woman hard choice confusion Marketing communications where to start

Marketing communications: so much choice, where to start?

Any marketing campaign involves choosing the right mix of marketing communications. But with so many different ways to ‘do marketing’, where do you begin?

Make space to consider the steps you can take to choose the right marketing communications mix.

Start with your end goal

The whole point of a marketing communications campaign is to encourage a particular group of people to either think, do or feel a certain way.

I begin planning marketing communication campaigns with the end in mind.

Start by answering this question: What do you want your audience to think/do/feel as a result of engaging with your marketing campaign?

Answers might include:
– I want them to think that I am an expert in this area
– We want them to click through to our landing page and find out more
I want them to feel we understand their problems

It’s all about them

Now, let’s think about your audience. Which audience/target market/segment is this campaign for? Again, be as specific as possible and, ideally, have a customer persona for them.

Then, go deep.

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  • How do they like to be engaged at each stage of their Buyers’ Journey?
  • Which communication tools do they use?
  • What time of day are they more receptive to being communicated with?
  • How much time will they give you at each stage of their Buyers’ Journey?

Map this out. Your answers should start to determine which marketing communication tools you need.


The target audience for this campaign: 35 – 40-year-old Professional women wanting to buy an electric car.

End goal: to book them in for a test drive.


Time will give you

Time of day



10 to 60 seconds

During working day ‘downtime,’ e.g. breaks



3 to 10 minutes

Work breaks and evening

Videos/articles on socials; click through to longer pieces.


30 minutes +

Lunch break and evenings

Online chat via socials and chatbots.

Articles to compare and contrast options.


5 mins for the form

30 mins for a test drive

Lunch break and evenings

Online form to book test drive


5-10 mins

If had a positive experience, will make time for us

Short phone call

As we work through the Buyers’ Journey, we can see that the time of day they can give us their attention is limited.

This means that to be there ready to answer their questions via chat and socials requires being around in the evening. A mistake I often see is the right communication tools but the wrong time.

What can you afford in terms of budget and time?

The Digital Marketing Trifecta (sorry, I can’t find the reference for who actually created this) neatly sums up some of the choices you can make.

When the budget is low, you want to use as much OWNED MEDIA as possible.

If your audience needs reassurance from respected others, relevant EARNED MEDIA should be essential.

But if you are doing broader marketing to a big market or need to get results fast, then PAID MEDIA is a good choice.

First, determine the mix of Owned, Earned and Paid Media you can afford and need. Then start to choose the different tools from each, based on which you know will work for your audience.


By the time you have worked through each of these, it should be clear which marketing communication tools you need for this audience for this campaign.

This is a process that can be repeated again and again, for all marketing and communications, allowing you to make the right choices and be an even more effective marketer.

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