Five Questions to Ask About Your Communications
Communications. It's what most of us do naturally, right? Right? Ahhh, maybe not. Communicating seems to be a constant struggle in our personal lives, in politics... and in business. There are a surprisingly large number of ways your communications can get off track, from over-communicating to accidentally attracting an audience that will never evolve into clients. Here are five questions you should be asking about your organization's communications.
1. Do clients and potential clients look forward to hearing from you?
Think about all the emails you receive during the course of the day. Now, filter out those that are asking you do some something work-related, those that are personal and focus on the messages that are coming from companies with whom you engage in exchange. How many of those are you excited to dive into? Depending on the nature of the enterprise, it could be that deep discount you've been waiting for, the one you earned by being a good customer. It could be the research publication from your broker updating you on market highlights. It could be that new biking adventure in Thailand you'd been hoping would get added to the offering. Think about the nature of these announcements... and then think about how your company can create equally compelling communications. Put yourself in your customers' shoes (not as easy as it sounds) and identify what message would make you excited to hear from you.
2. Do the recipients have an easy and effective way to share your messages and your successes?
We all understand that the best "review" is a referral. But are you making it easy to pass on the good news? People are inherently procrastinators. They may love you, but put off recommending you to friends because of other distractions. Can you give your admirers an easy way to instantly share the best of you? Can you make them look good in the process? Social media is a great method for sharing, but you have to ask for the action. Give your fans a tool to communicate and ask them to share the story. Does what you're selling associate your customers with something positive, like a cool experience or a cutting edge idea? If so, all the better.
3. Are your messages tailored to each audience?
This question begs another. Do you know your customers? A common misstep in the planning process is to skip the defining and analyzing of your target markets. If you understand whom you want to reach, you will be able to create communications that impact behavior. Otherwise, it's a shot in the dark. Unless you truly have only one client profile or actually have a product for everyone (almost impossible), you should tailor communications to each target market using relatable key words that include a specific call to action.
4. Are your messages reaching your target markets?
Once you get your message customized, you have to get it delivered. With so many ways to reach out these days, how do you know which method will result in a successful receipt? Again, if you dive deep into developing a customer profile, the answer will arise. Behavior patterns are an essential element of target market assessment. It is also important to keep up on technology trends, because being a first mover on a new app that your potential client has started using always has advantages.
5. Do you have expertise to share?
If your business has achieved some success, you most likely have some experience to share. Home furnishing retailers, such as Pottery Barn, have added value for customers by not only selling home goods, but also showing customers how to put these pieces together. Clothing retailers are doing the same. So successful has this benefit been that multiple businesses have spawned with the mission to send you what you should be wearing, without you even having to think about it. So perhaps your business has earned you some derivative knowledge that will be interesting to potential customers. If so, communicate that value add.
Getting communications right takes a good understanding of your targets, so it's important that business planning is the baseline for an impactful communications strategy. Let Alidade Strategy & Communications help you manage your message. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (312) 857-5220 .