We often find that marketers are under such pressure to create and execute campaigns that they often don’t take a step back to clearly define and optimize their marketing strategy. Completing this fundamental step establishes a strong foundation for your entire program. Having this foundation allows you to build faster and more cohesive campaigns and to realize better results.
Signal developed a digital marketing framework to help our clients consistently showcase the value and benefits of products and services across key digital channels. This framework is designed to ensure campaigns are planned strategically and monitored consistently for maximum efficiency.
Completing this process will help your team:
- Establish your marketing program goals and define priorities
- Focus on the most effective use of your limited time and budget
- And forecast and evaluate campaign performance and ROI.
Step 1: Define Campaign Goals, Objectives & Constraints
Tools used: Program Summary, Program Map, Content Outline
Start by creating a Program Summary to catalog current and future campaigns:
||Promote overall company awareness
||Website, Email, LinkedIn, Search
||New product intro
|Product Y Education
Establishing this bird’s eye view of your entire program clearly highlights your internal constraints (resources, budget, time) and can help your team prioritize campaigns and identify which dials to turn up and down. You’ll define the channels approach for each campaign, determining timing and assigning budgets.
Next, take inventory of what you’re doing and analyze any gaps.
Create a Program Map to give you a more granular and actionable view of your current marketing program. This flow chart will illustrate your marketing channels and how they are connected – how social, search, email and offline channels lead to landing pages and websites, and how those integrate with your marketing automation and CRM platforms, as well as other tools in your marketing technology stack.
Create your Content Outline, a simple catalog of your existing marketing assets – landing pages, print collateral, videos, case studies, and so on. This allows you to quickly see what content you can leverage and what gaps may exist, which is instrumental as you plan and build future campaigns.
|ABC General Landing Page
||Product X, Product Y
|Product X Landing Page
||Features and benefits
||Product X, Product Y
|Product X Brochure
||Download from landing page
|Product X Sales Presentation
||Links to all arterial sub-pages
|Product X Solution Article
||Product X, Product Y
||Product copy + features graphic
|ABC Corporate Video
||Product X, Product Y
Step 2: Define Featured Offerings
Create a spreadsheet that lists your company’s products and/or services. Add positioning and categories for quick reference. This tool will allow your team to quickly prioritize campaigns with internal stakeholders.
||Insert positioning and benefits
||Insert positioning and benefits
Step 3: Identify Target Audience
Tools used: Personas and Customer Journey Maps
To be successful, you must thoroughly understand and connect with your audience. Creating customer personas and customer journey maps are critical to this process. These documents can be as formal as you want to make them, however, we recommend keeping it simple. Know that they are fluid, working documents and you can continue to refine them.
We suggest first talking with internal stakeholders to paint a picture of the target customers. If possible, also talk with actual current and potential customers to validate any internal assumptions.
Mapping the Customer Journey goes hand in hand with defining your sales funnel. A Journey Map typically includes stages and corresponding types of content:
- Awareness Stage: blogs, infographics, social media posts, podcasts, short videos
- Interest Stage: eBooks, white papers, explainer videos, conversion landing pages, paid/display ads
- Consideration Stage: case studies, customer testimonials, sales emails
- Purchase Stage: on-location and in-studio video testimonials, sales collateral
The Journey Map also captures the customer’s goals, process, problems and KPIs at each stage of the journey to ensure the customer’s needs are clear and highlight key opportunities.
Step 4: Identify the Competition
You won’t know how to stand out in the market until you have a clear picture of the competition you’re up against. Understand the landscape, including market share and activity. The first time you do this, you can focus on keeping it high level.
- Visual impact
- Digital properties
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Calls to action
Doing this research will help you determine how you can compete and excel in branding, messaging, program offerings and content strategy. When you get into individual campaigns, you can begin to drill deeper into competition for that specific offering.
Step 5: Define How you will Measure Success
Tools used: Measurement Plan
How will you know if your marketing campaigns are successful? You need to define clear goals, determine KPIs and set specific targets to measure performance. Without a Measurement Plan, it will be difficult to monitor and optimize your campaigns to achieve the best possible results. Having a Measurement Plan also helps you set realistic expectations for the ROI of marketing efforts vs. simply focusing on increased sales revenue.
Once you’ve completed these 5 steps, you have the necessary digital marketing planning framework and tools in place to chart your path forward. Now it’s time to confidently move into tactical campaign planning and execution.
Plan and execute each campaign by completing the following steps, referencing and continually refining the tools you’ve created:
- Select campaign channels
- Determine tactics and timing
- Prioritize budget across channels
- Set campaign goals and align measurement plan
- Develop campaign content and creative
- Monitor and optimize
Ready to take your company’s digital marketing framework to the next level? The Signal team is here to help.
Ingersoll Rand’s Power Tools division maintains an active social media presence, promoting its popular line of products. When the manufacturer needed help producing compelling content for its B2B user audience on Facebook and Instagram, they looked to Signal to provide additional bandwidth.
The Power Tools division was keenly focused on market research, launching new products and keeping dealers and distributors happy. They relied on Signal for creative writing, design and animations on a regular basis, to keep the pages interesting and engaging.
From raw assets of product images and/or video content, we provided monthly batches of posts, in advance, to help client teams streamline the approval and execution process.
Hyster-Yale Group designs, engineers, manufactures, sells and services a comprehensive line of lift trucks and parts marketed under the Hyster and Yale brand names. To support its dealer networks, the manufacturer created an online hub for dealers to access various marketing templates. Hyster-Yale brought in Signal to map out and develop or redesign all possible templates for both Hyster and Yale brands.
We made the marketing assets easy for dealers to access and customize, while maintaining strict visual standards for each brand. Now that this comprehensive template library is in place, Hyster-Yale can seamlessly direct their dealers to important communications tools that fit their efforts at the local level, delivering manufacturer support before, during and after routine sales as well as inventory pushes that drive customer traffic to their door.
In addition to campaign landing pages with embedded content that could be inserted via iframe into a dealer’s website, other key assets included:
• Email templates with ready-to-go content
• Social media posts and graphics
• Digital banner ad templates
• Sales and promotional flyers
• Rental unit campaign materials
• Indoor and outdoor signage
CliniStart is a new company specializing in specific administrative aspects of clinical trial startup and management. They came to Signal for development of their branding, messaging and website, with the goal of cutting through the clutter and clearly presenting their unique value proposition with a friendly tone.
Following interviews with the company’s executive team, we drafted a message platform to map out the CliniStart brand messaging and what makes the company different. From this approved document, we organized and composed website content with a dash of conversational flair. The services page is based around simple, declarative statements and interactive icon boxes. Subheads throughout the site capture the leadership’s wry observations on their unglamorous work in contract negotiations and protocol budgeting. For instance, “We love to do the boring stuff so you don’t have to,” and “Extremely dull work, done extremely well.”
Signal also reworked the company’s logo with a more modern and professional look, expressing the CliniStart’s foundation in knowledge and technology aimed at forward progress. The logomark features dots networked together in the configuration of “play” button, creating associations with the start of a clinical trial.
Experience the site here
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve witnessed the need for clear communication within companies to let employees know the employer is committed to their health and safety. As pandemic restrictions begin to ease, reopening the workplace is a complex and multifaceted process.
LabCorp contacted Signal for help clearly and effectively communicating company policies and best practices to promote safe and considerate behavior as they re-open their global facilities. Our first task was to develop and produce a large volume of re-entry signage, including both print and digital:
- Handwashing Bathroom Mirror Decals
- Stand Here Floor Decals
- Practice Social Distancing LCD Screen Graphics
- Wear a Face Covering LDC Screen Graphics
- Isolation Area Pop-up Banners
- Directional Posters
- Temperature Check Posters
- Thank You for Working Safely Posters
- Stairwell Posters
- Elevator Posters
- Face Covering Required Posters
- No Waiting or Congregating Posters
- Sanitize Hands Here Posters
- Keep Your Personal Desk Clean Signs
- Last Disinfected On Signs
- Max Capacity in Room Signs
- Healthy Steps Signs
- Please Clean This Area Before You Leave Table Tents
- Table Seating Instructional Signs
The approved English versions were also translated into several different languages, including Spanish, Italian, French, German, Russian, Chinese (Simplified), Japanese, and Korean.
The Signal team also worked directly with LabCorp’s existing online storefront provider to seamlessly deliver high-resolution files for print, fulfillment, and distribution. Through this process, LabCorp employees can access signage and communications via an intranet portal where managers can either place orders or download PDFs to print with office printers.
In addition, our team collaborated with LabCorp to prepare a Re-entry Readiness Timeline and Re-Entry Strategy for communication to employees and media.
Bioventus wanted to update their employer branding to better reflect their value in the marketplace. They came to Signal with a request for a comprehensive employment brand messaging platform. Our mindful approach used the input of the global Talent Management team to craft messages that would resonate with internal and external audiences. The goal? Stimulate interest and engagement from both existing and potential employees. Here’s how we successfully did it.
Step 1: Discovery
- Conduct corporate branding online survey
- Validate survey with handful of interviews with key execs / employees
- Develop messaging platform
- Conduct feedback meeting with key stakeholders
Step 2: Create and validate
- Create final messaging platform
- Create plan for launching new messaging
- Get final buy in from the client team
Step 2: Execute
Using the new message platform, step off recruiting collateral, including job fair materials, landing page, fact sheets.
Messaging platform delivered
- Brand essence and promise
- Who we are / how we help our customers
- Brand differentiators
- What sets your company apart
- Brand personality / voice
- High-level content and tone guidelines
- High-level key messages / proof points by audience
In the HR world of talent recruitment and retention, corporate culture has always been a priority. There are many studies and plenty of anecdotal evidence to show the organic correlation between a healthy work culture and a healthy bottom-line. The COVID-19 pandemic has now forced businesses to truly view their employees as human beings as opposed to human doers. Paying lip-service with mere intellectual assent is no longer an option. People are being asked to juggle many stressful new demands: working from home at the kitchen table, homeschooling their kids, clocking back in after bedtime to catch up on emails, and possibly even absorbing a loss of income or work hours. In addition, there are societal issues that are requiring families to be vulnerable and have difficult conversations. During challenges like these, your employees want to know that you’re looking out for them. Talk is easily dismissed, so demonstrate your commitment to their wellness with a focus on five critical areas.
- Trust and transparency: Creating an environment where leadership is more than a title. Leaders who are respected as welcoming, dependable, and trustworthy can motivate the team to be focused and dedicated, even during challenging times.
- Vision and purpose: Everyone needs to feel a sense of purpose and understand that their contribution is making a difference. Taking time to update and live out your vision / Employment Value Proposition is time well spent.
- Open communication and support: Changes are a natural part of sustaining excellence. However, employees need managers who honestly explain why changes are necessary and how they will work toward the greater good.
- Empowerment and creativity: Your team will thrive when they have the resources and tools they need to succeed, and are then empowered to act on their creative intelligence.
- Listen with empathy and compassion: Your employees long to be heard and validated. Not every need can be met nor will every personal journey end happily. Control what you can by maintaining an “open door” policy, providing employees direct access to leadership. When possible provide resources, counselors or coaches that can help people navigate this new ground.
Once you determine what you want to communicate and why it’s important, you can focus on the internal logistics of the message.
- Where to communicate: Take a look at your internal communications data or create employee surveys to learn which specific channels are performing the best for you right now as your employees adjust to working in a different dynamic. This could include video conference, email, intranet and videos.
- When to communicate: Business-critical situations are changing at a rapid pace, and you will likely need to pivot to keep your cultural and competitive position. Stay agile, and ahead of the rumor mill, by finding a regular communication cadence. It will put employees’ minds at ease.
- Who should communicate: Employees look first to leaders within the company who have earned their trust and have modeled integrity, to set the tone. Regular updates and messages of encouragement should come from those who can provide honest and articulate insights, with both optimism and inspiration.
- How to support communications: Carefully craft your internal messages during times of rapid change. Be transparent and empathetic, using real data to validate your rationale while never losing sight that your decisions are impacting real people with real concerns in real time.
Stay tuned for more in our thought leadership series on the employee and customer experience (CX)! Making investments in your corporate culture will serve you well now, and into the future.
Teleflex is a global provider of medical devices and technologies, which is committed to promoting superior customer experience through its internal “Exceptional Everyday” campaign and an annual “CX Week” event.
For the 2019 event, held at the corporate headquarters in Morrisville, NC, Signal developed a set of promotional materials that included office signage and posters, elevator wraps, LED screen graphics, and email and PowerPoint templates. To extend the reach of Teleflex CX Week beyond the home office, we also supplied asset files to the end-to-end facility in Maple Grove, MN, which employs teams in R&D, engineering, manufacturing, distribution, and sales & marketing.
The goal was to celebrate the importance of the customer experience in two different aspects: from a culture perspective with internal customers, and from a revenue perspective with external customers. The connecting principle is affirming to employees that “what you do matters” in saving the lives of patients.
Cree Lighting’s Stylus Linear Series can be configured in a multitude of ways – everything from type of mounting to suspension length, voltage and output color. The Signal team designed and developed the Stylus Configurator as a powerful sales enablement tool to help educate users, both internal and external.
With creative intelligence in mind, we collaborated with Cree Lighting internal teams to build in necessary call-to-action conversion, tracking and analytics – all geared towards streamlining and optimizing campaigns, and maximizing performance. Ultimately, the tool will help turn internal team members into advocates, and external distributors into loyal customers.
You’ve crafted a strong employee value proposition (or EVP) that clearly communicates the work culture you’d like to create in your company. You’ve also developed related visuals to help capture who you are as an employer. Now, how do you launch your brand and bring it to life?
The first step is to flesh out a messaging platform that supports your EVP and keeps everyone on the same page.
- The messaging should be clear and consistent, communicating what’s unique and special about working for your company.
- One key thing to include is proof points: the data to back up your claims and make a more engaging argument for the attractiveness of your company.
Once you’ve created this new messaging framework, carefully consider the internal audiences you’ll be communicating to and any specific messages you might need for specific employee groups – like IT or sales. Apply this same thinking to recruitment, considering different messages that may be needed for audiences such as recent grads vs. experienced recruits.
Finally, remember that a new employer brand is about more than visuals and messaging. It’s about a fundamental shift in philosophy which requires influencing your work culture from the top down. Ask yourself how your people managers can model the new brand on a daily basis for their employees, and create support and training for them in this role. It’s this step that really makes the difference.
Read Signal’s Employer Branding Playbook to learn more about making a real difference for your employees – as well as your bottom line.