A robust marketing communications strategy is largely reliant on effective communication, hence its name! So why aren’t communication trends given more attention?

Do you know how your customers prefer to communicate? And what motivates their purchasing decisions? Understanding the most impactful way to communicate with your target market enables you to efficiently focus resources. Perhaps you’re wondering why your excellent innovation isn’t reaping significant sales – did you tell the right people about it, in the right way?

According to HubSpot’s study on State of Inbound 2017, people’s most preferred method of communication is via email, with face-to-face coming second (it’s nothing personal, I am sure!). This is largely due to the time-management and convenience merits of email.

Interestingly, when making purchasing decisions, in all geographies, at all seniority levels, the second source of information that is relied most upon after word-of-mouth, is customer references. The value of customer testimonials cannot be understated, particularly in b2b comms. A customer giving credibility to your products or services with examples and data is arguably a lot more valuable than generic promotion.

Many of our clients use testimonials as a core part of their marketing strategy because it is real life proof of customer satisfaction and evidence of technology value in practice. It is an extremely effective and efficient way to cut through the noise, differentiate from competition and engage your target market.

Not only do customer testimonials gain in-depth insights to inform and influence other potential customers, but they can also provide the company with invaluable information that aids their strategy development. For example, one of our clients recently praised the approach, saying: “We could never have found the information about how this customer is using the product, in any other way. Our teams in Europe are now able to use this to show to prospects.”

It comes as no surprise to us that the third most relied upon source of data when making purchasing decisions remains media articles. Potential users want to know facts, trends and insights. In other words, they want trustworthy information, rather than purely biased promotions. This is further supported by research that shows magazines are effective at all stages of the consumer journey, based on survey responses from more than a quarter of a million consumers. Print continues to improve advertising awareness and persuasion at higher levels of exposure.

Despite the growth of the internet and social media, print still maintains its position as a powerful and necessary component of an advertising campaign. This can be attributed to its merits of tangibility, target marketing and credibility. The 2017 Content Marketing Insights for B2B Marketers shows that magazines remain one of the most popular type of content consumed by their active audience over the past 12 months.

When used in conjunction with customer testimonials, media articles are an extremely valuable way of communicating with your target market. These assets can be used as part of a wider cascade to amplify across other channels, maximising awareness.

There you have it – the recipe for the basis of a great marketing campaign.

If you would like to learn more about our experience in designing and delivering impactful media relations programs on behalf of our clients and how we can help you to create meaningful content strategies that generate results, please contact us at [email protected] or give us a call on +44 1477 539539.

By Katie Hall, Junior Account Executive, The Scott Partnership