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3 steps to a marketing and communications roadmap

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Man tying a marketing plan
In creating content, consider the customer needs you’re addressing and what’s distinctive about the way you address them

Business leaders need to promote their company’s brand, protect its reputation and grow its revenues against the backdrop of continued uncertainty. What’s the best way to develop a marketing and communications roadmap when the route ahead for most businesses remains challenging?

Plan your strategy

Start with your business objectives and build your marketing and communications plan to help get you there. Whether you’re about to launch, scale or expand into new markets, you need a robust plan to achieve your objective. The plan will reflect the industry you’re in, whether you’re selling to other businesses (B2B) or consumers (B2C), and the size and scale of your business.

First, consider who you’re targeting and where they are, both geographically and digitally. Conduct market research to understand the customer or industry you’re selling to and create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional description of your ideal customer that ultimately helps you understand their wants and needs. Your market research should also consider your competition, what they do well, and where the gaps are that you can potentially fill. In addition, analysis of traditional and social media can help you understand the trending topics that your customers and prospects care about. This information will help you plan how to reach, engage and convert your prospects. It will inform how you develop your marketing approach, decide on your channels and media, and create your marketing content.

 

Master your approach and focus on content

There are numerous frameworks to help organise your marketing and communications approach. The “PESO model” is a useful tool for planning activity across different channels and types of media. The acronym refers to paid, earned, shared and owned channels. These terms correspond to advertising, public relations, organic social media, and proprietary marketing assets, such as your website, email campaigns or case studies.

Use the channels that are best suited to your product, service or campaign. A B2B firm marketing a complex service might use earned media, such as public relations, to build credibility within its sector. It might combine this with owned media, such as an email campaign, to target prospects. However, a B2C may rely heavily on paid media, in the form of TV or social media advertising, to generate a high volume of awareness and interest in a consumer product.

But you’ll need strong content to feed the process and ensure it works effectively. Think of content as an asset you provide to prospects in exchange for their attention, awareness and consideration. Instead of just pitching your products or services, you’re providing useful content to your audience. This could be to help illuminate solutions to their problems, inform or educate them about topics they care about, or inspire and entertain them in ways they find interesting.

In creating content, consider the customer needs you’re addressing and what’s distinctive about the way you address them. Reflect on the insights from your market research, media analysis and social listening. Bring these perspectives together to flesh out topics, and then individual content pieces, that are valuable to your audience and relevant to your business.

Make sure to measure progress and iterate your approach as you go along. A myriad of marketing and communications software providers can help you do this, such as Hubspot and Salesforce. Their tools can be used to stay organised and on track across the full range of marketing, communications, sales and customer service activities.

 

Build the right team

Marketing and communications teams are increasingly tasked with doing more with less. They have to work across a broader array of marketing disciplines than ever before and cut through the noise despite increasingly crowded markets. You may need to assemble marketing talent across user acquisition or lead generation, public relations, brand, creative, events, research and analytics.

The mix of specialisms will depend on your company’s stage of growth and whether you’re in B2C or B2B. Teams in B2C often focus on direct user acquisition, growth and scaling using advertising as well as non-paid, organic acquisition, such as search. Whereas in B2B, the emphasis is more likely to be on content marketing, lead generation and sales enablement during a complex and lengthy procurement process.

It’s rare for a marketing team to be good at all the marketing disciplines, except at the very largest organisations. Different marketing specialisations require different mindsets, skills and sensibilities. So it’s critical to determine which marketing discipline is dominant for your business, and then hire the right talent as your business evolves.

Getting strategy, content and team right is crucial to chart an effective course for marketing and communications. It will enable you to speak directly to your ideal customer’s pain points, create messaging and content that’s fit for each channel, and move prospects successfully through the buyer journey.

Kamyar Naficy is the Founder and Principal of KNECTCOMMS, a marketing and communications consultancy to the finance, technology and fintech sectors. He previously worked in senior marketing and communications roles at JP Morgan, London Stock Exchange Group and UniCredit.

Business

Write Better Copy: the money-maker in business

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Typing on a laptop
Every single word you write should have a clear purpose for your business

Here’s how a lot of people feel when they know they have to sit down and write copy:

Snow White running from danger

Snow White is terrified of writing copy

But, when done well…this is what copy can do for you…

Snow White clapping

Snow White used good copy and became rich

Think different.

Open happiness.

Because you’re worth it.

Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.

Just do it.

Just words? I don’t think so.

These slogans are glorious pieces of golden copy. And they have made a lot of people incredibly wealthy.

The biggest money-maker in business is better copy

Think about your business. Think about the time, the sweat, the tears, the work, the missed moments with your partner, your kids, your dog…so that you can build something that sustains your life.

…and then ask yourself if you’ve ever thought any of these thoughts:

My copy sounds like a term paper 

I have blank page syndrome

I’m struggling to find my authentic voice without sounding too corporate

Writing my own copy takes up SO MUCH TIME

It’s so articulate in my head but seems impossible to put into words

I don’t know what the power words are

I have no idea if the copy I write is remotely along the right lines

Yeeeeeeaaaah, I hear you. And I also know WHY you feel that way. You’re missing a key ingredient in your copywriting process. When you have it – the copy writes itself.

What is this key ingredient?

It’s the conversion process.

It’s the journey that moves people to say YES. Using data.

What does that mean? It means that the copy you write is based on science, not a stab in the dark. It’s based on research, not on a whim. It’s based on heatmaps and analytics and best practices, not on a feeling. And that means conversion. And that means more £££s for your business.

3 Steps to Writing Better Copy

Now, obviously, it’s more complicated than this. It’s not just one, two, three, and, BAM! you’re done. Each step requires time, effort, brainpower, and total commitment. That’s why conversion copywriters charge the big bucks. Because they’re not sitting at their desks, meditating, with candles lit, waiting for inspo to hit them.

They are doing research. They are mining for data. They. Are. SCIENCING.

That’s what conversion copywriters are. They’re mini-scientists. Looking at human behaviour. Establishing purchasing trends. Figuring out why people make the buying the choices that they make. So that they can write better copy. And make you oodles more money.

When they have the data they need about an ideal client, they can make magic.

Here’s what you need to do if you want to make like a conversion copywriter and write better copy.

1. Research & Discovery

Analysis. Competitor research. Voice of customer data. Surveys. Heat maps. Click trackers. Your conversion copywriter is gathering intelligence. Like an investigator. Like a PI. You’re Steve Arnott-ing your way through every piece of evidence you can find. And there’s a very important reason for this:

You connect with your audience. Show them that you get them. You share their doubts, frustrations, desires and dreams.  You deepen that connection with them because they can see that you get them. You develop trust, the key ingredient to a sales success story.

2. Writing

Once you have all the juiciness that your research has unearthed, it’s time to start writing. This requires time. It requires that you sift through everything you’ve found and identify the patterns, the recurring messages, the power words people have used, the pain points, desires, beliefs, objections, objectives, dreams, needs, fears, and regrets of your customer or prospect.

As the patterns emerge, the most prevalent information becomes apparent, and you start to create a hierarchy of messaging. You don’t deviate from this. This is your copy bible. This is what you will use to craft a message that shows the reader that you see them, you understand them, and you can help them. This is where the conversion takes place. You’re moving people from point A to point B(uyer).

3. Optimising

Copy is never really finished. It’s a living, growing beast of wonder that is pretty insatiable and is always looking to be improved. Once your copy is written, are you monitoring its performance? Are you A/B testing? Are you tracking the analytics?

Every piece of copy you write (or your copywriter writes) needs to be optimised. You have to see what is resonating and what isn’t. What is converting and what isn’t. What is working and what isn’t. That’s when you can make changes, tweaks, edits, and informed choices about the copy that’s on your website, landing page, emails, and sales pages. It’s the final piece of the copy puzzle – and every conversion copywriter worth their salt should be insisting on it. Because that’s how you write better copy.

From Fear to FABULOUS

Conversion copywriting is a no-brainer: through a very carefully tailored approach, you educate and inspire your audience. You empower them to take steps to choose themselves and change their lives. Conversion is the next logical step for them.

The purpose of conversion copywriting is to move your prospect to say ‘Yes.’ We do this through data-driven storytelling, formulas, and proven persuasion techniques.

It’s not just random writing, hoping something will land. It’s a strategy that makes money.

Every single word you write has a purpose. Every single sentence engages the reader, making them think ‘Is this person inside my head?’ and creates magic.

But it’s NOT magic. It’s a specific blend of impactful storytelling, and data.

It’s filled with high tension, drama, climax, and the final resolution, the ingredients of every good story. And your fairytale ending? Get your mission, message, and product or service out into the world. And raking in them dollah billz.

Snow White high fives her mates

Snow White high fives her fans because she used conversion copy

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Marketing

MediaCom appointed as global media agency for Klarna

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Two female friends shopping online from home
UK mobile mania: 7 in 10 customers shop more often on their mobile devices than before the pandemic | Photo: George Milton

Buy-now, pay-later app Klarna has appointed MediaCom as its global retained media agency of record. The contract began 1st February and MediaCom now executes media buying and planning for the Swedish fintech company’s key markets, including the UK, Spain, Italy, and France.

The agency’s remit excludes North America, where Havas Media Group won the retained account of the retail payments and shopping service last December.

“With this future-facing digital brand undergoing such fast expansion, I have no doubt our expertise and experience across the network will help them see the bigger picture to drive transformation and further growth.” –

Says James Marples, Global Account Director at MediaCom.

The new appointment comes weeks after Klarna released its 2021 mobile shopping report in which the company surveyed more than 13,000 consumers across 13 countries. The study highlights the unprecedented mobile shopping surges in the UK, where strict lockdown policies were in place, 7 in 10 (67%) now shop via their mobile devices more often compared to two years ago – more than in any other country in Europe, especially those that implemented less restrictive measures such as Sweden (54%).

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Marketing

CATT Marketing Funnel: how to grow your business?

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Content, Attention, Trust & Transaction marketing funnel when used with integrated marketing improves the effectiveness of your marketing efforts exponentially

In this ever-expanding internet world where you’ve so much to catch up with, individual prospecting is not scalable. You identify leads, spend energy & resources in convincing them, and if they’re not impressed your efforts are wasted. So, you’re left with no choice but to start from scratch. 

Marketing doesn’t work this way anymore. You can not waste time trying to convince just one person. Instead, you need a system that builds mass trust on its own. 

Today, you will learn how the modern CATT marketing funnel when used with integrated marketing improves the effectiveness of your marketing efforts exponentially.

What is a CATT funnel?

CATT stands for Content, Attention, Trust & Transaction. Here’s what each step means and what actions you should take. 

Content

In this step, you create content to build authority in the market. The goal is to teach the target audience about your existence. You will create content (or product) and share it using blogs, webinars, ebooks, social media, and other channels.

Attention

Once you have created content you will need to show it to your audience. Methods like SEO, paid ads, and social media work but you will use those that work for your audience. You might have already figured out who is your target audience and where they spend their time. Include major platforms in your strategy but spend more time building those you’re confident about.

Trust

With so many options available to choose from, why would your target audience go with you? They might not remember you in the first interaction. To hook the visitor you need repetitive engagement. By asking them to subscribe to your email list, follow you on social media, or retarget using paid ads you can keep nurturing them.

Transaction

Once they start trusting you, the final step is to present your offer. But you still need to clear some last-minute doubts. Social proofs, client testimonials, and more help them make the final decision. And that’s when the sale happens.

So this is how the CATT funnel works. Combining it with integrated marketing will help you use it to the fullest. 

What is integrated marketing?

Digital marketing is a vast topic. And its subtopics like content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing are big topics on their own. You can’t get massive results if you use just one or two of them. Instead, you must combine them all. This is called integrated marketing.

In integrated marketing, all steps work on a loop such that you do some work and the system works by itself. Here’s how it works:

  • You drive traffic from SEO, social media, and paid ads to the content you create. 
  • When your audience interacts with the content they also subscribe to your email list or follow you on social media.
  • You keep building trust by sharing social media updates or sending regular newsletters. 
  • Once they trust you, they’re ready to invest.
  • But since the process is automated, new visitors will keep landing on your content and the cycle runs on its own.

This is how combining the CATT funnel with integrated marketing decreases the workload. 

Why use CATT funnel with integrated marketing?

CATT funnel and integrated marketing work with each other’s strengths and help you increase revenue by doing minimal work. Here are some more benefits of using them together:

  • Focus on the right things – By automating the process you will avoid the constant urge for content creation. And you will focus on things that matter such as product creation or tracking the funnel results. 
  • Automation is easy – By using automation tools you can automate most of the steps such as emails and social media.
  • Brand positioning – Having a consistent brand story across all channels will help you build a strong brand image. 
  • Reach larger audiences – By using various channels together you reach more people and grow your customer base.
  • Works on its own – The system works on a loop such that new leads keep entering the funnel and moving ahead.

How to use CATT funnel with integrated marketing?

It’s not difficult to use them together because the CATT funnel is automatically applied with integrated marketing. Here’s how both of them work together.

integrated marketing and CATT funnel

Image Source: DigitalDeepak.com

 

Content

Content marketing is an effective marketing strategy that generates long-term results. No doubt, creating quality content is the backbone of the entire process. Because you will get benefits like social media shares and search engine rankings only if your content is worthy. Quality content helps you build trust and authority. Therefore, you must always focus on providing value through your content.

But content alone won’t do wonders for your business. You still need people to read it. 

Social Media

Social media is the best place to market your content with the potential to reach billions of people. Only quality content and a consistent brand story can help you position a strong brand on social media. Here are your goals with the two:

  • Content should be engaging so the audience shares it and helps you increase your reach. 
  • A strong brand story should be consistently shared across all platforms.

Related: How to use LinkedIn for Business?

SEO

Social media requires constant effort. But, SEO brings quality traffic for free. Therefore, SEO must be a part of your strategy. Optimize your content with on-page SEO practices and use social media signals to gain better search engine rankings. Avoid manipulative SEO strategies at all costs if you don’t want to get penalized.

Paid Ads

Paid ads coupled with the above methods speed up the process. Whether social media ads or Google ads, use them to increase traffic or email subscribers. Overall, they’ll help you in making more revenue. 

Email

Email marketing is the most important part of the system because it helps to nurture your audience. No one purchases within their first interaction. Email marketing can help you make that constant communication to build trust. 

Social media, SEO and paid ads will help you grow the email list. Then all you need to do is to hook the subscriber, either by sending them nurturing emails or free quality content, so they become your loyal fans.

Sales

When you have established trust, that’s when they make a sale. Or think it this way, when you provide valuable free information that’s when they trust to invest in your paid content.

So this is the integrated marketing process that is built on automation in such a way that each step has many leads and the funnel is working on a loop. 

However, it depends a lot on testing as businesses have different marketing needs. Once you’re successful in enabling a working system you’ll notice benefits like better brand positioning, email list growth, revenue, and more on autopilot.

Final thoughts

Integrated marketing and the CATT funnel work together to create an unbeatable strategy. The best part is you’re targeting many people at one time. Of course, quality content is the heart of all. If you can create valuable content then only the other steps work. 

This process, too, is no overnight success, you will have to keep your marketing efforts consistent to reap the best results. Just by tweaking a bit, you can convert a tiring process into a masterful automated strategy that works for you even when you don’t. 

So, what are you waiting for? Build a marketing strategy combining the CATT funnel and integrated marketing and increase your sales!

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