. Digital channels offer a unique opportunity to reach them with small budget.
An example of a great communication channel is the corporate website. Many micro and small businesses still don’t have a website or, if they have one, it’s outdated; which create a disadvantage. Potential customers can’t find the necessary information about the products or services offered or even more: the contact information.
In the case of social media platforms, some of them have one or more just because is the trend, but outdated or without the appropriate messages, causing disinterest, misinformation and the loss of customers.
Now that the year is almost over it would a good idea to start designing the 2015 program. Once the company has defined the marketing and communication plan for the year, a good solution is to outsource some tasks to boutique marketing agencies like Anima Creative.
Anima Creative offers affordable prices for small enterprises and start-ups; provide tailored solutions aligned with the business mission, vision and objectives, synchronizing all the efforts to reach, gain and hold each valuable customer.
Some of the services that can be outsourced are: Media Relations (dissemination of Press Releases, Media Kits, clipping and monitoring, databases, etc.); Copy-writing and copy editing (cases of study, sales sheets, articles, blogs, newsletters, etc.); Online Marketing (social media management, website building and maintenance, Search Engine Optimization, development and execution of online and online Advertising Campaigns, among others).
This can help owners and manager to release some of the pressure, focus more on their core business and spend only what is necessary.