Communicating to the audience that matters most

Jason Ouellette

I had the opportunity to meet with a group of people last week who are looking for some marketing and communications assistance as they look to expand their regional presence. This group fell out of my typical focus area (that being B2B technology groups) mainly due to a personal relationship, but it was a welcome change and I was able to bring some different perspective while hearing their thoughts on what would work or should. And I was able to pull out some items that could be used in my group's daily work – or at the very least serve as a reminder.

One thing that stood out to me was the focus that this group has. They do about $150 million in “business” each year and with that, are still thought of and looked at as a small, regional player. That is OK with them. Obviously they’re looking to grow – but five, ten percent growth would do wonders for these people. What would they really want PR to focus on for them? Existing customers. What can we do to help them communicate and provide their existing “customers” with fresh content that informs, challenges and gets them to feel closer to the brand? This isn’t your typical business here and retention is a big part of their success.

As public relations and digital communications professionals, this is an area that we should excel at. Our customers are looking for new and exciting ways to expand their brand and grow their presence within regional, vertical or trade communities. Are we overlooking what is inside? Do we often get caught up in the “Big Fish”? Shouldn’t a good portion of any PR and marketing campaign be tied to existing customers so that retention is high and chasing new leads is low (or at least at a balance)? By tailoring communications plans and campaigns to current customers the amount of content we can create is endless due to the high amounts of data we already have. Now it’s just time to turn that into something valuable.

So what are you doing through your marketing communications plans to educate your customers to reduce churn and turn them into brand loyalists? Are you offering them compelling content that gets them to think differently about their job and responsibilities? Are you entertaining them or giving them something to remember you by? Are you looking at them for resources to help promote your brand via their own voice? Whatever it is, we need to make sure that one piece of your communications strategy has to be your existing customers. They are the ones that are already with you and really matter at the end of the day…

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