Over the past several weeks, you’ve been building your strategic marketing and communication plan. You’ll be glad to know that you’re almost done. This post is the final in a multi-part in a series: Be sure to check out the previous posts. And, don’t forget to download our FREE Strategic Marketing and Communication Plan Worksheets. They will help you document the process and track your progress.
With the information and worksheets from the previous posts, you should now have a carefully crafted communication plan. Let’s talk implementation!
Stay focused. Filter the noise. Implement your communication plan.
The best way to stay on track with a strategic communication plan is to focus on strategy, implement tactics and meet your deadlines. The strategies, tactics and timelines in your communication plan will dictate the frequency of engagement. In other words, do what you say, when you say you’re going to do it, the way you said you’d get it done.
Implementation may require daily, weekly, monthly or even annual activities. The key is to stay true to your plan and give it your full attention.
Here are a few apps to help keep you organized:
- Basecamp – Great for managing your team and implementing your plan
- Social media – I promise it’s worth it! Great for promotion, communicating with clients, and finding partners
- Vlogging – Video blogging can be faster and more personal than online posts or emails, plus imagery is more eye-catching than text
- Smartsheet – Turn your plan into a handy spreadsheet, plus track tasks over time and assign to-dos to your team
- Toggl – Toggl is your time-management secret weapon
- Bitly – Turn long urls into short, customized, easy-to-remember links
Write down which tools you’ll use to help execute your tactics. You can find more app recommendations on our Facebook page, here and here.
Assessment of your communication plan is important to your success.
How will you monitor whether your tactics are effective, or whether your strategies actually make progress toward your goals?
Write down three ways you will measure or evaluate your efforts. These are your assessment methods. For example, monitoring how many visitors download the worksheets will help me assess whether blogging is an effective tactic, and whether sharing my knowledge is an effective strategy. Some of the apps above can help you with both assessment and implementation.
NOTE: Don’t wait until the end to assess your communication plan! You could lose valuable time needed to tweak a tactic, supplement a strategy or inject an innovative idea into the mix. Take stock of what is working and what is not helping you achieve your goals. Always remain flexible as you implement your communication plan.
Assessment methods help you judge the effectiveness of both your tactics and strategies. And, although it is important to stay on your toes and monitor your efforts as you go along, a primary focus in implementing your strategic communication plan is to stay on task.
Here are brief excerpts from our previous communication posts:
Build Your Communication Plan
- Set Your Goals
- Goals should answer your WHY.
- Goals should also be SMART: Strategic, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely
- State your goal simply and broadly
- Know your audience
- Next, choose three broad methods of achieving your goal.
- A strategy is the foundation for your marketing efforts.
- Lastly, think of two specific actions to take for each of your strategies
Communication Plan Basics
- Communication is how you tell your story. It is the words, imagery, sounds and colors behind your stories. Communication wraps around marketing and reaches your targets in relevant ways.
Accordingly, Marketing and Communication is not:
- A logo
- A business card
- A Facebook page
- An Instagram account
Yet, Marketing and Communication is:
- The Facebook campaign that talks about your movie screening
- The promotional code in your magazine ad
- The call to action on your website
- The tactic that is implemented as part of your marketing and communication strategy
Remember, strategic plans are invaluable time savers. They sharpen your sales efforts, measure your effectiveness and track your success.
- Boost business
- Attract new clients
- Increase sales
- Strengthen relationships
Stay tuned for our final post in this series where we will focus on communication plan assessment.
Your Marketing Mama,
Cheryl McCants – President & CEO, Impact Consulting Enterprises