Don’t we all just love the question: What’s the return on investment (ROI)? when we put forward a marketing and PR plan. One thing is for certain, budgets are tight. Budgets are tight when the going is tough, and budgets are tight when the going is good. A bottomless comms budget might be a dream, but it’s never the reality. So we know that at some stage we are going to be asked what value we got from what we did.
- Think about the ROI before you start any project
Whether it’s an advertising campaign, a brand development project or a PR campaign, you need to know what you want to get out of it before you start. This will set the parameters for your brief and all parties will know what they’re aiming for. And remember to get buy-in from whoever makes the decision on the budget.
- Do your homework
There is background work you can do before you embark on any comms activity. Every medium may work, but not every medium will be right for your company. Ask for previous results for companies in your field before you embark on any new project.
It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon of the next great thing. But a thought-through plan for your marketing and PR communications is more likely to bring in sustainable results.
- Forget the plan
When a great idea does come along, be prepared to consider it. But make sure it will help you to realise your overall aims.
- It’s not just about numbers
Ultimately bottom-line profit is what we’re all looking for. But other results will help us get there. Brand awareness, reputation, respect may be results that we’ll achieve from some of our campaigns. Questions, enquiries, requests for more information may be what we want to aim for from other campaigns. A following, loyalty, ‘likes’ will mean we have their attention. Sales will follow. But they may not be the first thing to aim for.
- Set a realistic timeframe
We all want sales today. Yesterday preferably. Set a realistic timeframe to close deals.
If you set the framework before you planned, you’ll know what to measure. Then measure.
Constantly review what you do. Be prepared to refine and refocus. But have a clear framework of what criteria your comms need to meet before you make any changes.
Occasionally it’s important to look away from the screen and tell the budget-holder what a great job you’re doing.
- Remember, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts
We all want to know what’s the one most important thing we can do: where should we invest most budget. But an integrated approach is more likely to have more value than a singular approach. Why? Because Aristotle was right, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It would be nice to just do the one thing that works. But the reality is that the more you do, the more integrated the approach, the more likely it is to be successful.
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