This is #1 of the multiple article series

Marketing Communications – From Strategy to Deliverable – by Sue Moylan


I decided to write this series in the hopes you will find it timely. There might be nothing better than learning from others’ experiences and, so far this year, we found three clients that faced this same situation: While it is great for businesses to maintain ongoing communications with their base, it might impact them negatively if they display lack of strategy, focus, a confusing call to action, or if the quality, language, imagery or message they put forth is not relevant to the audience they are trying to attract. In other words,

Unless your communications are properly planned and delivered, it might behoove you to stop what you are doing and reevaluate. 

We went to visit “Client X” to help them develop a brochure for a new program, but as we normally do, I asked them to share with us their current printed materials and their online presence. What we found was disjointed. The message, paper, style, fonts, imagery, colors, etc. demonstrated nothing that tied these publications together as coming from the same organization. Though this organization enjoys a great reputation and name recognition in our community, their materials were diminishing them. In their case, I know it had to do with an overtaxed staff and conflicting styles coming from different departments (a basic branding issue), so we ask,

Are your communications supporting, hurting, or improving your relationships with your base? 

Are your communications worthy of your organization, or a negative distraction?

Is your message relevant to your audience? Is it of value?

Are you aware of possible threats or missed opportunities? 

Our offer was to perform an objective SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis of their printed and online communications. We were not looking to reshape their entire organization, but we were hoping to make this a positive experience by revealing new opportunities in the What, Why, How, and When they communicate.

Anytime we speak, we affect relationships. Ensure that when you speak to your clients you impact them positively. A SWOT analysis can be as simple as written on a Starbucks napkin, or take years of consulting and focus groups. I would advise on the simpler of these two, saving time, money, and building on the authenticity and positive energy that can be implemented immediately.

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Our next article will show our development of this Marketing Communications SWOT Analysis. Stay tuned!