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What's A Contact Strategy And How Do You Build One?

by Simon Spyer on Sep 9, 2014 4:04:00 PM

Connect Your Data & Marketing Objectives To Deliver Great Customer Experience

What's A Contact Strategy And How Do You Build One?

A contact strategy should be a core part of your marketing planning process - it's where you build and specify your plan for delivering personally relevant communications to your customers, set the measures of success and harness your data and resources to make it a reality.

It's critical to get right but doesn't have to be too onerous to compile. 


It's A Strategy

So a contact strategy is just like any strategy - it connects your vision to your tactics. In other words it focuses on how you will deliver your vision.

But in this case it just has a defined scope as it focuses on how you contact and communicate with your customers.

By building and agreeing a contact plan, you will have a clear plan that connects your marketing objectives to how you build relationships with your customers.

How To Build One

Focus on your customers

Your contact plan gives you the perfect opportunity to focus on your customers and tailor your communications so that they are personally relevant.

One-to-one marketing is a reality but for the majority of brands it's too difficult to implement in practical terms. Depending on your specific marketing objectives and type of business, you should think of differing customer needs:

  • By customer segment - these are data driven profiles of the characteristics that unite similar customers. Behavioural based segmentations, such as RFV, are a highly efficient way of segmenting a customer base and setting specific objectives and targets for key segments.
  • By persona - these are slightly broader and focussed more on content development. Think about who your ideal customers are, what problems you are solving and who you should be talking to. 

The Framework

Once you have identified your target customers, you should ensure that you can answer these questions:

  • Who - Who are they and what relationship do they have with your brand?
  • What - What do you want to talk to them about?
  • Why - Why should they be interested in what you have to say? Why are you talking to them? What are the barriers and what is the desired response?
  • When - When will you communicate with them?
  • How - How are you going to communicate (which channels) and how will you measure response?

 By answering these questions you will start to define a contact plan that is both relevant and measurable.

Free Contact Strategy Guide


Think Inbound And Outbound

The framework and customer focus should allow you to think both in terms of outbound (push) and inbound (pull) communications.

The traditional focus has been on outbound but an equal amount of your attention should be on inbound marketing and the delivery of content that meets the pain points of your target customers. 

Campaigns, Events & Triggers

For your outbound contact plan, you can start to split your activities into 3 areas:

Campaigns, Events, Triggers: How To Build A Contact Strategy

Your Campaigns should be captured and managed in a campaign calendar while your Events and Triggers should be well documented to that the business rules used to generate them are well defined.

Set Your Measures!

Measurement should be central to your marketing planning process. When building your plan, ensure that you allow time to set the key measures of success and tracking efficacy.

These are critical to proving your ROI and should link directly to your data strategy

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This post was written by Simon Spyer

Co-founder & Insight Partner at Conduit, professional insight-monger, dad, lover of all sport and Spurs.

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