Let’s talk turkey

Posted on December 5th, 2014

Ah, the week after Thanksgiving – when daydreams turn from cranberry sauce to sugarplums. (Or perhaps to balance sheets.)

As we wrap up the last few weeks of 2014, it’s the perfect time to conduct a year-end audit of marketing communications programs and ask, “Did we fulfill our promises and resolve all of our resolutions?”

Bravo if you fall in the small segment that can answer, “yes!” to both. But if you’re like most of us and have fallen a wee bit short, we have good news: There’s still plenty of time to get all of your turkeys – or reindeer – in a row. Plus, we can show you how to cook up communications solutions that are virtually “fat free.”

In the interest of crossing a promise off of our list, here are seven ways to Save Money and Still Get Results:

  1. Begin with the end in mind

Before you plan any communications – whether a simple email, traditional media campaign or a snazzy new website – start by asking and answering these three essential questions:

  •          • Who are we trying to reach?
  •          • What do we want them to do?
  •          • How much money have we budgeted?

The more complete the answers, the better the chances your communications team can deliver solutions cost-effectively.

  1. Consider social

Eleven years ago, going “e” was our call for low-cost “e-nnovation.” Today, email campaigns still deliver tremendous value, but don’t underestimate the power of social to enhance engagement with your target audiences and drive results. Notice we’re not advocating going social if you haven’t already. Rather, consider where your customers are – and whether adding a few social channels is right for your business.

  1. Do it virtual

In a period of decreasing travel budgets and increasing demands on time, virtual meetings can be a money-saver. However, re-creating the value of in-person meetings without the large expenditure can be challenging. Use meeting themes to help get everyone on the same page and build excitement. And interweave informal sessions with formal presentations to encourage the sharing of problem-solving, success stories and lessons learned.

  1. Reap the rewards of your relationships

You’ve probably worked long and hard to educate your communications team (including your agency partner) on all aspects of your business. Instead of shopping for a new “cheaper” supplier and spending your scarce time and money trying to educate them, ask your communications partners to identify more economical ways to apply what they already know. Your loyalty will pay off in a commitment to savings in the short run, and more cost-effective quality communications over the long haul.

  1. Tell somebody who cares

The timeless truth: Meaningful messages can cut through the clutter and save you time and money – by helping you reach and touch those who care about what you’re saying and are motivated to take action that builds your bottom line. Refreshed: Today’s free and low-cost analytics tools make it easier than ever to reach your audience with pinpoint precision. What’s more, you’re able to find out quickly and inexpensively whether or not they’re likely to care about what you have to say – and sell.

  1. Make up your mind

The single biggest reason for cost overruns on projects is changes – changes in direction, changes in scope, changes in content, changes to the changes. Changes and minor course corrections are to be expected, but the earlier the better. You can really save money by taking a few extra minutes to review each step in the process – concepts, copy, layouts – as if they were the finished product.

  1. Build your brand

Did you know that building your brand identity can save considerable time and money by establishing a common look, feel and intent for all of your communications? On a strategic level, an integrated brand identity also creates real asset value for your enterprise – by uniting your external image and internal culture behind a single, well-defined vision. What steps can you take now to elevate your brand?

Are you ready to take an honest look at where you are, what you need to do to finish strong in 2014 and start the new year off right? Let’s talk turkey.