Strategic Communication Plan
Strategic Communication Plan
- Situation Summary
DU campus is a new market for Theme Me meaning it will have to build its brand from the ground up. Theme Me faces significant challenges in launching its concept and services in an environment where the concept of costume rentals and purchases is relatively foreign. It further faces substantial structural and organizational challenges as it has to set up a custom website and social media profiles for its new location. The company also has to carry out fresh recruitment and training for its brand ambassadors. All these activities require a lot of time and money. Due to the social and cultural differences between their previous markets and DU campus, the company has to carry out new surveys and research. Understanding the needs and characteristics of their new market will be instrumental to developing adequate and sustainable strategies that will enhance the brand’s awareness and visibility while keeping costs low. Different campuses operate under different rules and regulations. The company will also have to learn quickly how the new campus operates on outside sponsorship and the limits that outside sponsors have to adhere to. Theme Me has to find the most effective and efficient ways of establishing a new subsidiary in an unfamiliar market that will ensure it gets an at least 50% visibility and awareness.
Theme Me has two main objectives for its startup at DU. First; they are supposed to ensure that at least a quarter of the population in DU is aware of their concept and services during their first quarter of operation. Second, the company needs to hire at least five brand ambassadors from within the student fraternity at DU. Ambassadors should also be trained before the beginning of promotional activities to ensure their effectiveness. All these activities need to be carried out in the most cost efficient and effective way possible to ensure the company maintains a high level of good governance.
The campaign has identified two target audiences on DU campus. First, there are the “cool” kids. This group consists of jocks, cheerleaders, and students that are actively engaged in popular extra-curricular activities. These students are usually the trend setters around campus. The products and establishments they endorse or frequent usually get an increased flow of customers from the school because it is human nature to want to be associated with the “best”. These students are usually young and athletic. They are young, between the ages of 18 and 25, and usually have a lot of dispensable income. They are also very emotional consumers and make purchases on a whim. This group is easier to convince using social media and converting them to active users would be instrumental in making the brand and its services go viral across the campus (Halligan and Shah 15).
The second demographic is the geeks. These students are young and usually not athletic. They tend to focus more on their academics and have interests in fantasy and superheroes with a high aptitude in technology and its applications. This group provides a steadier and more consistent demand for costumes especially everyday wearable varieties (Tuten and Solomon 7). They wear merchandise like tee-shirts, sweatshirts, and other clothes. They also spend a lot of money on costumes during Halloween and comic con. Geeks tend to have more income from the numerous tasks and jobs they do in their spare time. They also actively spend more money on costumes and custom fan and promotional merchandise. Due to their behavioral and psychological intricacies, most geeks have OCD disorders; most geeks prefer to purchase costumes rather than rent. They also like keeping their collections up to date and will purchase upgrades each time they are released.
- Strategies and Key Messages
There are two strategies that can ensure increased brand awareness and visibility. First, the company should make us of social media to recruit the most visible students on campus. Identifying the most popular personalities on campus is as simple as walking around campus and asking random people to name them. After compiling a comprehensive list, the team can go on social media and search for potential candidates and see their social media statistics. Those with the highest number of followers and likes on update and content would be the best candidates for the job. Second, the company should keep the conversation going. Lead generation and brand awareness are emotional concepts no matter how much logic people might try to incorporate into their decision making. By choosing popular personalities around campus as brand ambassadors ensures that more students will actively seek to interact with the brand and its content. This strategy also plays an instrumental role in ensuring that generated leads act as unwitting marketers and promoters for the brand (Collier 3).
There are two tactics that can help increase leads generation and the Theme Me brand visibility. First, the company can sponsor popular cultural and sporting events on campus. Sponsorship increases visibility and popularity of the brand by associating it with activities and personalities the students view as “cool” (Botan 223). This tactic is related to the social media strategy. By sponsoring such events, the company can also stipulate the incorporation of themes that will necessitate participants to hire or purchase their products and services. Second, using social media to promote their concept and services can go a long way in enhancing their brand visibility and awareness. Social media can also be an effective recruitment tool for the brand ambassadors and representatives. This tactic is related to the strategy of keeping the conversation going. Looking for students with the highest social media following and ratings can ensure the brand gets higher acceptance in the market. The company can also make their content go viral by creating challenges and competitions for users. Everybody loves winning and free things. The effectiveness of these challenges also increases if some of the participants rank highly among their peers. The most common and effective choices would be jocks and cheerleaders. The key message to the geeks is that they can get their favorite superhero outfits and merchandise as soon as they are released. For the jocks and cheerleaders, the message would be that they would never have to go to a function or a party and find someone else wearing the same outfit as they are.
- Calendar/ Timetable
Starting the campaign in April will take advantage of the release of superhero movies and give Theme Me more practical visibility among both audiences Wilcox, Cameron and Reber 23). This strategy will also allow the company to ride on the marketing campaigns of the movie industry effectively resulting in significant cost efficiencies. The three consecutive months also see a flurry of activity due to the high number of national holidays and cultural festivals. This also gives the company enough time to come up with custom Halloween season promotional and advertisement activities giving them an edge over other costume retailers and service providers.
The major budgetary considerations will go towards the creation of the website. Recruitment costs can be reduced by using social media as a recruitment tool. By creating challenges, Theme Me can benefit in two ways. First, the activities involved will generate a high number of leads and traffic to the company’s website and social media account. Second, the information generated from the activities in the challenge can be instrumental in advising future strategies and plans. The company can also cut its compensation overheads by leveraging use of services in lieu of cash considerations. Other than experience and training, the ambassadors can get special discounts and gifts as compensation. Leveraging money and benefits can result in significant cost efficiencies for the company effectively leaving more money to cover the running of core processes.
The progressive and dynamic evaluation would provide the best overall results for Theme Me. It is important to track the number of unique visitors and users on the system to know the true position of the campaigns. It is also important to track the effectiveness of strategies and the costs associated with each. Having this information will enable the company to understand the average effective cost of generating leads and enhancing its brand awareness on DU campus across all channels. Having a continuous flow of performance information will also enable the company to remain flexible and adaptable to changing demands of the new market and clients. Tweaking strategies and tactics enhance their effectiveness by making them more practical to prevailing changes in the new market.
Botan, Carl. “Grand Strategy, Strategy, and Tactics in Public Relations.” Public Relations Theory II. New York: Routledge, 2006. 223-247. Print.
Collier, Mack. Think Like a Rock Star: How to Create Social Media and Marketing Strategies That Turn Customers into Fans. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013. Print.
Halligan, Brian, and Dharmesh Shah. Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley, 2010. Print.
Tuten, Tracy L, and Michael R. Solomon. Social Media Marketing. Boston: Pearson, 2013. Print.
Wilcox, Dennis L., Glen T. Cameron, and Bryan H. Reber. Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics. Ed. Ashley Dodge. New York: HarperCollins, 1992. Print.
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