Developing a Marketing Communication Plan

A marketing communication plan (or marcom plan) is a plan to communicate your marketing messages to your target customer audience. It is one component of your overall marketing plan (which also includes strategy, competitive analysis, etc).

You can have the best strategy and positioning in the world, but if you don’t effectively communicate it to your target customers your business will fail regardless.

What makes a strong marketing communications strategy and plan?

It’s actually pretty simple. There are really three key ingredients.  Keep reading to learn more.

Why You Need a Communications Plan

Why do you need a marketing communication plan?

Well, you wouldn't give a speech at a tradeshow without planning what you're going to say, and developing materials (a presentation, etc) to get your point across to your audience.

Whatever it is that you sell, you have a message that you are trying to communicate to a target audience. You can only do that effectively if you have a plan.

How to Build your Marketing Communication Plan

  1. Start with a solid marketing strategy: understand your market, understand your customers, understand your competition, and understand your unique selling proposition (USP).
  2. Have crisp, compelling messages that will resonate with your target customers. Address an immediate need or issue,Develop clear benefit statements (not just features),Create a strong brand with a memorable business name, Use a key message as an eye-catching tagline that will market you for free.
  3. Cover all primary communication channels that your customers rely on for their information.

There are many channels you could choose to communicate your message. Focus on those venues and vehicles where your best target customers gather or go for solutions to their problem.

Marcom Tactics

These are just some possible tactics you could include in your marketing communications plan:

  • Print publications (advertising or articles);
  • Online communications (website, blogs, forums, email marketing, social media);
  • Conferences and tradeshows;
  • Press releases and other public relations materials - check out these tips on writing a press release;
  • Brochures, case studies, and other marketing and sales tools;
  • Corporate identity materials including business cards, letterhead, logo and envelopes;
  • Direct mail pieces, such as postcard mailings;
  • Customer surveys;
  • Signage (eg, at tradeshow booths);
  • Speeches and presentations.

Remember that your marketing communications plan should be reasonably broad in order to be effective. Relying solely on a single communication vehicle is not likely to produce good results. However, it is very important to always stay focused on communication channels that reach your ideal targeted customer.

Take The First Step: Develop Your Marketing Plan

Marketing communications should be developed in the context of a strong marketing strategy and plan, based on our easy 7-step marketing process.

Get started with the 7-step process with the eBook: A 7-Step Marketing Strategy Program to Drive Business Results.