A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company. It’s an emotional, intuitive reaction. It’s the meaning that surrounds the company, product, or service. The foundation of a brand is trust – our audiences trust our brand when their expectations are consistently met or exceeded.
The 5 C's of building a brand are listed below:
- Create a clear, consistent message
- Confirm credibility
- Connect emotionally
- Convince the consumer by building trust and exceeding their expectations
- Results in: Concrete consumer loyalty
Every good marketing brand and strategy starts with these simple questions.
- Who are you?
- Who is your audience?
- What do you do and why does it matter to your audience?
- What is your goal?
- What is your call to action?
- What do you want your audience to do?
Every good marketing plan includes:
Goal(s) and/or Objective(s):
- What do you want to accomplish?
- SMART Goals: Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely.
Example: To increase student attendance at event X by 10% for FY15 as compared to FY14.
Target Audience Definition
- Who needs to "hear" your message in order to accomplish your goal?
- Demographic characteristics: Age, gender, ethnicity, location, etc.
- Psychographic/lifestyle characteristics: Like going to movies, spend time on Facebook, works out regularly, music majors, etc.
Example: Current UH students between the ages of 18-22 who live in the residence halls. They are active in social media.
- What are the best ways to communicate your message to your target audience?
- Strategies are typically broad in nature, as they identify the major communication vehicles or marketing mediums that are the most relevant to your audiences (and your budget).
Examples: Print ads, CoogTV, social media, outreach events, website, etc.
- What are the specific action items needed to implement each of your marketing strategies?
- Tactics are specific in nature, as they identify the "who, what, when, and where" for each marketing medium.
Strategy: Social Media
Tactic #1: Post an announcement about Event X on UH DSA’s Facebook page on the first of every month.
Tactic #2: Tweet an announcement about Event X on Student Housing & Residential Life’s account every Tuesday afternoon.
Tactic #3: Create a video about event X to post on the Campus Recreation YouTube channel.
- What is your overall budget to execute your marketing plan?
- Typically, projected budgets are broken down by strategy and/or tactics.
Actual expenses for each tactic should be tracked for return on investment (ROI) evaluation and future planning purposes.
- Each tactic should include an internal deadline for staff to complete the work.
- As applicable, document the publication, distribution, or "go live" dates for each tactic.
Assessment & Evaluation
- What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)? (i.e. site traffic, post clicks, retweets, etc.)
- Identify the methods for measuring the overall success or return on investment (ROI) of your marketing plan, which should correlate to your goals and objectives.
Example: To track attendance, students will complete a registration form at the beginning of Event X.
- As applicable, identify the methods for measuring the success rate or ROI for each tactic.
Example: The registration form will ask students to identify how they heard about Event X.
Marketing and Communications
- Marketing Communications Checklist (PDF, 96 KB)
- Marketing Plan Template (.xlsx, 20 KB)
- Event Communication Plan (.xlsx, 23 KB)
- How to Write a News Release (PDF, 1.13 MB)
- Marketing Assessment Tracker (.xlsx, 40 KB)