Strategic Communications – Communication Plan Analysis Part 3

7K_Intro_01In the first post in this series, we examined the need… the “Why are we doing this?” step that drove the program, and provided the yardstick against which performance would be measured. To recap:

The existing situation or problem:

  • Moderate existing market share
  • Lack of respect for the company because of “me too” products in the past
  • Low company sales force morale from carrying unexciting products
  • Exciting new product with unfamiliar new technical concepts demanding extensive training
  • Need for personal contact by company executives with key customers

The goals – what were the desired measurable results of the communications plan?

  • Improved market share, as measured by industry accepted research, and increased sales
  • New levels of respect for the company in the market place
  • The brand established in the industry and with consumers
  • Retail sales staff excited, educated, and informed about new product, and motivated to sell it and the company

The Obstacles:

  • Low respect for company in the market place
  • Large number of outlets and sales staff to be informed/trained across the U.S. and Canada
  • Wanted entire launch in a small window so later viewers would not feel “left out” or feel “finally got around to us”
  • Bad time of year to travel a Road Show

In the second post, we looked at the second step of the process, the actual program:

  • A major National Sales Meeting to introduce the product to the sales force – it consisted of:
    • Product Introduction
    • Product Training
  • An innovative Press Conference
  • Road Show
    • Impressive, big screen live event, toured to several major U.S. and Canadian markets.
    • Company executives would travel with the show to deliver the message face to face and “press the flesh”
  • Major PR effort not only to publish the product, but also the unique way in which it was announced

So what happened?

In a nutshell, a record breaking success:

  • The company moved from #2 in sales to a VERY strong leadership position… #1+ in less than four months as measured by industry standards.  Sales for at least one competitor virtually stopped during the next several months after the introduction
  • The event enhanced the visibility and credibility of the company as shown by comments in field sales call reports, industry publications, and the consumer press
  • The new brand gained almost instant recognition by dealers and consumers alike
  • Retail sales staff kept the company and brand top-of-mind for many YEARS after the event
  • Sales remained high for many YEARS after the event
  • The “Coat-Tail effect” significantly improved sales for other company product lines
  • The launch was so successful, that the process was repeated, successfully, two more times for later line extension launches with the same winning results, again keeping company and brand very much, “Top of Mind”

This is a process that works.  First, define the goals and objectives.  Then use the best combination of tools to achieve those goals.  Then make sure you actually did achieve, or better, surpass, those goals. Document the results thoroughly so you can look back at them to refresh your memory for the next program, and to show management that your strategic communications efforts are provably excellent.

Have you had similar success with a communications plan? Share your process and results!


2 Responses to “Strategic Communications – Communication Plan Analysis Part 3”

  1. […] Strategic Communications: Communications Plan Analysis Part 3 […]

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