7 steps to create an effective marketing communication plan
In the 8-step marketing management procedure, the marketing communication plan (MCP) is step 6 which is considered the tip of the iceberg. Therefore, many youngsters misunderstand that Marketing is a plan only. Even though marketing is familiar, not many people know how to create an effective MCP. No matter who they are, an experienced marketer or a newbie, they need to be careful in making a MCP.
Trong bài viết hôm nay, Markus sẽ giới thiệu với bạn 07 bước then chốt để xây dựng kế hoạch truyền thông chuẩn chỉnh. In this post, Markus will introduce you to 7 key steps to make an accurate MCP.
Step 1: Determine Target Audience
Determining the target audience seems to be easy but it is actually “a big trap” for newbies. Before answering that question “What?”, we need to find out “Who?”. In this step, many marketers default the target audience is customers.
In fact, the target audience can be divided into different types. In this post, Markus will focus on 4 main types including:
For example, your mother is looking for an English center for your younger sister. Her colleague suggests center A so your mother believes and tells you to register for a course for your sister. In this case, her colleague is the Influencer, your mother is the Decider, you are the Buyer and your Sister is the Consumer/User. If the English center focuses on advertising to the customer (your sister), you know how the results will be.
X-men is another example of marketing communication that targets the Buyer instead of the Consumer. By building the image of a “real man” that fit the ideal model of women who will directly buy goods for their spouse (the Consumer/User), X-Men has become the no.1 male shampoo brand and surpassed many giants such as Unilever and P&G Vietnam.
Step 2: Select Objective
When asked “What is the goal of the MCP?”, many people give a general answer such as to increase brand presence, to attract 10,000 followers, etc. Although it plays a role as the backbone of the plan, the communication objective is sometimes decided emotionally and empirically instead of logically.
To determine the right communication objective, you need to use the diverted pyramid chart as below:
Basing on the actual conditions of the market, businesses, and organizations, the communication objective will be put in different places. However, to select a proper communication objective, the plan-maker needs a good marketing mindset. For example, market leaders choose Category Need as the goal to expand the potential customer's list. Other businesses, especially SMEs, usually focus on brand coverage (Brand Awareness).
Let’s take energy drinks as an example. When customers get used to Redbull and Number 1, Warrior’s goal is to spread its presence in the market. How does this brand do? Scroll down to get the answer.
Step 3: Communication design
There are three key factors of a complete communication design including:
1. Message strategy
2. Creative strategy
3. Message source
Let’s come back to the example above. In 2019, Warrior co-operated with ViruSs to convey the message “Warrior – energy drink from Thailand”. Due to the illegitimacy of the brand’s name, Warrior has Vietnameseized its name into “Qua Ri Ơ”. Besides, the brand never forgot to emphasize its unique feature “Energy drink from Thailand” – a country having sympathy of Vietnamese consumers in the high-quality FMCG industry. Determining gamers as the target audience, Warrior selected ViruSs – a famous streamer in the Viet gamer community as the “messages carrier”.
Step 4: Select communication channels
After finishing communication channels, you need to select the right channels to contribute to it. There are many ways to classify the communication channels. In this post, Markus will divide it into two main types.
(1) Personal channels
1. Direct marketing
Direct marketing is a method to contact your audience directly via email, phone number, etc.
2. Personal selling
Personal selling happens when the seller meets the buyer directly for a transaction.
3. Word of Mouth
This is a communication method between two sides about the reviews of products/services. A familiar say such as “Let’s eat out at X restaurant tonight, I heard that it is good” is an example of word of mouth.
(2) Mass communication
Some advertisement tools are television, telephone, Internet, radio, newspapers, magazines, websites and flyers, outdoor advertising, etc.
2. Sales promotion
Some popular sales promotion are discounts, samples, coupons, gifts, buy 1 get 1, points earn, lucky draw, etc.
Some marketing events are event sponsors, pop-up shows, conferences, fairs.
4. Personal relation
PR’s mission is to improve the view of the public about products and images of the business.
Step 5: Budgeting
If you want your marketing communication to run “smoothly”, you need to prepare enough “fuel” – full cost. In fact, new marketers are unfamiliar with this step because they are not involved in the planning process directly. There are many ways to budgeting but 5 ways below are the most choices for businesses:
1 – Base on the target sales (a MCP accounts for 10% of sales)
2 – Base on the former MCP
3 – Base on the conversion rate in the past or that of competitors
4 – Base on the budget of the competitors. This method is applied to the mass market with dominant communication channels such as TVC in the FMCG industry.
Step 6: Media mix balance
Media mix is probably a new concept to many people. In simple words, media mix is a process of product advertisement in different channels to see which channel they should push first. To balance the media mix, the plan-maker needs to follow the Customer Journey stiffly.
If a customer sees a review video about a Vitamin C product of a beauty blogger, he/she tends to search this product on Google or beauty groups. Hence, advertising articles should be posted on prestigious newspapers 1 – 2 weeks in advance and seeding in the beauty groups need doing in advance.
Step 7: Ker performance indicator (KPI)
To complete the final step, the plan-maker needs to have a good marketing mindset. In particular, KPI should be based on the criteria of communication objective in step 2. For example, if the target is Brand Awareness, it should define the KPI based on how potential customers discuss the brand instead of how sales should skyrocket in a short time.
Depending on the objective, CMPs may differ slightly, but the 7 key steps above are indispensable to assure 4 factors including “right time, right place, right people, right message”. I hope this post is helpful to you in making a complete CMP.