Holistic communications

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Holistic communications: The big picture

Throughout January we’ve been sharing our insight into how businesses and schemes within the pensions industry (in fact, any industry!) can develop effective marketing and communications. If you want to create strength within your brand, and provide the best value for your customers/members, developing a holistic communications strategy will help.

The four stages of MarComms Fit...
Begin by detoxing

…or taking stock of your existing content. This may seem like a step only those with an established business need to do. But frequently, the ‘admin’ side of content is the forgotten step. Especially for start-ups and fintech’s that need speed and agility to hit the ground running. Keeping a log of what you create as you go will save you plenty of time and money in future. Plus, it’ll give you a bank of ideas and content you can pull out whenever you need.

We also spoke about plotting your customer journey. This may sound like fluffy marketing-talk but it’s actually a really important part of any communications planning. Understanding the sequence your customer goes through and looking at all the touchpoints will ensure you know where to focus your attention a relationship isn’t built through one customer interaction. 

Move on to kick-starting

Setting goals for your marketing and communications helps you to focus on core areas such as brand, messaging, value proposition, audience wants and needs and channels. Creating a messaging matrix will help you nail your key messages and can support you in developing large amounts of consistent content.

We also mentioned the importance of brand integrity. For finance, but particularly pensions, we often get a bad rep when it comes to consumer trust. The mainstream news stories about pensions are all too frequently focused on failing schemes and members losing money. So, we need to work harder to ensure our schemes and businesses have integrity. For us, this means giving enough attention to those operational communications too.

Marketing communications often receive the focus, which is fantastic, but trust can be lost easily if operational communications let you down. The reality needs to live up to the marketing ‘promise’.

Develop marketing campaigns

Targeted ideas and initiatives which attract and engage over a short period of time. Campaigns are important to any business, and done well, they help you reach your campaign objectives and a lot more. A campaign is a journey that you take customers and prospects on. From peaking interest, to having a closer look, to digging into the detail, and ultimately taking action – you need to make sure you have all the right parts at the right time.

But, a beautifully crafted campaign which ends with a poor customer experience or even a disjointed operational communication can wreak havoc with both your brand and customer retention. Mapping, understanding and crafting the end-to-end customer journey, including post purchase, is crucial. Embedding a holistic communications strategy will also help with customer satisfaction and long-term success.

Campaigns are a fantastic source of content – recycle and re-use it to create evergreen material for year-round use.

Consistent content creation

There’s a lot of focus on marketing, both in this campaign and in budget setting. But, for pension schemes and finance businesses, a good portion of your regular communications are transactional or operational. These have a huge impact on your brand, and on how your customers think and feel about you.

If marketing gets customers signed up and engaged, operational communications can make or break it!

At this stage, your operational communications are a truer reflection of your scheme or business over time. Neglecting them can cause long-term damage to your brand and reputation.

Fully integrated communications for greater impact

For a truly holistic communications approach it’s vital to look at the big picture. To look at how all these things work together and refine each of them for a fully integrated communications approach. Creating a smooth and consistent journey for your customers is the ultimate goal.

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