WHEN IS A REVISION OF YOUR COMMUNICATION PLAN MOST NEEDED?
If you haven't achieved the results you expected from your past communication investments
If your budget has been reduced and you need to make tough decisions on which media and channels to select
If your communication mix is too similar to that of your competitors
If you think you are below critical mass with your investments
If you have the feeling that your media and channel selection is based too much on previous history
If you are unsure of what specific result you will reach with each specific investment
If you suspect that your mix might not be fully aligned with your target's media consumption
OUR SUPPORT IN THIS AREA
We support marketing teams to improve the specificity of their communication objectives and to ensure that consumer strategy is reflected into agency briefs .
We focus on making sure that integrated communication plans are put together targeting the changes in consumer mindset and behavior that will provoke real change.
We can also assist in assessing agencies proposals, to make sure that investment plans result into change in consumer behavior and growth and enjoy a high ROI.
DESIGNING THE COMMUNICATION PLAN: APPROACH
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE APPROACH
1. SELECT INTERVENTION PRIORITIES IN THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
The first stage is to map the customer journey and understand what are the specific steps where changing behavior will result into real growth for the brand.
Will we earn more at the origination phase, ensuring that more customers recognize the need for the category? Or is it wiser to focus resources at the information gathering phase, to ensure that consumers seeking information see our brand instead of competitors? Or is it better to change behavior at the point of purchase, investing resources to garrison the exact moment when customers make a brand choice? Or will we grow more at the point of usage, by ensuring that current customers use our brand more often?
Each of these strategies require a totally different messaging and media mix, to achieve a very different change in behavior.
Understanding what is the change in behavior that is most advantageous for our brand, will allow us to invest resources with specificity and to send the exact messages that we need consumers to hear, in order to modify their behavior in our favor
2. IDENTIFY WHAT CUSTOMERS NEED TO HEAR TO CHANGE THEIR MINDSET AND BEHAVIOR
Once we have understood with precision what is the exact behavior that we need to modify, we should ask yourself how we are going to achieve the desired change.
This requires an attentive analysis of customers drivers and barriers.
What thinking is holding customers back? What different frame of mind would induce them to act differently? We need to comprehend what is the mindset driving the current behavior, and how we need to change that mindset to induce customers to behave differently.
Once we know this, we will also know what it is that we need to communicate. Messages will have to be crafted so as to remove mental barriers, or to stimulate those ways of thinking that drive customers toward our brand.
3. TRANSLATE CHOICES INTO A SPECIFIC BRIEF FOR CREATIVE AND MEDIA AGENCIES
The precise consumer understanding that we have gathered in the previous two phases will allow us to craft the agency brief with a much higher level of specificity.
Our objective with the brief will be to indicate with precision whom to target, to change what behavior, though what content.
Agencies will have to then think about how to communicate these messages in the most interesting and compelling way, and about what media and channels to choose to best achieve the objectives that we have specified.
In our experience, communication investments give much better results when this level of precision is included into the briefs and in the conversations with agencies, identifying the precise stage where we want to act in the customer journey, making sure that communication objectives are defined as specific behaviors and mindsets that need to be changed, and pinpointing the exact drivers to be activated and barriers to be removed.
By supporting our clients in this delicate briefing stage, we help them to ensure that the transition from customer strategy to customer activation happens successfully.
4. SELECT AN ENGAGING, MOTIVATING AND VERSATILE CREATIVE PLATFORM
At this stage, if required, we support our clients to assess and select the creative platform.
The active role here is taken by the creative agency, while we act more as sounding board, whenever needed, to ensure that the creative platform is engaging and compelling, consistent with the strategic objectives, stays "on brand", and it is versatile enough to travel across different media and channels.
This process step can be skipped in case there is already a valid and tested creative platform that can serve the communication objectives well.
5. CHOOSE THE MEDIA AND CHANNELS MOST SUITED TO REACH YOUR OBJECTIVES
When it comes to media planning, our task is to ensure that the selection of each channel reflects the specific behavioral objective and the type of message that we are trying to send.
As in the previous step, our support here is rather light. The media agency is in the driving seat, while we act as a sounding board, if required, to ensure that the plan is consistent with the strategy.
We also interact with the agency to ensure they have all the relevant information to guarantee alignment of media selection with the target's media consumption and most typical consumer journey. Furthermore, we help double checking that critical mass is reached and that return on investments is maximized.
6. INTEGRATE AND ALIGN THE CHANNEL-SPECIFIC PLANS
The final stage is to integrate and align the channel-specific plans. This is especially needed when different agencies (creative, media, digital) have worked on them.
We normally approach this step by facilitating one or more meetings of a cross functional team that includes the marketing department and the different agencies involved. Objective of the meeting(s) is to align plans and to identify synergies and integration opportunities.
A final consolidated plan, covering all media and channels (traditional media, digital, PR, promotions, events, sponsoring, etc.) is then put together and approved by all parties.