Answer: The key to communication planning is sharing.
I know, it sounds so simple. Pre-school simple. However, when the entities involved are client and agency, it becomes a little more complicated.
Sharing needs to come from both the client and the agency side. To better grasp the need for sharing, let's take a brief look at the communication planning process.
Over time the basics of media planning have remained relatively the same: "Put the right message in front of the right person at the right time to get the desired response within budget."
Evolution of Media Planning
Today’s media landscape has dramatically changed the scope of media planning. The new complexities lie not only with identifying the right communication options for a plan but how the chosen media can work together to influence communication and deliver impact.
With the change in the planning scope, we need to take a fresh look at the information that needs to be shared to create an effective communication plan.
Traditionally, a media objective translates a client’s business marketing and sales objectives into achievable media goals. While the premise of this remains true as far as it goes, the information needed to establish media goals needs to be enhanced to fully integrate the communication planning process.
Information is Key
Agencies need more information. Clients need to SHARE a broader scope of information including their business’ marketing, sales and communication objectives. With a fuller understanding, the agency can craft a media objective for the client that can more effectively move the consumer. The larger goal is to ensure that the consumer gets the same branded message on the macro advertising level all the way down to the micro customer care response level. If we keep our eye on completing the circle, it forces us to look at communication differently.
Focus on a Strategy of Co-creation
Call it integration or call it SHARING, agencies also need to embrace this practice to the betterment of the communication planning process. Identifying all consumer touch points and how these touch points interact with each other is key for a well-defined strategy. Having the capabilities to bridge the communication elements between marketing, public relations and customer service is paramount.
Unfortunately, we can't edit the “Easy” Staples button to read SHARE. Instead, we need to make sure the important questions get asked.
- Did the client SHARE the relevant marketing, sales, research and communication objectives needed to create an effective media goal?
- Was this information SHARED across all agency disciplines?
- Did agency teams cross-SHARE ideas and create impactful strategies that optimize the strengths of each medium in relation to each other and to the objective?
- Are the media tactics for each medium aligned with all facets of the communication plan so that the overall message delivery effort can have a greater impact when SHARED with the target consumer?
Communication Planning is a Shared Responsibility
Ideas are what make communication plans great. SHARED information is what provides the foundation for even greater ideas. Communication planning is a larger, SHARED responsibility that if managed correctly makes the media dollars work more effectively and brand messages impact more consumers.
Silos are for wheat farms. It’s SHARING that evolves media planning to communications planning.