Develop a Strategic Communications Plan with CCM
What is the Importance of a Strategic Communications Plan?
Building a strategic communications plan is important for your business because it relays how your departments can work together to build solid communications with your customers. Your plan provides structure by detailing the roles and responsibilities of each department and paints the bigger picture of a unified strategy involving everyone’s efforts, what they are meant to accomplish, and the timeline of expected results.
Creating a Strategic Communication Plan
There are many resources out there offering help to create your strategic communications plan. Some are lengthy, while some are direct and to the point. There are even templates you can use to create your communications plan.
The problem is no two companies are the same. While each of these sites will give you a general approach to creating a communications plan, they will not address your specific needs. To create a communication plan that benefits your company, you will need to figure out certain elements that are unique to your organization and then determine which tools can help you execute your plan
1. What Is the Message?
To be successful, you need a clearly defined brand message from the very start. Your brand message is the essence of your company and what it has to offer to its customers. Defining that message clearly must be a priority, and then your strategic communications plan works to relay your brand message to your current and potential customers. Using customer communications management (CCM) software helps to relay your message by providing current customers with targeted information using an omnichannel approach.
2. Who Is Your Audience?
After defining your message, you must identify the intended recipients — current customers and potential customers. Before sending out your message, perform a detailed analysis of your customer base. With current customers, CCM software will not only allow you to send targeted, personalized messaging, but you can also provide dynamic documents and the ability to plot the customer journey.
3. What Do You Hope to Accomplish?
You need to know going in what the overall goal of your communications campaign will be. Is it something you send out just as a branding exercise, or are you hoping to bring in leads? If it involves additional services for your current customers, what is the rate of success with which you will be comfortable? Correspondence management is vital in your approach.
4. How Long Will This Last?
Obviously, the campaign you run is not going to be a one-and-done thing. Your message will be sent out in different ways over the course of a week or a month, maybe longer. Emails need to be written, as do blog posts and any other piece of collateral (eBook, whitepaper, etc.) that you feel is necessary. Most of your communications will probably come in the form of emails.
While most communicators use email as a feedback channel, only a few of them use email analytics as a measure of their effectiveness. Since it’s such a vital part of your campaign, you need to monitor the open rates and click-through rates of emails you send. If the rates are lower than your goals, adjustments will need to be made.
CCM provides your company with detailed analytics and monitoring for all forms of communications. It enables you to identify problem points in the customer journey and resolve them to improve the efficiency of your communications.
Once you have everything in place, and everything has been approved, it is time to develop your strategic communications plan and implement it. Your company should make sure to follow a calendar for messaging, and email analytics should be monitored as well.