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Optimal Communication needs to be Efficient and Effective.
Efficiency of Communication is both a science and an art and is a result of the systematic process of tracking, measuring, evaluating and adjusting your communication strategies and tactics.
Anyone that tells you categorically that “x will achieve y” is lying to themselves as well as you. When working with clients we follow advertising (communication) principles that we know produce the most effective results under the circumstances that are prevalent in the client’s industry category.
You do not need to become a communication expert, but you have to know enough to work effectively with them to optimize your Marketing ROI and keep your marketing communication (advertising) partners accountable.
Advertising or marketing communication is about scientific experimentation that minimises your investment risk, and maximises your return.
A) COMMUNICATION EFFICIENCY
1. Setting advertising objectives. For example, are you seeking to achieve
- Awareness / Trial / Purchase?
- A direct response?
- Increased brand awareness?
- Increased share of the market?
- Launch of a new product, etc?
2. Setting the budget will affect most aspects of the advertising campaign, most importantly:
- Media selection
- Geographic markets
- Length of the campaign
- Reach, and
One of the greatest and most costly mistakes small businesses make is to try to reach too many prospects for the size of their budget. The principle is that it is much more efficient to Reach 10% of the people and persuade them 100% of the way than Reach 100% of the people and persuade them only 10% of the way.
Reach is favoured over frequency due to a lack of understanding of communication principles. Most SME business owners send out a marketing communication piece to their entire database, say 10,000 people which will use up their entire marketing budget for the period. Instead you should be running a campaign and communicating with 1,000 of your best clients and prospects say 6 or 7 times times – spending pretty much the same dollar amount but achieving a much better result! Effectively getting your message to 10% of your target audience is much better than reaching 100% of your audience with a message they do not remember or act upon!
This applies across any media, not just direct mail. It will work in magazines, emails, online banners ads, etc. Many studies over the years have shown that 12 Half Page Magazine Ads easily outperform 6 Full Page Ads in for the same product / service in the same magazine.
Never sacrifice Frequency for Reach!
B) COMMUNICATION EFFECTIVENESS
Just like communication efficiency, communication effectiveness is also based on scientifically proven principles. Yet because it is primarily the science of persuasion and influence, dealing in the currency of perceptions, it is more of an art form and is harder to measure.
Much of this blog is focusing on the discipline of BRANDING or HOW WE COMMUNICATE to positively influence our target audience!
Branding is even more important for Small Business than Big Business as SME’s have a greater need to differentiate in a more competitive market.
If it is so important why are so few small businesses “branded? Because most do not understand basic marketing principles and believe that branding is something that is expensive and the exclusive domain of the big boys of business. We are on a mission to change that!
In our next entry we will examine the General Principles of Advertising (communication) Effectiveness.