On my website, I state that the significance of communications hasn’t changed; the toolbox has just expanded. By this I mean that ads and press releases don’t make up marketing communications. At one time, as portrayed in that wonderful series, Mad Men, perhaps they did.
Now, however, those tools have been joined by so many others. And in today’s world, new tools are developed almost every day, or so it seems.
Let’s explore some of the elements of marketing communications.
Elements of Marketing Communications
- Advertisements: Yes, ads still play a part in the marketing communication mix. Depending on your industry and target audience, this includes print, television, radio or digital ads. Digital encompasses banner ads, pay-per-click (PPC), Google, etc.
- Press releases: Also known as news releases. They have changed dramatically over the years, and now we use social media to enhance our message. You don’t just write your message, add a quote from a senior executive, and share a picture. Now, you add several pictures, a video, infographic, tweet it, add it to LinkedIn, and so on. You still have to build relationships with journalists. Don’t waste their time. Do your research before you send them a note or pitch them.
- Social media: As in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc. It’s important to know where your audience hangs out, so that you can determine which vehicle(s) to use. Once you have determined which one(s) to use, you then have to use them correctly. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that anyone can just jump in and handle social media, either. It’s important to have someone who can keep up with the continuous advances, engage, monitor, and measure.
- Website: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Your website should not be ignored. It needs to be alive and regularly updated. Having a brochure website does not engage your customers, and does not help them decide to pick up the phone or send you an email. It’s a vital part of the selling process – the sales funnel.
- Video: I believe I have mentioned this before, but by 2018, video will account for over 2/3 of mobile usage. (Source: Erik Qualman.) As a human’s attention span grows shorter, more and more marketers/communicators are depending on/preferring video to get their message across. Why? Because more and more people prefer video. And, it’s not complicated. Your phone can be your best video friend.
- Infographics: Did you know that you can make these yourself? Check out Visme. More companies could take better advantage of this communication tool, with both internal and external audiences.
- Blogging: An underused tool, especially in the chemical and oil & gas industries. It seems as though almost every month, someone declares blogging is dead. It is not dead. It takes time, but is very much worth the effort. Guess what? There is actually a scientific process (includes research) that helps you blog with maximum success. What people fail to realize, or be patient with, is the time it takes to make headway with a blog. (Yes, I repeated myself.) However, if you want to become a thought leader or recognized as an expert in your field, blogging will help you do that. In addition, you own the material, as you do your website (hopefully), and that is a wonderful thing called owned media. (A different topic to expand upon another day.)
- Internal communications: An often overlooked element of the marketing communication mix. Marketing communications is often perceived as being focused on external audiences. But, what happens if you don’t share your messaging and brand with your employees? They are your ambassadors! They are on the front line, dealing directly with customers and potential customers. You want them to be on the same page. Don’t forget them, and don’t forget to make your interaction with them just as engaging as you do with your external audience.
Those are just a few elements of marketing communications. There are many more.
What Really Matters
I leave you with this though: None of the tools listed above will work if you don’t do your research, develop a strategy, and know how to implement and measure everything correctly. And, it bears repeating – nothing happens overnight. Take the time, apply the elbow grease, and stick to your messaging. Marketing communications will work for you.
I’m here to help. Let me know your thoughts.