From experience, many marketers underutilize communications (read: public relations, employee communications and investor relations, etc.) as part of their brand marketing and management efforts. But they intersect at many marketing moments with your prospects and customers and should be planned and executed in concert. Here are 3 Tips to help drive that alignment.
Tip #1: Identify the Market Together
Strategically planning your market segments or personas as a shared effort between marketing and communications will help drive alignment. The business benefit is that all communications become accretive and work collaboratively to drive the return on your marketing and communications investments.
Planning the market together will aid in shared definitions between marketing and communications. Additionally, this approach will help orchestrate communications across all stakeholders. Lastly, the communications experience from your PR, IR, Employee Communications team will create a much more holistic view of your personas that not only are more inclusive but also actionable for all the disparate marketing and communications teams to operate off the same page.
Tip #2: Develop the Brand Story Collaboratively
Brands are a culmination of storylines that articulate your brand’s value to your multitude of constituencies. It is important that your Brand Story develops with all these perspectives at the table. The net is it will be more authentic and resonate more with each audience.
In a scaled environment this means your brand story is really a matrix of several storylines interwoven to create your brand’s uniqueness. Most of us think of this as a top-down effort, but really if done right it is a bottoms-up marketing exercise. Interweaving your brand stories is the art to determine the core of your brand.
Tip #3: Execute in Concert
In larger multi-dimensional marketing and communications organizations executing marketing efforts in a collaborative way is the challenge. Great marketing teams have a shared lighthouse that governs their go-to-market. Exceptional marketing teams live that shared lighthouse and operate every day against the same strategy and frameworks.
While tools may help in this regard (via template development and messaging implementation), the best marketing teams operationalize cross-team collaboration in their day-to-day. Exceptional marketing teams have excellent Internal communications, inclusiveness, and cross-functional team building as part of their rhythm of business. It could be a monthly all-hands, a yearly joint strategy session, or a quarterly business review. By ensuring all marketing and communications executives are sitting side by side to drive planning and execution will guarantee excellent business results and return on marketing investment.