Setting your Communications Plan
Now that you have established your marketing plan, targeted audience, budget and your database - it’s time to put those words into action!
Through our previous blog around establishing your marketing plan, you should have developed a 12-month chart/table that includes within it a 12-week schedule – it is here that you will actually start to do some work.
Through the 12 month schedule, there will be optimum months unique to your location and industry, where you should best push sales and articulate promotions. These should be expressed in such a way that it is easy to visualise and understand how your year is going to look. Here is an example of our 12-month plan – NOTE: as we are not a retail business, we don’t specifically have any quarterly sales etc to calendar in.
One of the main points of a communications plan is to not just plan with your customer outcomes in mind, but also for different departments and between different levels of employees. That is why your 12-week plan is so important. Breaking from the annual plan above, you need to highlight the current and upcoming months to showcase:
- Who needs to do what
- When they need to have it done by
- How they are best recommended to do it
This can be expressed like our example below, or you can have each activity identified by ‘owners’ rows – tasks are specifically allocated to individuals or branches. As previously mentioned, these 12-week operational tasks should be detailed enough to understand right off-the-bat and have either follow up or prequel tasks to ensure that when completed, they are to the highest standard.
Through both the 12 week and 12-month plans you also need to acknowledge the budget you first established and align any potential costs into this; just to make sure you are not going overboard in your first 12 weeks! Thankfully communication is one thing within marketing that can be done at a generally low cost if necessary; you should do some research into how much ‘reach’ you can establish for free, and then how much you will need to cover through your budget. Online applications and software such as social media, e-news, and general online activity (updating website, general posts, interactions with customers etc) will get you started, as well as any PR publications and goodwill word-of-mouth!
In summary, communications are key and not only to your customers but to your employees as well. Think of your Communications Plan like an action plan: One that highlights key points for the upcoming year with tasks assigned to each one to ensure its success and validity.