You’ve decided you’re going to launch a mini-campaign for a new service you’re offering. Congrats! The fact you’ve recognized you need to get the word out deserves kudos.

But wait! Do you have a plan for this launch? A marketing communications plan, I mean. You know, the document that outlines your ultimate goal(s), measurable objectives, strategies and implementation tactics? It’s also got target audiences, key messages and evaluation techniques? Yes? Awesome! No? Oh dear.

Construction site crane building a blue 3D text. Part of a series.

Construction site crane building a blue 3D text. Part of a series.

Don’t shoot from the hip. It doesn’t have to be a long, formal thesis on how to sell Happy Meals (remember to take out the fit-tracker watch incentive!). A plan illuminates the path to success. It should be revisited often to see if it needs adjusting. Throwing darts at the wall rarely leads to an organized effort or desired outcomes. What it usually does is lead to frustration and the question, “Why isn’t this working?”

So what are measurable objectives and strategies? How are they different from goals and tactics? How might I evaluate how it went? We PR folks call it the GOST formula:

  1. Goal: Think of this as the umbrella statement that sums up your desired outcome. “Successfully launch Fancy Fido Styling’s new deluxe pedicure service.” It’s broad and doesn’t get into the details of how you’re going to do it or who you’re targeting.
  2. Measurable Objective: Say what you’re going to accomplish, by how much, in what timeframe and among what audience. “Sell 25 deluxe pedicures in the first three months to existing customers.”
  3. Strategies: These are the categories of marketing communication tools you’re going to use to sell your service.
    1. Direct mail to existing customers
    2. Signage
  4. Tactics: Here’s where the rubber hits the road. Tactics are the things you need to do to enable your strategies, and ultimately get you to your measurable objectives and goal(s):
    1. Create direct mailer and mailing list
    2. Develop eye-catching signage for front windows and salon
  5. Evaluation: How do you know if it worked? What would you do differently next time? This all depends on your goal and your measurable objectives.
    1. Compare actual sales to measurable objective(s).
    2. Do a satisfaction survey with pedicure customers (since Fido can’t speak for him/herself!).

Taking time to put something together can really help you stay focused and sell those pedicures. Still not sure about all of this? Check with a communications professional for help. Most of us like pedicures too!

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