Folklore carries all kinds of predictions and promises surrounding February 2nd and the day celebrated as Groundhog Day. For most of us it means little more than the title of the Bill Murray film…and a sentence to capture a state of repetitive drudge.
Repetition and lack of inspiration can very easily creep in to even the best intended marketing and PR plans, so in a nod to today’s date, here’s five ways to stop your Communications Strategy experiencing its own Groundhog Day.
1. Know your end goal
Often, communications strategies are seen to fail if they’ve not achieved the intended ‘end game’.
If you’ve conveyed to your PR agency that you ‘just want lots of press coverage’ or told your internal marketing department that you just need to ‘up the advertising’ in your trade media, how can you be disappointed when sales figures for the one particular product you need to budge haven’t really changed? You need to know what you’ll measure your strategy’s effectiveness on, so that the plan can be based on achieving it.
2. Be target (customer) driven
As a journalist, I remember being in a newsroom where we talked a lot about who our reader was, what they earned, where they lived and what concerned them. To stop your communications strategy slipping into Groundhog Day, you need to keep on evaluating who your target (the person or group you’re reaching out to) is, and adjusting your approach accordingly. Are they now engaging with you more online? Has their buying strategy altered? Keep your strategy fresh by seeing them through fresh eyes.
3. Review and reflect…honestly
Even if your latest communications strategy was effective, it’s a bad thing to let it slip into Groundhog Day and churn out the same approach. Reviewing what you did always allows for potential improvements…and thus encourages more creativity. Even if you refuse to change and refresh your marketing and PR tactics, you can be sure your competitors will. Don’t be left behind.
4. Be budget savvy
One of the areas lots of marketing teams can be guilty of slipping into Groundhog with, is rolling out the same budget. It’s really important to take a new look at what your spend could get you elsewhere – be that swapping to a digital campaign, altering your media buying targets, or launching one big PR campaign. Think realistically about what money you have for the next period and see where it could be placed for most creative effectiveness.
5. Consider new energy and resource
No – this isn’t about binning your entire marketing department or axing the current PR agency, but new ideas and new blood can be great to stop a strategy slipping into Groundhog Day. This could be setting up an internal marketing ‘committee’ bringing in people from across the business departments; perhaps engaging a PR consultant or interim marketing manager – or seeking a celebrity ambassador for your brand. When new people are involved in strategies, it’s a surefire of introducing fresh energy and opportunity!
Want to know how I can help stop your communications strategy experiencing Groundhog Day? Get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org