Strategic planning can mean the difference between profit and loss for businesses which is why an effective marketing strategy should be a planning priority focus for future commercial success. That’s the message from business leader Neil Thompson, founder of Northamptonshire Marketing and Public Relations agency Rocket.
Businesses who want to increase customer engagement and reach, raise brand awareness while boosting sales should ensure they are perfecting their planning processes, alongside deploying an appropriate approach when it comes to marketing.
Thompson advised: “When it comes to strategic planning a creative mixed marketing approach is often the most effective. From our experience we see a targeted mix of channels perform better for individual sectors.
“Digital marketing engagement, including social media activities, can work well against other marketing channels, however there are alternative areas whereby integrating PR would be a far more appropriate approach.
“PR provides the perfect foundation for businesses who want to maximise their commercial potential. It’s effective in boosting sales, maximising marketing activities and increasing audience reach significantly, through its raising recognition. This significantly improves ROI. It is an ideal tool to deploy when it comes to subject matter expert opinion pieces which enhance a company’s reputation and credibility.
“When focusing on strategic planning for 2019, an important factor is not assuming or thinking an off the shelf approach to marketing will work for everyone and everything. Ultimately it’s vital to optimise your marketing budget and opt for the best channels that target the low-hanging fruit opportunities.
“That can vary from market-to-market or sector-to-sector. It varies in B2C activities and B2B marketing approaches where some digital platforms, such as LinkedIn, work better than traditional print media. When it comes to strategic planning a more granular approach is essential.”
Thompson highlighted that while a company might not think they are big enough for PR, or believe in PR, it is time to review their strategic stance.
“Effective PR isn’t necessarily about instant results, it’s about planning for the future and understanding PR delivers huge impact once the ball is rolling, gains media momentum which can create significant changes and uplift in audience reach.
“When it comes to strategic planning companies need to look at what they are doing and reflect on the bigger picture and bigger context, there is a global market place out there and multiple opportunities for businesses. While PR is not for everybody it provides a broader reach and some will need converting that PR should be part of the marketing mix. PR provides great support, it improves opportunities for businesses because public relations equals public recognition.
“We take PR to the next level because our combined knowledge and commercial creative thinking ensures a better marketing mix. Our social media and video production dovetail with traditional PR to create a ‘new world PR solution’.
Taking a holistic view of your marketing strategy is at its most valuable at the planning stage and expertise in the sector and channels help refine that plan more rapidly, especially when companies work with agencies who have the breadth of knowledge, a wealth of expertise and experience of operating at the commercial coalface.
Thompson added: “Working with creative thinking marketing agencies, such as Rocket, offering a mix of services and skillsets, benefits businesses because we have tried and tested the very latest strategies, activities and channels available from sector to sector. It is essential to be creative and commercially driven and while everybody needs to drive sales, increase market share and increase profit, it’s important that appropriate marketing tactics are deployed.
“It’s about ROI, finding the right channel, right message that resonate with the varied markets clients operate in. Using different channels in a more novel and creative way to try and maximise what you are doing with your budget.”