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Integrated Marketing Communications: Top 7 Steps for Developing a Marketing Communications Plan

By Claire Cunningham

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December is a good time of year to make plans. For those of you with marketing communications anxiety, here’s a step-by-step guide to follow to create a plan.

  1. Begin at the beginning. Marketing communications involves what you say about your business (message) and who you say it to (audience). Start your plan with this information.

  2. Set objectives. This will give your plan focus. Make the objectives quantifiable and you'll be able to build results measuremeng into your plan.

  3. Solidify your identity. Define your logo and colors and use them consistently. Take that look and make sure it’s on your signage, business cards, web site – anywhere you’re seen by your audience. Invest in a professionally-produced logo. It will reflect positively on your entire operation.

  4. Provide basic information. Every business needs a brochure and web site - ways to deliver basic information like credentials, products/services, people, etc.

  5. Be visible. Most businesses need to attract new clients. Visibility or awareness is the beginning of the process. Advertising, publicity and direct mail help build visibility, but they need to be targeted towards the right audience.

  6. Strengthen your connections. Keeping the clients you’ve got is often even more important than attracting new ones. Think about what these folks need to know. A regular newsletter, a handbook and relevant information sheets maybe just what you need to strengthen client relationships.

  7. Establish a budget and timetable. Many folks get nervous at this point since it seems they're locking into something. Avoid nerves by labeling everthing "preliminary." Things will change as the year progresses, but having deadlines really helps get things done,

About the author

Claire Cunningham, president of Clairvoyant Communications, Inc., has 20+ years’ experience developing and implementing successful marketing and communications programs. Sign up for Claire’s monthly newsletter, Communiqué, at http://www.clairvoyantcommunications.com Claire can be reached at 763-479-3499 (Fax: 763-479-2809, e-mail: claire@claircomm.com)

Source: http://Top7Business.com/?expert=Claire_Cunningham

Article Submitted On: December 12, 2004