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How much shall I spend? Should I be spending money on advertising? How many social media channels should I use? These are all questions that come up time after time, but it is important to step back from thinking tactically and take a wider, more strategic view.
We suggest that any organisation will benefit from considering what we call the ‘three Rs’ - reputation, reach and relationships.
Before you consider marketing it’s important to ensure that you create the best possible environment around your brand so that your chosen communication tactics will be well received by your audience. The first of the three Rs is reputation.
Without a good reputation, a brand has little value. Establishing and maintaining that reputation has a direct impact on your business’s bottom line. The UK Reputation Dividend Report found that corporate reputation contributed £790 billion of shareholder value to the top 350 FTSE companies.
Put simply, a business can achieve its objectives more easily if it has a good reputation amongst its stakeholders such as customers, opinion leaders and suppliers. In a competitive employment marketplace, potential employees will be more attracted to organisations with a good reputation and you will be more likely to retain current employees.
And your customers, the ones who are attracted to your business, will in turn influence other potential customers. Any sized enterprise will benefit from thinking about its reputation and, rather than simply viewing public relations activities as a cost, it’s time to see reputation as being an asset that increases the value of the business.
For start-ups, we recommend thinking about reputational risk and how it can be mitigated from the beginning. Developing a robust reputation is something that should be woven into every business plan.
The second of the 3 Rs is reach. Reach the right audience, through the right channels and cut through the noise of the competition and the clutter of modern communications with an integrated and multi-channel approach. Prepare and use detailed marketing personas to help you pinpoint the right balance of paid, earned and owned media channels.
Our third R stands for relationships. The relationship between an organisation and its audiences will lead to engagement and ultimately help meet the business objectives - whether that is making a sale, breaking into new markets or changing an opinion.
Partnerships with other brands, industry bodies and influencers are all achievable on any sized budget and can lead to low-cost yet effective tactics that help you to broaden your reach.
Spending time mapping your stakeholders, analysing your relationship with them, looking at how influence cascades and planning stakeholder engagement campaigns could well make the difference between success and failure.
For more information about the Three Rs and to request a free 3Rs Audit please contact Nichole Culverwell at Black Vanilla Ltd on 01481 729 229 or [email protected]. Black-vanilla.gg. Follow us on Twitter @blackVanillaLtd #3Rs