Highest level Business Communications conversations almost always start far, far too low.

The first thing businesses talk about is very often Creative. Design, messaging, websites, print, logos, slogans, vehicle livery, brochures, business cards and letterhead. Businesses start here because it feels safe. Because you can actually see all this stuff you spent your money on.

But this is not the place to start. Go higher.

The next level up is Tactical Marketing. This is what we should actually do. Adverts. Channels. Social. PR approaches. Events. Sponsoring.

But again, this is not the place to start. Go higher again.

The next level up is Strategic Marketing. This is thinking about the right mix of the very best things to say and the very best things to do in order to sell more, more easily. It’s the nuanced ‘how’ to achieve what you want to achieve. Maybe by market segment. Maybe by territory. There can be real magic here.

But again, this is not the place to start. Go even higher.

The next level up is Brand. This is exploring and pinning down your very essence. Why you exist. Why you started. What you believe in. Your precise opinions and ideas. Your non-negotiables. This is the change you want to make. This is your reason for being.

But there’s still one level higher. So go there – and start there.

The top level, and the place to start when considering your business communications (admittedly whilst zigging and zagging into and out of the Brand bit) is Organisational Objectives. Turnover. Profit. Market(s) share. New product launches. Percentage growth. People and departmental/structural growth. The bits that grow organically. Step-change (what and when). Milestones and phases. That kind of thing.

  1. Organisational Objectives. This is where to start.
  2. Then Brand.
  3. Then Marketing Strategy.
  4. Then Marketing Tactics.
  5. Then Creative/Design/Messaging.

Very few businesses do this properly. And this is why huge amounts of business communication spend is just wasted. Because the work they do in Creative/Design/Messaging is not directly linked to where the damn business is going. It’s obvious!

When considering Business Communications, start with your Business Objectives. With the right execution of the four levels below, in the right order, it’s very best chance you have of achieving them.

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