The New Year is coming, and that feeling of a fresh calendar always builds a sense of possibilities. Often business leaders want to hear what’s trending to catapult business in a New Year. Our recommendation, stick with the basics and focus on these three areas.
Plan, measure, adjust. Remote and hybrid work is now normal. And that means a strategic marketing/communications plan is essential. Team members need to understand business goals and how their job fits into the bigger picture, especially because they are not all in one place working together five days a week. Creating a plan doesn’t mean hours of laborious work. It means getting the basics documented and shared for focus and understanding.
- Based on business goals, what’s the company message?
- What are the goals for marketing communications (choose three to do well)?
- Who are your key audiences to reach and achieve those business goals?
- Document objectives and tactics to support those goals, along with who on the team is responsible for getting the work done. Consider processes, too.
- How will you measure effectiveness to ensure accountability and smart spending?
Business leaders who track results of marketing and public relations campaigns can easily see where to adapt and adjust. If a campaign isn’t tracking, why continue that sunk cost?
Focus on employees—their experiences and education. Good employees are hard to find. So why not focusing on the ones you have?
A December 2021 Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce study shows what we already know, employees are thinking about moving on. The study shows a quarter of professionals currently employed plan to look for a new job in 2022. This data echoes national studies. Why?
Employees want to feel valued by being paid well, having work/life balance, realizing growth/advancement opportunities, and working at a company with a good culture. How many times have companies conducted employee opinion polls only to disregard the results? Business leaders say they want questions and feedback from employees about the direction of the company, but do they really? Now is the time you should listen and respond to what employees have to say.
They are in the driver’s seat. Retaining current staff and building a solid culture is essential in today’s business climate. Companies responding are using “stay” interviews. Instead of waiting for an employee to leave and have an “exit” interview, top talent is being asked for their feedback to find out what they need. What they’re saying isn’t a surprise.
Professionals want to trust their managers and hear directly from them about what’s happening at a company. They want to be upskilled with training that gives an opportunity for growth, advancement, and challenges. This makes strategic internal communications that builds culture more critical than ever before.
Still can’t find staff. Think about finding contractors who can complement your workforce—both from a strategic and tactical standpoint. Then treat them as an extension of your team.
Consistent marketing communications—it’s critical. How many starts and stops has your business made with new programs and initiatives? One ad, one news release, one prospect meeting, one employee event isn’t going to create a dramatic business shift. Consistent and strategic communications regularly measured against a marketing communications plan will.
Over a 30-year career I’ve seen the fascination on the faces of business leaders who learn about the latest communications tools—news releases, websites, blogs, brochures, social media. They’ve read a book or gone to a professional session where someone has talked about great success using a new tactic. Now they need it and want it too.
Reality is a well design internal and external communications strategy executed with patience and flexibility (coupled with a thoughtful culture) moves a business’ goals forward. Always ask: how will this be measured. And remember, doing something once rarely makes an impact.