Reaching Out to your Audience: Creating an Efficient Marketing Communications Plan

                                                            Article published by Home Business Magazine

Communication is a key element of marketing in any type of business organization. From small or large businesses, profit or not-for-
profit, in all segments; it is an essential part of business planning.

Organizing objectives and how to accomplish them allows business leaders and their teams to stick to the plan, resulting in
strategy continuity.

Make sure your communications plan is clear and straight to the point, including the following items.

1. Communications Objectives
Use this section to nurture general actions that will deliver your positioning, and the information needs of your audience.  List a
minimum of two but no more than four or five key objectives for the period. Be specific, and try to make your goals measurable. 
Some examples are:
•“Effectively reach key targeted audience.”
•“Cultivate a long-term relationship with targeted audience to gain credibility.”
•“Position the business as a niche leader.”

2. Audience Profile
Define your targeted audience and be as specific as possible.  Learn where your audience is located, and how they live, their
standards and beliefs, what, how and when they use your product or similar, what they like or dislike.  Is there a primary and
secondary audience?  List them in order of importance, and identify who and what influences that audience.  Focus on the
audience-related data that is important to your organization.  Understanding consumer behavior is critical in order to successfully
build your strategies and action plan.

3. Key Messages
Think about the concept you want associated with your brand.  These messages will deliver your objectives, positioning your
brand through all media and points of contact with customers, such as brochures, advertising, website, call center, locations,
press releases, etc.
Here are some examples:
•“We deliver customized services.”
•“We provide the fastest service in its niche.”
•“Professional development courses at reasonable costs.”

4. Main Communication Channels
Identify the most important and credible channels for your audience, the ones that are popular and would best deliver your
message.  Take into consideration your objectives and budget. You want to maximize your dollars and exposure, reaching out to
your current and potential customers at the right timing, and with significance.  Make sure the channels you choose are in line
with your objectives, and that they reach a very targeted audience.  Don’t waste money delivering your message to unqualified

5. Key Strategies and Programs
Strategy is how resources are distributed and utilized to achieve your key objectives.  Tactics are important to make the
strategies action-oriented.  List no more than 5 top strategies, and underneath each one, align programs in support.  Keep them
organized with time schedules.
For example:
Strategy 1: Utilize Press Releases to increase visibility to corporate organizations.
•Develop monthly publicity actions on appealing topics to maximize the exposure of the services or products you offer.  The
information should be released by approaching journalists and/or issuing press releases to trade publications.  Press releases are
normally issued a minimum of 2 months prior to the program/event.
•Combine the schedule of topics with marketing activities.

6. Budget
Prepare a detailed budget chart, breaking it down by activities.  Prepare year-over-year comparisons to evaluate results and
calculate ROI.

7. Evaluation Plan
In addition to the numeric targets, it is important to establish parameters to measure the effectiveness of your activities. 
Establish standards of performance to use as a benchmark, which will allow you to take corrective action, adjusting your strategies
along the year.
•Increase in volume of contacts and inquiries after key communications.
•PR exposure and ROI by type of publication.

8. Attachments
Attach a calendar of activities and the timeline.

© Lima Lerch Consulting 2006-2008. All Rights Reserved.


Renata B.L.Lerch is a recognized authority on strategic marketing. She is the founder and managing director of Lima Lerch
Consulting, and has worked with strategic marketing for over 17 years. Before starting Lima Lerch Consulting, she managed
marketing and business development in large multinationals, covering the US, European and Latin American markets.

Lima Lerch Consulting ( provides leading marketing consulting services to companies in the US and
Latin America.

Contact us at, or logon to
Renata’s direct e-mail address is