How Customer Communications Creates New Factors in a Marketing Communications Plan

  • In delivering a customer communications management system, there are extra considerations in respect of the development of a marketing communications plan.

The marketing communications plan can provide a clear guideline as to how to execute, the expected costs and the expected return. Customer communications management will increase the ease with which a multi-channel marketing communications strategy can be executed. It will also increase the sophistication with which a company can communicate in a relevant manner with its customers.

In the context of discussing the plan I will use Philip Kotler ‘P’s framework as this is the standard study for virtually all marketers.

First off, lets establish the Four P’s of product marketing in context with customer communications management:

  • Product – Which products are you looking to promote? Today’s customer communications management platforms mean that you can market more than one product in an individual campaign based upon an individual users profile. Therefore Product Range Selection is an additional component in the customer communications management driven marketing communications plan.
  • Place – Customer communications management processes give the marketing communications plan complete freedom to choose from a wide range of communications methods. These include voice, Direct Mail, Transactional Mail, Email, Social Media oriented email, social media direct, SMS, mobile and web. Therefore channel flexibility is a key advantage for the marketing communications plan.
  • Promotion – Specifically what is your promotion and what are the promotion objectives? To garner new customers? To market more to your existing customers? To raise awareness of a product launch? To build brand appeal through a news advisory about your company’s efforts in the community? To raise funds for a charity that your company sponsors? The options are wide and varied. The key thing to note again here is that with an integrated customer communications platform, you will have promotion flexibility.

I’ve highlighted four key phrases here that I feel should now be implemented within the marketing communications plan. Lets review these individually.

Product Range

A good customer communications infrastructure will provide significant data analysis and extraction capabilities. A good propensity to purchase analysis model will allow not just a single product to be promoted to an individual customer but, a range of relevant products that will appeal.

Remember that each customer can be communicated with on a genuine one – one basis. Therefore the scope of products that you wish to promote should be considered – They may not be in the same category but you may desire to push certain products in certain categories harder.

Price Elasticity

Not all customers are born the same. The data analysis process within customer communications management will allow you to build price elasticity into your marketing communications plan. You may know for example that keener customers may only buy when a promotional offer is in place. Other customers may buy only when the product is the newest item available. The marketing communications plan may need to consider price elasticity and the targeting of offers on a one to one or customer segment basis.

Channel Flexibility

The ability to deliver a standard but relevant  message, in a synchronised way to virtually any customer communication channel has always been a holy grail. My list reveals 9 communication channels here. Each has its merits and with the ability to systematically deliver consistent messages across each, the power of these systems is as yet unexploited by marketers.

Certain channels bring the capability to target the consumer 24 hours a day. Others such as mail have the benefit of longevity and time in front of the customers eyes. The scope for ever increasing sophistication in marketing is increasing all the time.

Whilst this level of flexibility is new in the market, I can see that the next few years will reveal much interesting data about the use of these channels and their performance in different customer and product segments. The ability to analyse the performance of campaigns using data from a single system is a new feature that works in support of the marketing communications plan.

Never before have companies had such a choice of communications channels combined with the ability to manage them effectively. The next decade is going to offer some very interesting insights in communications channels and their relevance in different market segments.

Please visit the Document Projects website for more information relating to this topic.

John Evans

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