Whether your business is large or small, you want the messaging of your marketing to be coordinated. For corporations, where most of these functions are performed in-house, there should be greater assurance that all the engaged parties are working off the same page. For smaller businesses, there arguably is more control exerted because there are fewer people involved. But, in either case, you should run some reality checks to be sure.
Firstly, some basics for big organizations. Do the sales people know any of the people who produce your widgets? Moreover, are the people who create your marketing content familiar with, let alone in regularly contact with, either the production or sales groups? Both?
Are you, the senior management, interfacing with these groups and assured they all are in agreement about your company’s core competency, target markets and execution? If you haven’t internally communicated the plan, how will these constituencies properly and effectively communication your business story?
When you outsource any marketing function, be sure to clearly communicate your needs and objectives to that party so that they can represent your business in a seamless fashion. Are they asking you the right questions? Enough questions?
Questions for the Marketers
Now, you ought to be asking questions too. Ask the marketers, in house or external, how they will decide what factors will drive their content creation and how they will map out a campaign. If this is an outside agency or consultant, is that person in turn outsourcing components of the work to other parties?
It is possible you are buying a bundle of services from someone who is building that bundle with an assortment of subcontractors? If that is the case, then you ought to know and be involved in approving the selections. The key is that you know who is writing the content (e.g., blogs, social media posts, ads, etc.) and that the content writer knows you. How can they channel the voice of your business if they don’t have direct knowledge of the business and your approach to it?
It Starts from the Top
Ensure that all the parties involved in your marketing campaigns, at every level and in every facet, are working in concert with each other. As the business owner, this is your responsibility. Are you asking for regular feedback and reports from the people performing the marketing? Are they offering to be proactive with you?
It’s often said that the tone is set at the top, which is why it is important that the tone of your marketing reflects the C-suite. Similarly, what is the tone of your audience? Are you speaking the same language as your customers? Again, the tone of the marketing campaign ought to reflect the marketplace as well.
How engaged is the top management in the marketing campaign? Delegation is vital to operating a business, but so is engagement. Don’t set it and forget it. Don’t assume everyone is doing what they are supposed to do when it comes to delivering your marketing message.
Online Marketing Advantages
The beauty of online marketing is that you can monitor it in real-time along with your marketplace. You can see the wording and the results. Online marketing has the advantage of being nimble. If a message falls flat in social media, you move on; you aren’t stuck with a particular message for a long period of time. If a message works, you re-engage with a similar message.
Another advantage in online marketing is the interactive nature. The marketing team can directly engage with customers in positive discussions. The online marketing, when well-thought out and executed, can fall under an umbrella message to your market. Everyone involved should adhere that that umbrella terminology and thus each post (social media, blogs, etc.) will stay consistent in tone and content. If not, it will be obvious and can be quickly rectified. You just want to be sure that the parties responsible for content creation are thorough, accurate, nimble and responsive — responsive to you and your customers.
For more information about online content creation, especially blogs and social media, contact consultant Katharine Fraser of Adroit Narratives.