New Year, new resolve!
Hi and welcome to the first edition of En Pointe’s newsletter for 2010.
The start of a new year is a perfect time to look at and revise key business documents such as your business plan and marketing plan. It’s also a great time to take a critical look at your marketing communications. In this edition of the newsletter we’ll focus on how you can do just that, plus provide some tips on developing new marketing communications and keeping the cost down.
Paul Hurkmans- En Pointe
Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes
Try this simple exercise: Gather all your marketing communications material – such as your business card, letterhead, brochures, e-newsletters, website, etc. – and lay out your printed material on the desk in front of your computer, which is displaying your electronic material.
Now, try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and look at your marketing communications critically:
- Does it look consistent – colours, fonts, images, styles?
- Are your messages consistent?
- Does your material accurately reflect your business and will it appeal to the customer you are targeting?
- Is your material easy to follow? This is particularly important for websites, which can easily become messy and confusing.
- Is your contact information clearly displayed?
- Is there any key information that may have changed?
It’s not always easy to answer these questions yourself so it’s a great idea to get other people who aren’t as close to the business to do the same thing. You may be surprised at what people may find.
What’s the plan?
Whenever you’re looking at developing new marketing communications material or re-developing existing material, it’s a great idea to develop a plan.
This doesn’t have to be overly onerous or extensive. Simply record some key points such as:
- Your objectives (e.g. I want to re-develop my website to more closely reflect my business and target customers).
- Target customers
- Key messages such as your key selling points
- What image is your business trying to portray
By doing this work before organising new marketing material – whether it’s business cards, a website or a brochure – it’s more likely your marketing communications will be successful.
What is marketing communications?
Asking ‘what is marketing communications’ is a bit like posing to 10 people what the meaning of life is. At best you will probably get 10 different answers; at worst you may get 10 blank stares!
Most specialists agree that marketing communications is the process of communicating with customers. Generally, marketing communications focuses on informing customers about products and services, rather than promoting your business. However, don’t worry about blending these definitions as any good publicity about your business that reaches your customer, or potential customer, can help you sell more products or services.
Back in the time before the Internet, most marketing communications people would have been busy organising tasks such as copywriting and photos for the development of printed material, such as brochures, flyers and newsletters. With the advent of the electronic age, however, marketing communications practitioners are spending more time focusing on websites, e-newsletters and other electronic communication.
Cut the cost of copywriting
Here’s another savings tip most businesses can use from time to time.
While En Pointe would strongly advise you to use a professional copywriter to develop your marketing communications, this doesn’t mean you have to leave all the work up to them. Do some preparation beforehand, such as writing notes or bullet points, and you’ll be helping your copywriter. He or she should, in turn, be able to do the work quicker and cheaper… And perhaps more accurately.
Fee increase not all bad for existing clients
After several years of no fee increases, En Pointe’s base rate will rise in 2010 from $50 an hour to $55.
The good news for existing clients is the fee increase will only apply to new clients, until 1 July 2010. This means that until the middle of the year, any work we conduct for you – whether it’s web development, email marketing, photography, copywriting or development of marketing materials – will be costed at $50 an hour.
Contact En Pointe is you have any questions about the fee increase.