Is Your Communication Perspective Reaching Important Constituents? Have you ever thought about who is most important to the success of your business? These are two questions that need answers, because there are several constituents that all need constant attention, and it’s not just the customer personas talked about in marketing meetings. Marketing and communication teams, it’s your job to think unilaterally across all constituencies as to whom you should communicate with to get maximum value for your company.
This concept is a company centric communication model, not a customer centric model. The goal is to help the company focus on communication streams that are designed to create specific messages that reach the constituent group. Each of these groups requires a message that’s a little different. If your company decides not to communicate with them, it will neglect a vitally important ingredient for your company’s success. Let’s take a look at six constituent groups that I believe should be the main focus for most businesses.
This is the obvious group that all companies place a great deal of focus on because if they don’t, the company will most likely fail to exist for any period of time. I’m not going to review all the key points for this group because marketers fully understand what’s needed. TIP: There is an important thing to remember here. The information created for this group is the genesis for all other information, which can be repurposed and redistributed based on the constituent group.
Sales and marketing teams talk mostly about the “prospects,” however, what some fail to understand, the existing customer is far more cost effective to retain than losing them and having to go find a new customer. TIP: Keep your existing customers informed with helpful information about your company and how they can benefit from it. This requires a constant flow of “how-to” and “tips and best practices” that will help your customer use your product and service more effectively. Hopefully your information will impact your customer enough so they begin to refer your company to others. You want to get your customers to think, “I can’t do business without them.” This is the goal.
This group can be highly beneficial for your company if you are providing valuable information to them, or they can be a detriment because your company doesn’t know how to respond to them when they want information. Trust me, they don’t like that. TIP: Think about how they get their information and disseminate to their end users. Place yourself in the middle of that process. Once you do that you will be able to leverage their process, make it advantageous for your company. Then, while you are in the middle of creating content, you will be able to think quickly about how to repurpose it to use it for this group. The goal is to establish relationships with both of these groups so that you can contact them when the time is right for you. Additionally, you want them to contact you because you want to be in the conversations that extend far beyond what you can produce yourself. Media and Influencer connections are critical for your company so that you can quickly and easily have direct contact with people that can propel your company forward.
Industry & Trade / Influencers
Every company is in a particular industry. That industry has trade shows, conferences and influencers. Both the industry and the influencers are connected. That’s the key. TIP: May sure you don’t disregard your industry. Create content that adds value to the greater good. Be a thought leader in your industry. Attend trade shows and speak at conferences. Influencers are people that are highly connected and have clout that you want and need. Pay attention to these two connected groups. In doing so, they will also pay attention to you. It’s like having another public relations firm working for you that is exclusively in your industry and highly interested in what your company is doing.
Every employee of every company wants to know what’s going on. If they feel they are being left out, morale, productivity and even confidence will decrease. The combined result of all three is not a good thing for any company. When you keep your employees informed, all three of those areas increase as well as profitability and even goodwill among the community. TIP: Create an employee communication plan that constantly distributes company information. Since your employees are the most valuable assets you have as a company, you need to make sure you are investing in the communication process to keep them informed. This will make them feel valuable and also may open doors to internal creativity, innovation and just plain happy employees. Every company wants happy employees right?
If more than one person like investors, VCs, angels, equity partners or other forms of ownership owns your company, your communication plan to them should be frequent. This form of communication is more in the form of a report and in-person meeting that informs them what your company accomplished, how you performed against your goals as well as where are you going and what are your forecasted goals for the future. TIP: Since this group is foundational to the funding and governance of the company, it is very important for your information to be accurate, in-depth, and written without a marketing flair. Keep in mind, this group is part of the reason why the company exists and should command a high level of respect. You don’t want to lose their confidence in the company, as you may lose their funding as well.
Create a communication plan that’s simple to execute and realistic. I’ve seen a lot of corporate communication and marketing strategies in my years, and the worst ones cannot be executed because they are just not realistic. Company resources and bandwidth must be considered before a strategy is deployed. Keep it simple, manageable and clearly understandable by your communication and marketing team to ensure flawless execution.
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